Photo: David Merron

Crossing the Circle: Southern Expedition

Duration 14 days
Departing from
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Ushuaia, Argentina
Starting from $8,795
Adventure Options CampingSea KayakingPaddling ExcursionStand-Up Paddleboarding

Overview

Not only does this expedition include the most in-depth exploration of the Antarctic Peninsula, but it also offers the opportunity to venture farther south across the Antarctic Circle. As you head toward a milestone that few travelers reach, you’ll feel as if you’re in a world without borders, sailing across an endless stretch of sea dotted with ice.

Dramatic ice formations will ignite your imagination as you search the landscape for the wildlife that calls it home. Whether it’s humpback whales alongside the ship, a leopard seal diving beneath your Zodiac, penguins sliding off an iceberg into crystal waters, or a giant petrel soaring above cracking sea ice, you’ll experience a sensory overload in Antarctica like you’ve never felt before.

Highlights

  • Be one of the few travelers to venture to 66°33' S
  • Visit historic research stations in Marguerite Bay
  • Witness abundant Antarctic wildlife, including penguins, seals, whales and more
  • Experience western Peninsula highlights and visit iconic landing sites
  • Learn about Antarctica’s geology and wildlife from on-board lecturers and specialists
  • On select departures, 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 — 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 group hotel (pre-night hotel included in mandatory transfer package).

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 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 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 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 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 — 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

As the ship sets sail in the late afternoon, you will begin your Antarctic journey, passing through the Beagle Channel. Named after the famed ship on which Charles Darwin voyaged, the channel presents great photo opportunities of landscapes and seabirds. Eventually the channel opens up to the Southern Ocean, and onwards to Antarctica.

Days 3 and 4 — Crossing the Drake Passage

Your days at sea are filled with presentations and lectures led by your Expedition Team, who will prepare you for the wildlife that will greet you upon your arrival. In between presentations, spend time chatting with your shipmates over a drink at the bar, or enjoy the fresh air and views on the outer decks.

Days 5 to 7 — 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 visit to 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.

Your Expedition Team will take care of you at each landing, whether you are exploring the Antarctic terrain, visiting a research station or consorting with penguin colonies. Chinstrap, Adélie and gentoo penguins are found here, along with four different species of seals. Zodiac cruising can offer opportunities to view some of the larger local marine mammals more intimately, such as Antarctic minke and humpback whales. Each day and each excursion will present a new collection of creatures to delight you and keep your camera busy.

Your days will be busy spotting wildlife and being mesmerized by the astounding beauty of Antarctica. Listening to the crackling and crumbling of icebergs and glaciers and watching penguins waddling on the beach will become your daily entertainment, while sea kayaking, paddle excursions, or 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 — 66°33´S. If conditions allow us to cross this famed line at 66°33´ S, you and your shipmates will celebrate in style with a well-earned glass of sparkling wine!

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, Adélie penguins and some of the most awe-inspiring ice formations you’ll see anywhere on the planet.

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 become 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 looking out for species of seabirds, 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, 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

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

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 – Jan 21, 2020
14
$8,895
Jan 16 – Jan 29, 2020
14
$8,795
Feb 16 – Feb 29, 2020
14
$8,895
Jan 8 – Jan 21, 2021
14
$8,995
Feb 15 – Feb 28, 2021
14
$10,495
Feb 25 – Mar 10, 2021
14
$8,995

Adventure Options

Add an Extra Rush of Adrenaline to Your Expedition

Reviews

Displaying 10 - 12 of 33

Elizabeth Gorrell

5

Fantastic - was treated like the queen.

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.

Get in on the adventure.

Subscribe today for all the latest news on the polar regions including stories, inspiration and exclusive deals!

We respect your privacy. You may unsubscribe from our communications at any time. Please refer to our Privacy Policy for full detail.