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Epic Antarctica: Crossing the Circle via Falklands and South Georgia

23 days

Embark on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure on this diverse expedition — you’ll experience the spectacular flora and fauna of the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) before immersing yourself in the unique history and exquisite, rare wildlife of South Georgia.

Whether you’re visiting Antarctic research stations, witnessing a sudden minke whale breach from your Zodiac, sharing a magical moment with king penguins, or celebrating crossing the Antarctic Circle with like-minded travelers and crew, you’ll know this experience will live on in you forever.

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

 

Day-by-Day Expedition in Brief

  • Explore the world’s seventh continent on the Antarctic Peninsula by ship, Zodiac and on foot;
  • Learn about Antarctica’s unique geology, history and wildlife with an expert team of lecturers;
  • See the incredible wildlife of South Georgia, often referred to as “the Galapagos of the South.” This includes more than 30 species of breeding birds, including four species of penguin;
  • Follow in the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s perilous voyage on South Georgia and pause for a moment at his graveside;
  • Explore the quaint, British town of Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands;
  • Crossing of the Antarctic Circle; and
  • On board lecturers and educational presentations from Polar specialists.

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.

Day 3 — At Sea

There are many activities to keep you engaged while we’re at sea. You can take advantage of the library of books available on your ship, chat with your shipmates at the bar, or spend time out on deck, admiring the sea.

Days 4 and 5 — Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

The Falkland archipelago contains two main islands, East Falkland and West Falkland, which you will explore thanks to Zodiac excursions and daily landings. These rugged islands have a frontier feel to them.

Days 6 and 7 — At Sea

En route to South Georgia, you’ll cross the Antarctic Convergence, an invisible biological boundary unique to Antarctica. This meeting of oceans is what creates the abundance of krill and marine life that attracts large cetaceans, such as humpback whales, to the area.

Days 8 to 11 — South Georgia

Evidence of the old whaling and sealing heyday is still found throughout the island. You’ll be surprised to learn that whale and seal populations were once decimated here. Today, their populations are strong, with massive rookeries to be seen.

Days 12 and 13 — At Sea

Antarctica awaits, along with its own penguin and seal species. While you’re at sea, you can enjoy quiet time or take in presentations by your Expedition Team, who will cover everything from the history and geology of Antarctica to tips on identifying different species and what makes each of them unique.

Days 14 to 16 — South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula

The experience is hard to put into words, but the most common reaction upon reaching the White Continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is hard to put into words.

Days 17 and 18 — Antarctic Circle

Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an impressive achievement, as most expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula do not come close to reaching this far south.

Days 19 and 20 — Northbound Along the Peninsula

If you haven’t had your fill of Antarctic wildlife and icebergs by now, you’ll surely be satisfied by the time you return to the Drake Passage. You will continue to journey onto land by Zodiac twice daily as you travel north along the western Antarctic Peninsula.

Days 21 and 22 — Crossing the Drake Passage

After more than a dozen days of memorable wildlife encounters, your journey home begins. Crossing the Drake is your unofficial rite of passage, putting a final stamp of approval on your Antarctic adventure.

Day 23 — Disembark in Ushuaia

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

Adventure Options Ramp Up Your Expedition

Every Quark Antarctic voyage includes great daily outdoor activities including Zodiac cruises, hiking and some also offer snowshoeing. The more discerning adrenaline junkie can also choose from a range of optional adventure activities, with varying exertion levels, to experience the 7th continent in a more personal way.

Contact a Quark Polar Travel Adviser to learn more about adventure options, including physical requirements.

Kayaking in Antarctica is probably one of the most intimate and inspiring ways you can explore this incredible region. Glide through the quiet waters and take in the beauty of Antarctica. Paddle through astounding icebergs, watch penguins, seals and possibly whales swim around your kayak.

Kayaking in the Polar Regions is highly weather-dependent, however we guarantee at least one outing during your voyage. Your kayak guides will always attempts to take you out as many times as possible throughout your voyage.

Offered on most Antarctic voyages, spaces are limited and require some kayaking experience. All equipment, guides and instructions are provided by Quark.

Pricing subject to change based on season. Please proceed to checkout or contact a Polar Travel Adviser for more details. 

Pre- and Post-Trip Options Antarctica Extensions

Introduction to Buenos Aires Package

Savour a spectacular bottle of Malbec with fine Argentine steak, explore street art in colourful San Telmo or experience the world-class shopping on Avenida Florida. Discover the elegant beauty of Buenos Aires, a city that melds European charm with the frenzied pace of Latin life. This package includes a guided tour of the city’s impressive highlights, from the quaint, cobbled plazas to its most sophisticated neighbourhoods. In the evening, you will enjoy a spectacular dinner and tango show with a live orchestra. Please contact a Quark Polar Travel Adviser for pricing.

Expedition Facts

Packing Tips

Pack to dress in layers so you are prepared for these rapid weather changes. Average daily temperatures in mid-season are between 25 and 35 Fahrenheit or -4 and +2 Celsius; however wind conditions can make it seem colder.

Be sure your base layers and mid layers are made from breathable fabrics and your outer layers are waterproof (not water resistant) and don't forget to pack a hat, neck warmer and sunscreen & sunglasses.

Visit the Quark online Gear Shop to help prepare for your expedition.

Safety First

Life Boat Drill

By international maritime law, you must participate in an emergency drill within 24 hours of sailing. Upon embarkation, you will be asked to locate your life vest in your cabin and remember your life boat and muster station. This mandatory drill will be scheduled as soon as possible by the Expedition Leader. You will be provided with full details after you embark.

Onboard Lectures

Presentations by Quark’s Expedition Team are included as part of your voyage. Through formal illustrated presentations, as well as informal briefings, the Quark Expeditions Team will cover a range of topics including ornithology, marine biology, glaciology, geography, geology, history and the environment.