Photo by David Merron

Antarctic Explorer: Discovering the 7th Continent

Duration 11 or 12 days
Departing from
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Ushuaia, Argentina
Starting from $6,695
Adventure Options CampingMountaineeringSea KayakingPaddling ExcursionCross-Country SkiingStand-Up Paddleboarding

Overview

Antarctica has been inspiring explorers for centuries. And this expedition offers you the chance to discover why, with an unforgettable journey through the spectacular wilderness of the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula. You’ll encounter a world where nature creates the rules, her unpredictable temperament making each trip unique, exciting and personal.

Imagine cruising in a Zodiac through crackling sea ice like shattered glass, witnessing penguins building their nests, or navigating through a maze of icebergs, each one uniquely shaped by its journey through the sea. You’ll enjoy iconic Antarctic highlights, exhilarating adventures and be rewarded with memories to last a lifetime.

Special Interests

Help Inspire Change

Shake Your Tail Feathers! Our Penguinologist Partners Have an Ingenious New Way to Track Penguins

Are you interested in environmentalism? Learning first-hand from scientists, researchers and special guests onboard is an eco-tourist's dream come true. Having a chance to meet these experts is truly inspirational. Our partnerships with international charities make for very reward and educational expeditions.

Penguin Watch identifies risk factors to the Antarctic penguin population, conducting long-term rookery monitoring, and genetic analysis to obtain information on how these populations are changing and declining

Their scientists will be participating in one Epic Antarctica voyage starting in 2018:

If you're interested in discussing this voyage more, talk to a Quark Polar Travel Advisor at 888.979.4073

Highlights

  • Discover why this trip is perfect for first-time visitors to Antarctica
  • Explore highlights of the Antarctic Peninsula
  • Travel safely and comfortably aboard any of Quark Expeditions’ three small, ice-strengthened expedition vessels
  • Learn about the environment and wildlife from on-board lecturers and specialists
  • Experience abundant wildlife: penguins, seals, whales and more!
  • On select itineraries, arrive in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the tango capital of the world, and let us take care of the rest of your journey

Why travel to Antarctica

 

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

 

Itineraries

Day 1 — 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 soaring architecture and rich European heritage, you will independently transfer to the group hotel (pre-night hotel included).

Day 2 — Ushuaia, Argentina, 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. This famous channel 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’ll see land you’ll be in the world’s most southern continent!

Days 3 and 4 — Crossing the Drake Passage

Prepare yourself for potentially rough water, but hope for a smooth sailing, as the Drake is unpredictable and always changing. You’ll spend these first days getting to know your shipmates while your Expedition Team provides safety briefings and insights into what excitement lies ahead.

Days 5 to 8 — South Shetland Islands and 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 scramble up snowy pathways to vantage points offering you 360° views of your surroundings. One of these in particular, in Danco Island, affords us the opportunity to visit a penguin colony high up on a ridge. Here, you’ll have the choice between hiking to the island’s summit or spending time sitting quietly on a pebbled beach, enjoying the antics of curious penguins. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, participating in the Polar Plunge swim is about as crazy as it gets!

Amid the serene silence of Antarctica, noisy interludes become indelible memories, such as penguins squabbling over prized pebbles, or the boom and crack of a calving glacier in Neko Harbour.

Each day will be different, having been carefully crafted by your Expedition Team to entertain and educate you about this wonderful part of the world.

Days 9 and 10 — Crossing the Drake Passage

The journey back across the Drake Passage provides final opportunities to enjoy the crisp Antarctic air. Spend time on the deck, watching for seabirds and scouting for whales, enjoy presentations by your Expedition Team, or simply relax and reminisce about your experiences.

Day 11 — Disembark in Ushuaia and Fly to Buenos Aires

You will arrive in Ushuaia in the morning, after breakfast. After disembarking, you will get a little taste of Patagonia, 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.

CHARTER FLIGHT NOT INCLUDED IN THE BASE PRICE OF THE TRIP

$950 USD per person

Buenos Aires Flight and Transfer Package includes:

  • Pre expedition hotel night in Buenos Aires, with breakfast
  • Group transfer from the hotel to the airport in Buenos Aires
  • Charter flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, and return
  • Group transfer from Ushuaia airport to the ship, and return

Day 1 — Arrive in 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

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

Your days at sea are filled with presentations led by your Expedition Team who will prepare you for the wildlife, glaciology and history that will greet you upon your arrival. In between presentations, spend time on deck looking for wildlife or chatting with your shipmates over a drink at the bar.

Days 5 to 8 — South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula

The most common reaction upon reaching the White Continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is beyond words, since few places are as untouched and enduring as Antarctica. 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. Your Expedition Team will take care of you at each landing, whether you are hiking the Antarctic landscape, visiting a research station or consorting with chinstrap, Adélie and gentoo penguins, all of which can be found here. Keep an eye out for Weddell, fur, crabeater and leopard seals as well as curious whales, such as humpbacks, fins, or perhaps orcas while on a Zodiac cruise. Each excursion will present a new collection of creatures to delight you and keep your camera busy.

Amid the serene silence of Antarctica, noisy interludes become indelible memories, such as penguins squabbling over prized pebbles, or the boom and crack of a calving glacier.

Every 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 9 and 10 — Crossing the Drake Passage

The journey back across the Drake Passage provides final opportunities to enjoy the crisp Antarctic air. Spend time on the deck, watching for seabirds and scouting for whales, enjoy presentations by your Expedition Team and celebrate the experiences shared exploring Antarctica.

Day 11 — Disembarkation in Ushuaia

You will arrive in Ushuaia in the morning, which allows for you to continue your adventure onward or catch your flights home.

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 — Arrive in 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

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

Your days at sea are filled with presentations led by your Expedition Team who will prepare you for the wildlife, glaciology and history that will greet you upon your arrival. In between presentations, spend time on deck looking for wildlife or chatting with your shipmates over a drink at the bar.

Days 5 to 9 — South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula

The most common reaction upon reaching the White Continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is beyond words, since few places are as untouched and enduring as Antarctica. 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. Your Expedition Team will take care of you at each landing, whether you are hiking the Antarctic landscape, visiting a research station or consorting with chinstrap, Adélie and gentoo penguins, all of which can be found here. Keep an eye out for Weddell, fur, crabeater and leopard seals as well as curious whales, such as humpbacks, fins, or perhaps orcas while on a Zodiac cruise. Each excursion will present a new collection of creatures to delight you and keep your camera busy.

Amid the serene silence of Antarctica, noisy interludes become indelible memories, such as penguins squabbling over prized pebbles, or the boom and crack of a calving glacier.

Every 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 10 and 11 — Crossing the Drake Passage

The journey back across the Drake Passage provides final opportunities to enjoy the crisp Antarctic air. Spend time on the deck, watching for seabirds and scouting for whales, enjoy presentations by your Expedition Team and celebrate the experiences shared exploring Antarctica.

Day 12 — Disembarkation in Ushuaia

You will arrive in Ushuaia in the morning, which allows for you to continue your adventure onward or catch your flights home.

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
 
 
Nov 3 – Nov 13, 2019
11
$8,495
Nov 5 – Nov 15, 2019
11
$6,695
Nov 7 – Nov 17, 2019
11
Sold Out
Nov 12 – Nov 22, 2019
11
$7,895
Nov 21 – Dec 1, 2019
11
$7,895
Dec 2 – Dec 12, 2019
11
$6,695
Dec 7 – Dec 18, 2019
12
$9,995
Dec 8 – Dec 19, 2019
12
$8,095
Dec 11 – Dec 21, 2019
11
$7,295
Dec 17 – Dec 28, 2019
12
$9,995
Dec 29 – Jan 8, 2020
11
$8,795
Jan 7 – Jan 17, 2020
11
$7,295
Jan 10 – Jan 20, 2020
11
Sold Out
Jan 28 – Feb 7, 2020
11
$7,295
Feb 5 – Feb 15, 2020
11
Sold Out
Feb 6 – Feb 16, 2020
11
$6,895
Feb 7 – Feb 17, 2020
11
$7,295
Feb 28 – Mar 9, 2020
11
Sold Out
Mar 3 – Mar 13, 2020
11
$7,895
Mar 7 – Mar 17, 2020
11
$6,895
Mar 8 – Mar 18, 2020
11
Sold Out
Nov 3 – Nov 14, 2020
12
$8,995
Nov 4 – Nov 14, 2020
11
$7,495
Nov 13 – Nov 23, 2020
11
$7,495
Nov 13 – Nov 24, 2020
12
$8,995
Nov 30 – Dec 10, 2020
11
Sold Out
Dec 9 – Dec 19, 2020
11
$7,495
Dec 18 – Dec 28, 2020
11
$9,995
Jan 4 – Jan 14, 2021
11
$10,495
Jan 28 – Feb 7, 2021
11
$9,495
Feb 6 – Feb 16, 2021
11
$8,495
Feb 16 – Feb 26, 2021
11
$7,495

Adventure Options

Reviews

Displaying 19 - 21 of 56

All the arrangements made by

5

All the arrangements made by Mark Weber were excellent. We thoroughly enjoyed the trip. The nine zodiac cruises and the landings were most enjoyable. Thanks to the excellent crew. Would recommend you without hesitation.

Surpassed every expectation, cannot recommend enough!

5

There is not one negative thing I can find in my trip, both things in Quark's control and out of their control. The staff was fantastic, the ship was cozy and spacious, the food was wonderful, the stops and landings were awe-inspiring, kayaking was a must-do, and the wildlife and scenery were beyond anything I could've expected. We also lucked out with weather as the Drake was easy to pass both directions, and we got ot get out on the kayaks 9 times out of a possible 9.

Quark took great of me and us and I would recommend them and this trip to anyone!

Incredible Antarctica Trip of a Lifetime with a Fantastic Crew!

5

I cannot overstate just how impressed I was with the fantastic experience that Quark Expeditions provided during my recent trip to Antarctica. The education, fun, sight-seeing, service, food, accommodation, and care that everyone on the cruise--from the talented and knowledgeable and adventurous Expedition Guides to the warm and gracious food service staff to the wonderful and cheerful hotel and housekeeping crew--made the trip an absolute joy throughout!

Our interaction with Quark began way last year, via regular email correspondence with Laura to book our trip. She was exceedingly helpful and answered our plentiful questions and helped facilitate a Triple Cabin aboard the Ocean Diamond ship. A couple months before out trip, however, we were ecstatically surprised to find out that we had been upgraded to a Suite, doubling our lodging real estate!

Our cabin was spacious (by ship standards) and clean, with storage and everything efficiently organized. Our housekeeper, Tony, greeted us with a smile everyday and always had a cheerful attitude, even if we interrupted him (which humorously tended to be a habit... we always seemed to be coming back to our room right when he arrived to clean in).

The food was fantastic. Food tends to be on a cruise, and this was no exception. Breakfast and lunch were buffets daily, with minor variation in the menu for breakfast but different meat and fish entrees, vegetables, potatoes, soup, and grains for lunch each day. Dinner was always a different four course meal and absolutely delectable. The fantastic chefs conjured up cuisines from all around the world, providing great variety each day.

Of course, the highlight and reason for our trip was the actual exploration of Antarctica, which lay in the highly capable charge of the Expedition team. We had excursions twice a day--in the morning after breakfast and in the afternoon a couple of hours after lunch. The typical excursion consisted of dividing the boat in half to produce groups under the 100-person maximum allowed on Antarctic land under the provisions of the Antarctic Treaty System. One group would go to shore, where they were presented with a variety of paths that could lead to wildlife colonies, high overlooks, or fun walks along the shore. The other group would cruise in Zodiac boats, gaining a different perspective of the landing site or chasing marine wildlife or exploring the natural features of whatever bay or harbor we were in.

We were highly impressed by how quickly and efficiently the staff operated. Zodiac cruises often launched faster than the announced schedule, which kept us on their toes. As with the ship staff, the Expedition crew was constantly full of smiles and great energy, clearly showing their passion for polar exploration.

Our transit days also featured multiple seminars and courses covering Antarctic history, wildlife, and science, with a few miscellaneous classes like photography courses thrown in for anyone interested. We also had expedition recaps and assorted activities on the ship during the late afternoons and evenings to bring people together and to review the past day and upcoming plans.

That doesn't mean things were all serious either. We had an incredible outdoor barbecue in the Lemaire Channel, a fun Polar Plunge event where brave souls jumped into the icy Antarctic waters, a truly magical and unforgettable overnight camping adventure, and plenty of nighttime partying for those interested in social activities. It was so wonderful meeting so many kindred spirits who shared the love of travel and exploration.

Throughout it all, the Expedition staff was fantastic. Our fearless Expedition Leader, Niki, was tirelessly amazing in greeting us on shore at every landing, plotting our courses, and coordinating the excursions and landings. We loved spending time with guides like Lauritz, Ema, Johann, History Dave, and Jake, just to name a few. Their enthusiasm and love for their fields of expertise were contagious, and they really helped us appreciate the grandeur and majesty of our surroundings even more.

Add to that all the whales, seals, penguins, and sea birds we saw, set amongst an incredible and resplendent landscape of pure and pristine ice and snow, and you had an unforgettable trip. Thanks, Quark, for facilitating the trip of a lifetime. Our experience was so grand that we were already plotting how we might be able to partake in another Quark adventure in the future!

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