Photo by David Merron

Crossing the Circle: Southern Expedition

Duration 14 days
Departing from
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Ushuaia, Argentina
Starting from AU $12,400
Adventure Options

Overview

This expedition offers you the most in-depth exploration of the Antarctic Peninsula. Extended time in the region allows you to go beyond the Antarctic Peninsula and venture south of the Antarctic Circle, home to fantastic ice formations and wildlife including the Weddell seal. You’ll enjoy more time for communing with penguins and visits to less-frequented landing sites.

Highlights

  • Extend your time in Antarctica and make landings in less frequented sites south of the Antarctic Circle;
  • Visit historic research stations in the area of Marguerite Bay;
  • Witness the quintessential Antarctic wildlife, including penguins, seals, whales and more;
  • Experience the Western Peninsula highlights and visit iconic landing sites; and
  • Learn about Antarctica’s geology and wildlife from onboard lecturers and specialists.

Why travel to Antarctica

 

Interested to see more of this voyage? Explore Antarctica in 360° Virtual Reality!

 


Itineraries

Day 1 — Arrive in Buenos Aires, Argentina

You may arrive in Buenos Aires at any time during Day 1 of your itinerary. Upon arriving in this splendid city, known for its rich architecture and European heritage, you will independently transfer to your included hotel.

Day 2 — Fly to Ushuaia and Embarkation

After breakfast at the hotel, the group will transfer to the airport and board our private charter flight to Ushuaia, Argentina. Upon arrival, you will have a little time to explore this quaint port town before heading to the pier. Embarkation will occur in the late afternoon, after which your vessel will

sail down the historic Beagle Channel, which transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Expect an air of anticipation as you depart—the next time you see land, you’ll be in the world’s most southern continent!

Days 3 and 4 — Crossing the Drake Passage

The waters of the Drake Passage are unpredictable, so hope for clear skies and a calm ocean. You’ll have plenty of time to gaze out at the sea—spotting and snapping shots of seabirds swooping around the ship—as well as chat with your Expedition Team and fellow travelers.

Days 5 to 7 — South Shetland Islands & Antarctic Peninsula

Once the Antarctic Convergence is left in our wake, you will truly begin your Antarctic adventure. It is perhaps the first sight of land itself that is embraced as the true beginning of any Antarctic expedition. You will begin to appreciate why this region has long captivated the attention of explorers and travelers alike. Every time we visit Antarctica, we witness something new or unexpected, which means that your expedition will be unlike any other—creating a unique, personal experience. Each day, you will take Zodiac excursions from the ship to explore local bays, channels and landing sites. With wildlife always at the forefront of our minds, you will visit penguin rookeries, scout for humpback and minke whales, and search for a number of southern seal species, including the cunning leopard seal.

The majesty of the Antarctic Peninsula’s mountains will enchant as you hike snowy pathways to vantage points offering you 360-degree views of your surroundings. You will discover that Antarctica is a land of extremes. At one moment you’ll be overcome with a feeling of complete desolation and silence, and the next moment you’ll be inspired by nature as a calving glacier crashes into brilliant blue sea or a penguin waddles by to inspect yourfootwear. Each day will be different, having been carefully crafted by your Expedition Team to inspire and educate you about this wonderful part of the world.

Days 8 and 9 — Antarctic Circle

Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an impressive achievement, as most expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula do not reach this far south—66°33’ S. If conditions allow us to cross this famed line, you and your shipmates will celebrate in style with a well-earned glass of champagne!

Make a toast and take pride in knowing you’ve made it to a part of the world visited by very few people. This is raw Antarctica, home of the midnight sun, penguins and some of the most awe-inspiring ice formations you’ll see anywhere on the continent.

Days 10 and 11 — Northbound Along the Peninsula

By now, your knowledge of Adélie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins will be matched by your ability to differentiate between a leopard, fur and Weddell seal. Terms like bergy bits and pancake ice will be part of your vocabulary, yet there are still many tales to be told. As you head north, Zodiac excursions will fill your days, and your Expedition Team will continue offering presentations and looking out for species of penguins, seals and whales that may have eluded you on your journey south.

Days 12 and 13 — Crossing the Drake Passage

As you recross the Drake, Antarctica fades away, leaving you with a collection of memories to last a lifetime. Excited conversations with your newfound friends will make the crossing fly by, regardless of weather and sea conditions. Your Expedition Team will round up its series of presentations as well, perhaps with a slideshow of the great landing sites and wildlife you’ve witnessed over the course of your voyage. Be sure to take some time to reflect on everything you’ve experienced so far.

Day 14 — Disembarkation in Ushuaia & Fly to Buenos Aires

You will arrive in Ushuaia in the morning, after breakfast. After disembarking, you will get a little taste of Patagonia by touring Tierra del Fuego National Park before transferring to the airport for the return group charter flight to Buenos Aires.

Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that we can achieve everything we set out to accomplish. A measure of flexibility is something all of us must bring to a voyage. There are nearly 200 recognized sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned above may be changed to others equally as interesting.

Day 1 — Ushuaia, Argentina

You will begin your journey in Ushuaia, a small but bustling port town at the tip of South America. This Argentine town is an ideal gateway for you to explore the southern extent of Patagonia while preparing for your adventure ahead. Get active in the mountains or enjoy handcrafted chocolate at a café in town.

Day 2 — Embarkation Day

As the ship sets sail in the late afternoon, you will begin your Antarctic journey, passing through the Beagle Channel. The channel opens up to the vastness of the Southern Ocean, where your next land sighting will be along the Antarctic Peninsula. Named after the famed ship on which Charles Darwin voyaged, the channel presents great photo opportunities to capture seabirds hovering overhead.

Days 3 and 4 — Crossing the Drake Passage

The waters of the Drake Passage are unpredictable, so hope for clear skies and a calm ocean. You’ll have plenty of time to gaze out at the sea, get to know your fellow shipmates and chat with your Expedition Team.

You will spend this time preparing for the exciting days ahead, with numerous educational and informative lectures presented by your Expedition Team. You’ll learn about everything from safety procedures to the history of whaling in Antarctica.

Days 5 to 7 — Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands

With the Drake Passage left in our wake, we make our approach to Antarctica. Get your cameras ready as the continent’s coastline makes its first appearance, signaling the start of your adventure in the realm of the Antarctic. You’ll see plentiful floating icebergs and be fixated on the ocean surface as curious whales spout and breach before your eyes.

As exciting as it can be from on board the ship, your true exploration occurs when you disembark and set foot on the White Continent. There are several potential landing sites that we may visit, including Neko Harbour, Orne Harbour or Paradise Harbour. Although weather dictates which specific landing sites we can visit, each one presents a new collection of wildlife and natural attractions.

Your days will be busy spotting wildlife and being mesmerized by the beauty of Antarctica. Watching penguins waddling on the beach and listening to the crackling and crumbling sounds of icebergs and glaciers will become your daily entertainment, while kayaking with whales and polar camping are optional activities available on select voyages (at an extra cost).

Days 8 and 9 — Antarctic Circle

Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an impressive achievement, as most expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula do not reach this far south, which is officially noted at 66°33' S. If conditions allow us to cross this famed line, you and your shipmates will celebrate in style with a well-earned glass of champagne! Make a toast and take pride in knowing you’ve made it to a part of the world visited by very few people.

Days 10 and 11 — Northbound Along the Peninsula

By now, your knowledge of Adélie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins will be matched by your ability to differentiate between a leopard, fur or Weddell seal. Terms like bergy bits and pancake ice will seem normal, yet there are still many tales to be told. As you head north, Zodiac excursions will fill your days, and your Expedition Team will continue offering presentations while giving you time to reflect on everything you’ve experienced.

Days 12 and 13 — Crossing the Drake Passage

As you recross the Drake, Antarctica fades away, leaving you with a collection of memories to last a lifetime. Excited conversations with your newfound friends will make the crossing fly by, regardless of weather and sea conditions. Your Expedition Team will round up its series of lectures as well, perhaps with a slideshow of the great landing sites and wildlife you’ve witnessed over the course of your voyage.

Day 14 — Disembark in Ushuaia

Today you’ll say goodbye to your Expedition Team and fellow travelers, disembarking in the morning to catch your homeward flights.

Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that we can achieve everything we set out to accomplish. A measure of flexibility is something all of us must bring to a voyage. There are nearly 200 recognized sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned above may be changed to others equally as interesting.

Dates and Rates

Departure
Days
Starting from
 
 
Jan 8 – January 21, 2020
14
AU $12,600
Jan 16 – January 29, 2020
14
AU $12,400
Feb 16 – February 29, 2020
14
AU $12,600

Adventure Options

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Reviews

Displaying 1 - 3 of 23

Great trip

5

We had a terrific time on this trip. All was expected, no surprises. Weather was mostly cooperative, increasing our opportunities to get out on the Zodiacs. Food was terrific. Hotel staff great, room just fine (except I wish we could turn the volume down a bit on the in-room speaker!) Nighttime party when we crossed the circle was amazing, as was the bbq on back deck. Icing on the cake was going by the Cape, taking advantage of change in weather and a bit of extra time. Thx for all.

5

A wonderful trip in a unique environment with like minded well traveled people
in a small group, very nice ship. It was my 4th trip with QUARK to Antarctica
and hope I will be able to travel with them yet again. It is the most incredible
experience.

Breathless

5

As second time travelers with Quark, we can only say, you did not disappoint! The staff was enthusiastic, informative, friendly, helpful, and professional. The service was impeccable, the food divine and the complimentary wine was the icing on the cake.The effort that the crew made to make this another mind-blowing memory cannot be understated. Yes, we will travel with Quark again and praise our experience to all.

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