Photo: Acacia Johnson

Epic Antarctica: Crossing the Circle via Falklands and South Georgia

Duration 23 days
Departing from
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Ushuaia, Argentina
Starting from $14,995
Adventure Options CampingSea KayakingPaddling ExcursionStand-Up Paddleboarding

Overview

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

 

Highlights

  • 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 In The Life: Falklands, South Georgia, 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 the itinerary. Upon your arrival at 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 see land you’ll be in the world’s most southern continent!

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, hang out at the bar chatting to other travelers or spend time out on deck, admiring the sea. Your Expedition Team will also conduct a series of presentations to familiarize yourself with how to prepare for Zodiac cruises and shore landings.

Days 4 and 5 — Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

The Falkland archipelago contains two main islands, East and West, which we will explore by Zodiac excursions and daily landings. These rugged islands have a frontier feel to them, especially at Port Stanley—the largest settlement on the islands. It’s an interesting British outpost–type place, where you may just as easily wander into a pub as you will a church or museum.

With your camera at hand, our wildlife sightings in the Falklands (Malvinas) should include at least three species of penguins and two endemic bird species—Cobb’s wren and the Falkland’s flightless steamer duck.

Your team of lecturers and specialists will be sure to educate you on the local flora and fauna so that you have the most memorable time.

Days 6 and 7 — At Sea

Enroute to South Georgia you’ll cross the invisible biological boundary unique to Antarctica – the Antarctic Convergence. This meeting of oceans is what creates the abundance of krill and marine life that attract large cetaceans such as humpback whales.

Days 8 to 11 — South Georgia

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

One significant and historic site that will be of interest is the grave of the great explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton. Visiting his grave at the settlement of Grytviken, which is also home to an old whaling station and a research station, is a day for reflecting on what it must have been like to be one of the first explorers to this unforgiving, yet beautiful environment.

While South Georgia’s history is an important attraction to the islands, it is the wildlife that you and your shipmates will likely find most captivating. Often referred to as the ‘Galapagos of the Poles,’ South Georgia contains an exceptional quantity of wildlife. Each landing you make on South Georgia will open your eyes to a new wonder of wildlife. One day you may see rookeries with a 100 thousand pairs of king penguins waddling on the beach. The next day we may visit another beach with thousands of fur or elephant seals.

The grasses, mountains and beaches of South Georgia all play an important role in the breeding and survival of different bird and animal species. Your Expedition Team will be happy to share their knowledge of how these vulnerable relationships all play out on the island.

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 the 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 most common reaction to arriving at the White Continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is hard to put into words. You will discover that Antarctica is a land of extremes: at one moment you’ll be overcome with a feeling of complete silence and loneliness, the next you’ll be laughing at the comical antics of a curious penguin.

Glacier hikes, visits to research bases and, of course, communing with seals and penguins are sure to keep you smiling each and every day. Perhaps you’ll catch sight of the fearless penguin-eater, the leopard seal, or come eye–to–eye with a curious minke whale while on a Zodiac. Each day and each landing will present a new collection of creatures to entertain you and keep your camera busy.

If you find yourself wanting more, then perhaps you’ll treat yourself by booking our kayaking Adventure Option (reserve in advance when booking your trip) or if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, a little shock therapy courtesy of a Polar Plunge might be what you need!

Days 17 and 18 — The Antarctic Circle

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

With a toast to the first explorers who ventured here, you can raise a glass of champagne 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 to the midnight sun, with the potential for fantastic iceberg sightings.

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 we 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.

Your Expedition Team will always be on the lookout for species of penguins, seals and whales that may have eluded you on the journey south.

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 & Fly to Buenos Aires, Argentina

We will arrive in Ushuaia in the morning after breakfast. After disembarkation, we will taste a little of Patagonia by touring Tierra del Fuego National Park before we transfer 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. Named after the famed ship on which Charles Darwin voyaged, the channel presents great photo opportunities to capture seabirds hovering overhead.

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. Your Expedition Team will also conduct a series of presentations to familiarize yourself with how to prepare for Zodiac cruises and shore landings.

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. This is especially true of the largest settlement, Stanley, an interesting British outpost–type place, where you could just as easily wander into a pub as you could a church or museum. 

Have your camera handy, as your wildlife sightings in the Falklands (Malvinas) should include at least three species of penguins, plus two endemic bird species—Cobb’s wren and the Falkland’s flightless steamer duck.

Your team of lecturers and specialists will be sure to educate you on the local flora and fauna so that you have the most memorable time.

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.

One significant and historic site that will be of interest is the grave of the great explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. Your visit to his gravesite at the Grytviken settlement, also home to an old whaling station and a research station, is a day for reflecting on what it must have been like to be one of the first explorers of this unforgiving yet beautiful environment.

Although South Georgia’s history is an important attraction to the island, it is the wildlife that you and your shipmates will likely find most captivating. Often referred to as the Galapagos of the Poles, South Georgia contains an exceptional quantity of wildlife. Each landing you make on the island will open your eyes to a new wonder: one day you may see rookeries with hundreds of thousands of pairs of king penguins waddling on a beach; the next day you may visit another beach dotted with thousands of fur or elephant seals.

The grasses, mountains and beaches of South Georgia all play an important role in the breeding and survival of different bird and animal species. Your Expedition Team will be happy to share its knowledge of how these vulnerable relationships all play out on the island.

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. You will discover that Antarctica is a land of extremes: at one moment you’ll be overcome with a feeling of complete silence and loneliness, and the next moment you’ll be laughing at the comical antics of a curious penguin.

Glacier hikes, visits to research bases and, of course, communing with seals and penguins are sure to keep you smiling every day. Perhaps you’ll catch sight of the fearless penguin eater, the leopard seal, or maybe you’ll come eye to eye with a curious minke whale while you are cruising in a Zodiac. Each day and each landing will present a new collection of creatures to entertain you and keep your camera busy.

If you find yourself wanting more, then perhaps you’ll treat yourself by booking our kayaking Adventure Option (reserve in advance when booking your trip); if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, a little shock therapy courtesy of a Polar Plunge might be what you need!

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.

If conditions allow us to cross this famed line, we'll toast the first explorers who ventured here, and you can raise a glass of champagne 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, where there is the potential for fantastic iceberg sightings.

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.

Your Expedition Team will always be on the lookout for species of penguins, seals and whales that may have eluded you on your journey south.

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.

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
 
 
Dec 18 – Jan 9, 2020
23
$16,195
Feb 15 – Mar 8, 2020
23
$14,995

Adventure Options

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 3 of 5

Epic Voyage to Antarctica

5

Absolutely the most fantastic trip ever! The scenery was stunning, the animals were amazing, the weather was cooperative (as were the seas), the ship staff bent over backwards to accommodate us, and the expedition staff gave us the experience of a lifetime. The expedition leader was superb and through her inexhaustible efforts she made the whole trip a huge success from the time we boarded to the time we disembarked. There are not enough adjectives to describe our experience but it was simply amazing. This trip should be at the top of everyone's to-do list.

Cheli, Cheli, Cheli

5

Cheli was fantastic!! She maintained excellent control of crew & passengers alike. Cheli was everywhere and at all times.
A very dedicated and compassionate workhorse. What Trojan you were - Thank you, Thank you Cheli!!

Raakhe Kapila and Amalia Goodall

5

Raakhe Kapila and Amalia Goodall are outstanding in prompt response to my email enquires before the commencement of trip, putting my mind at ease with trip/hotel/transport logistics

Cheli Larsen’s wish to show us as much of Antarctica assured us she would choose the best and as many as weather permits, spots for landing. In addition, she granted our nine-year old son an interview for his school report, gave him a lesson on zodiac-driving as she manages transport of canoes, post him on bridge watch for whales (and we spotted groups of humpback whales and orca), and let him summarize one recap night towards the end of the trip.

The other 30-or-so expedition team members are most incredibly awesome people, especially Mette Eliseussen, Noah Strycker, Colin Souness, Meghan Roberts and Nicky Souness - their friendliness and willingness to share their experience made this trip most memorable.

We are always warmly greeted by our cabin attendant Kiev and the catering staff - which made returning to cabin and having meals in light-hearted atmosphere making the entire experience too good to be true.

The landscape, the living creatures, the expedition team, the crew, and also making new friends amongst fellow passengers, have given us precious memories of the trip, having spent quite a sum of money and time. We return becoming more aware of our role as environmental stewards of earth.

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.