Antarctic Expeditions

Antarctica: the great white continent and one of the last true wilderness areas on earth – largely unchanged since the early explorers.

It’s home to the world’s greatest concentration of wildlife, where penguins, seals and whales are the only permanent residents.

Gaze up at magnificent icebergs, explore islands guided by various species of penguin including chinstrap, gentoo and Adélie. Experience the awe-inspiring king penguin rookeries of South Georgia, the “Galapagos of the Poles,” as well as the incredible wealth of untamed wildlife in the unique and diverse archipelagos of the Southern Ocean.

Quark Expeditions has been the world leader in polar adventures for over two decades and successfully operated many first-ever passenger voyages to Antarctica, including the Circumnavigation of the Antarctic continent and the first Weddell Sea voyage.

The Antarctic Peninsula

With its all glistening inlets, rocky cliff sides, pebbled beaches and floating ice sculptures, the Antarctic Peninsula is the northernmost stretch of land on the 7th continent—you’re in for total sensory overload. Whether you venture on our popular penguin safari or new photography voyages, this season’s line-up delivers sublime adventures beyond your wildest dreams.

Photo by David Merron

Antarctic Explorer: Discovering the 7th Continent

11 or 12 days
from AU $10,100

This expedition offers the perfect chance to discover the best of the Antarctic Peninsula, the last continent’s most northern region.

Photo by David Merron

Crossing the Circle: Southern Expedition

14 days
from AU $12,900

This expedition offers you the most in-depth exploration of the Antarctic Peninsula.

The Falkland Islands (Malvinas) and South Georgia

Encounter an unparalleled variety of wildlife and get a vivid picture of early Antarctic exploration at these two British territories in the South Atlantic Ocean. Hike through the tussock grass, wander the shorelines, listen to the stories, connect with nature—and get lost in the moment.

South Georgia Landscape

Epic Antarctica: Crossing the Circle via Falklands and South Georgia

23 days
from AU $21,900

If you desire to “do it all” on your Antarctic adventure, then this is the voyage for you.

Photo by David Merron

Falklands, South Georgia, and Antarctica: Explorers and Kings

20 days
from AU $19,300

This extended expedition encompasses the wildlife paradise of South Georgia, the remote Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), as well as the extraordinary beauty of the Antarctic Peninsula.

A guest photographing King penguins at St Andrews Bay, South Georgia. Photo: Acacia Johnson
New!

Solar Eclipse 2021: Totality in Antarctica, with South Georgia

17 days
from AU $25,100

This voyage will be the perfect opportunity to be rendered awestruck by the overwhelming enormity of Antarctica. From there, you’ll sail north and become part of a select few to experience a Total Solar Eclipse in the Antarctic before exploring the island of South Georgia.

A guest photographs Black Browed Albatross at West Point Island, Falkland Islands. Photo by Acacia Johnson.
New!

Solar Eclipse 2021: Totality in Antarctica, with South Georgia and Falkland Islands

20 days
from AU $25,100

Designed for eclipse chasers, this itinerary offers the rare opportunity to witness the total eclipse of the sun while also setting foot in Antarctica, as well as a chance to explore the rarely visited sub-Antarctic Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) and South Georgia.

South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula: Penguin Safari

16 days
from AU $20,500

This adventure is the fastest way to get to the rarely visited South Georgia Island while also stepping foot on the 7th Continent. As we set sail, photograph massive albatross and pintado petrel as they swoop and soar around the ship, guiding us toward South Georgia.

Fly/Cruise Expeditions

Our convenient Fly/Cruise expeditions whisk you to the 7th continent for as few as eight days. Fly over the Drake Passage to embark on the rest of your journey by ship. This shaves off a little time, so you can make the most of every minute. We can get you kayaking the bays, cruising around icebergs and camping out under the Antarctic night sky in next to no time.

Photo by Quark passenger Karen Jacot

Antarctic Express: Crossing the Circle

11 days
from AU $25,600

Enjoy Antarctica in style — by flying and then cruising south of the Antarctic Circle!

Photo: David Merron

Antarctic Express: Fly the Drake

8 days
from AU $15,800

You’re ready to explore King George Island and the Antarctic Peninsula—and no Drake Passage crossings are required! With a spectacular aerial view, included charter flights between Punta Arenas and Antarctica have you experiencing the majesty of the 7th continent before transferring you to your ship in no time.

Photo taken by a Quark passenger

Antarctic Peninsula

Your first step on the 7th continent will take place in the most readily accessible part of the Antarctic Peninsula, the most northern stretch of Antarctic land. Stepping foot on the 7th continent is a moment of pleasure and excitement that affects each traveler differently.
Photo by Quark passenger, Karine Bengualid

Buenos Aires, Argentina

This energetic port is the gateway to Argentina. Buenos Aires is often called the “Paris of South America” for its classic architecture and rich European heritage. The city has wide boulevards and cobblestone alleys, quaint cafés and markets.
Photo taken by a Quark passenger

Drake Passage

The infamous Drake Passage extends about 1,000 km (600 miles) between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands. To reach the Antarctic Peninsula it is necessary to traverse this stretch of water at right angles to the current flow.
Photo taken by a Quark passenger

Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

The Falkland Islands, also known as Islas Malvinas by the Argentines, are located some 400 km northeast of Tierra del Fuego, the southern-most point in South America. This archipelago itself consists of East and West Falkland, divided by Falkland Sound.
Photo taken by a Quark passenger

Punta Arenas, Chile

Punta Arenas, Chile, is your gateway to Antarctica for all of Quark’s fly-cruise voyages. It lies 3,090 km to the South of Santiago de Chile and is the most important urban center in the Magallanes Region.
Photo taken by Quark passenger

South Georgia

This slightly crescent-shaped, mountainous island lies some 1,300 km (800 miles) east-south-east of the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas). It has not only an astonishing concentration of wildlife, but also glaciers, fjords and low-lying grassland.

South Orkney Islands

These are a group of rather barren islands 1,360 km (850 miles) north east of the Antarctic Peninsula. The climate is rather harsh, with strong winds, frequent rain and snow. Snow falls about 280 days each year.
Photo taken by Quark passenger, Chris Harbard

South Sandwich Islands

The South Sandwich Islands are located about 800 km (460 miles) south-east of South Georgia. The islands form a chain some 390 km (240 miles) long, comprising 11 major and several smaller islands. The islands are volcanic in origin and some remain active.
Photo taken by a Quark passenger

South Shetland Islands

The South Shetland Islands are approximately 120 km north of the Antarctic Peninsula and will usually be your first stop en route to the Peninsula. Home to a great number of animals, you’ll spot an abundance of wildlife, including various species of penguins, seals and sea birds.
Photo by Quark passenger

Ushuaia, Argentina

Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world. It is now a major tourist town, complete with casinos and a variety of restaurants. Ushuaia is commonly used as a base for hiking, and of course, cruises to Antarctica.
Camping on the Antarctic Peninsula, photo by Acacia Johnson

Camping - Antarctic

Imagine for a moment, staring at the stars in the indigo glow of an Antarctic night as you bed down for the night outside in the elements.
Skiing in the Antarctic

Cross-Country Skiing - Antarctic

Ski trekking is a cross between backcountry ski touring and cross-country skiing. But don’t confuse it with downhill skiing. Ski trekkers use lightweight touring skis that are equipped with special Ice Trek bindings, which provide flexibility, a crucial element when ski trekking downhill.
Passengers hiking in the Antarctic Peninsula, photo by David Merron

Hiking - Antarctic

Hiking in the polar regions differs from your typical trail experience. Here, in a tree-less terrain, you are the tallest figure on the landscape as you walk over spongy tundra, crusty snow or sandy beaches in remotes parts of the Arctic and Antarctica.
Photo taken by a Quark passenger

Mountaineering - Antarctic

Participants, using crampons or snowshoes and the occasional use of an ice axe, will find themselves hiking up the angled slopes of mountain glaciers and high peaks.

Paddling Excursion - Antarctic

Every sweep of the paddle as your craft glides through the pristine polar waters creates an incredible soundtrack: the jostle of glacial ice, the lapping of waves against the rocky shore, the perpetual drip from your paddle, the call of seabirds, and the occasional splash as wildlife break the su

Polar Plunge - Antarctic

The Polar Plunge is scheduled once during each voyage. Throughout the journey, the Expedition Leader and Captain constantly monitor conditions in order to choose the optimal time and location. The Polar Plunge sometimes takes place onshore or, in many cases, from the gangway or Zodiac.
Kayaking in Antarctica, photo by Sam Crimmin

Sea Kayaking - Antarctic

Positioning yourself in the seat of a kayak is one of the most intimate ways travelers can connect with the polar regions—at water level, up close, where you can touch and feel every polar sensation imaginable.
Stand-up Paddleboarding, photo by David Merron

Stand-up Paddleboarding - Antarctic

Combining surfing with kayaking or canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding will give you a very personal and unique perspective on Antarctica. Taken in small groups in good weather conditions in Antarctica.

Zodiac Cruising - Antarctic

Zodiacs are used for transferring you ashore, transporting your luggage when necessary and for taking you ocean-level cruising among icebergs, whales and seabirds. During the expedition, you will visit remote and isolated sites that are accessible only by Zodiac.

Currency (Antarctic)

There is no Antarctic currency. However, if you visit Port Lockroy in the Antarctic Peninsula, U.S. dollars, Pound Sterling and Euro are accepted, as are Visa and MasterCard where your transaction will be charged in U.S. dollars.
Photo taken by a Quark passenger

Gear Shop and Polar Boutique

The best place to prepare for your Polar expedition is the Quark Gear Shop. The online Gear shop carries all the clothing and equipment you'll need to make the most of your expedition to the Polar regions.
King George Island

Getting to Antarctica

Most of Quark’s Antarctic voyages begin and end in Ushuaia, Argentina, with the exception of our Fly-Cruise voyages that may start and/or end in Punta Arenas, Chile.
Expedition Essentials

Packing Tips

“There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” Ranulph Fiennes We travel to the Polar Regions in the summer months when the weather isn’t that cold, however temperature can change unexpectedly.
Photo taken by a Quark passenger

Passports and Visas

All passengers are responsible for obtaining all necessary passport and visas prior to the departure of your voyage.
Photo taken by a Quark passenger

Seasickness (Antarctic)

Everyone reacts differently to sea conditions whether during the crossing of the infamous Drake Passage to Antarctica, or even during calmer seas.
Photo taken by a Quark passenger

The Quark Parka

We know that packing for your Polar voyage may be challenging, so Quark takes the guess work out of packing an appropriate coat. All our passengers will receive our signature yellow expedition parka on the first day you’re onboard the ship.
Photo by Quark passenger

Travel Insurance

Included in the cost of your expedition is an emergency evacuation insurance policy with a maximum benefit of USD$500,000 per paying passenger. This included policy provides coverage only while traveling with Quark Expeditions, between the first and last day of the expedition.
Photo by Quark passenger, Sam Crimmin

When to Go

A common question travelers have is “When is the best time to travel to Antarctica?” The answer depends on what you want to see or do. Keep in mind that you cannot cruise to the Polar regions all year round.
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I would use them again if I had the money

5

I went to Antarctica for the first time December 2016, which was part of 7 continents and 18 countries in little over 4 months. All planned in 2-3 months. I chose Quark because it was in my price range and had pretty good reviews. I'll just say that it was the most incredible experience and I'm glad I used Quark. From booking till even after I got off the boat Quark has been great. I really can't thank the Quark staff enough for such a great job they've done. Other passengers and I were so impressed, we are considering going up to the artic using Quark if we can make it work.

Outstanding & Beyond All Expectations

5

From the moment I spoke to Naomi Box my Polar Adviser some 2 years prior to my Explorers & Kings trip, everything was outstanding and the level of customer service was unparalleled. This continued on to the actual trip where I was very impressed with the expedition crew, hospitality staff and the ship crew. The ability to accommodate everyone's needs and wants was truly impressive. I felt that the team went above and beyond. The trip itself was amazing and I felt a very good value for what was received. I appreciated the expertise of the entire team and felt that it was a true learning experience. I know that I will return to the Antarctic with Quark and hope that I can also travel with them to the Arctic. Cannot say enough about this team, company and trip. Thank you!

Excellent

5

Loved my Expeditions with Quark! Arctic Watch & Antarctica!

definitely recommend quark for antarctica

5

My friends and I are not cruise type travelers but we wanted to go to Antarctica. We were really nervous, but everything was great and we never felt trapped. The staff bent over backwards to get us the best experiences, from turning the ship around or delaying dinner so we could get closer to wildlife or stay out in the zodiacs to enjoy being around a million penguins. Our cabins were larger than expected and quite comfortable - the daily maid was delightful and did a great job. The restaurant/bar staff were also great -we were shocked at how decent the food was and just at the sheer variety we had to choose from at each meal. Of course we got lucky and had amazingly warm, sunny weather, but the jackets keep you dry and warm and the boots you borrow are surprisingly comfortable.

Ultimate Antartica

5

A wonderful experience made possible by the entire Quark operation beginning with the booking process then the accurate and timely billing process and transportation AND all so important the actual trip with the enthusiastic and friendly QUARK team. I felt very much at home and comfortable with everyone and that makes the trip all so much more enjoyable. All of our activities seemed to be well organized and if they weren't it was well hidden so that the vacationers were unaware.

Quark February 2017

5

This trip was more than I could have ever imagined. It was truly a spiritual experience being on Antarctica, seeing the wildlife and icebergs. On the boat it was like an adult camp. We met wonderful people we were sad to say goodbye to. The staff was extremely knowledgeable and gave everyone the opportunity to have a special experience. The boat had 188 guests but it never felt that large. The food and accommodations were truly amazing for an "expedition". I would recommend this trip to anyone.

Trip of a liftetime

5

Had a wonderful experience on this once in a lifetime trip. I didn’t know what to expect from the Antarctic, but it was beautiful and serene and life changing.

Epic Antarctica Trip 2016/2017

5

The trip was an enormous success due to the skillfulness of the captain of the ship and the tenacity and resourcefulness of the expedition leader and her team. The hotel staff were also above and beyond. I was constantly amazed at the staff on the ship. The trip exceeded all of my expectations except for the coffee. The coffee needs to be upgraded. Perhaps some costa rican coffee.
I will definitely look to Quark when I plan a trip to the Artic.

excelant as always

5

Falkland islands history very interesting. I love all the Penguins specially the majestic Kings.
Everything was manage very expertly. A feeling of welcome all over the ship. This was my third trip with Quark Expedition. I will be back!

Well Organized

5

The Antarctica expedition proved informative and interesting.
It ran so smoothly, it was hard to notice all the work behind-the-scenes.
Thanks you.

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