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Photography Series: Crossing the Circle

14 days

Our most in-depth exploration of the Antarctic Peninsula is a photographer’s dream, offering you the opportunity to venture even farther south, across the Antarctic Circle, to photograph a destination so remote, few travelers have ever laid eyes on it. As you journey through this region of extremes, our team of photography experts will teach you how to capture this picturesque polar landscape like a professional. Imagine taking your skills to the next level thanks to our special photography workshops and lectures, and then practicing what you’ve learned alongside our pros on shore visits and Zodiac cruises. Watching our photographers in action—shooting soaring floating ice sculptures, mazes of massive icebergs, and hundreds of playful penguins and sunbathing seals—is a unique way to pick up even more pro tips firsthand. 

Sailing across a seemingly endless stretch of sea, you’ll find yourself enveloped by a solitude and serenity found nowhere else on the earth. Antarctica is pristine and untamed, and photographers in particular will be amazed by the abundant, approachable wildlife and the stark, breathtaking beauty that remains untouched by humans. Here, immersed at 66°33’ S, you’ll be inspired by a land forgotten by time.

Day-by-Day Expedition in Brief

  • Perfect your polar photography skills with special workshops and lectures and have the unique opportunity to watch our photo experts in action
  • Celebrate being one of the few adventurers ever to reach 66°33’ S, with a champagne toast
  • Experience close encounters with iconic Antarctic wildlife, including several species of penguins and seals
  • Visit historic landing sites and explore the Antarctic Peninsula by ship, Zodiac and foot

Day 1 — Ushuaia, Argentina

The small, bustling port town of Ushuaia, at the southernmost tip of South America, is the gateway for your Antarctic adventure. Here, surrounded by sea and mountains at the “end of the world,” you can explore southern Patagonia, hiking in the nearby national park, exploring the museums, or savoring tapas or a hot chocolate at one of the town’s many restaurants or cafés. 

Day 2 — Embarkation Day

As the ship sets sail in the late afternoon, you will begin your Antarctic journey, passing through the Beagle Channel, which opens up to the vastness of the Southern Ocean, where your next land sighting will be along the Antarctic Peninsula. Named after the famed ship on which Charles Darwin voyaged, the channel presents great photo opportunities to capture seabirds hovering overhead and seals and sea lions lounging on land. 

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, and get to know your fellow travelers and chat with your Expedition Team. You will spend this time preparing for the exciting days ahead, with numerous educational and informative lectures presented by your Expedition Team, including tips for successful photography in the polar regions. 

Days 5 to 7 — Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands

With the Drake Passage left in our wake, we make our approach to Antarctica. Get your cameras ready as the 7th continent’s coastline makes its first appearance, signaling the start of your adventure in the realm of the Antarctic. As plentiful floating icebergs pass by, you can put your newfound photographic skills to work. Icebergs come in all shapes and sizes, each uniquely shaped by its journey through the sea, but to truly capture their vast scale, you’ll need to create a sense of proportion, playing with angles and framing the bergs against their background. If you’re lucky, eyes fixated on the ocean surface, you may also have the chance to snap shots of curious whales as they spout and breach before us.

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, which is officially noted at 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.

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 or Weddell seal. Terms like bergy bits and pancake ice will seem normal, yet there are still many tales to be told and photos to be shot. As you head north, Zodiac excursions will fill your days, allowing you to explore and photograph lesser-seen areas of the 7th continent, from intimate perspectives you won’t experience from the ship. Your Expedition Team will continue offering presentations while giving you time to reflect on everything you’ve experienced. Don’t forget to take a moment to pause and simply take in all you’re experiencing.

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 and the chance to share your favorite photos with your newfound friends will make the crossing fly by, regardless of the weather and sea conditions. Your Expedition Team will round up its series of lectures as well, perhaps with a slideshow of the great landing sites and wildlife you’ve witnessed over the course of your voyage, or by providing tips on how to improve your already-stunning photographs in post-production. 

Day 14 — Disembark in Ushuaia

Today, you’ll have lots of time to bid farewell to your shipmates and Expedition Team, disembarking after breakfast to catch your homeward flights.

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Adventure Options Add an Extra Rush of Adrenaline to 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 Extend Your Stay

Getting to the Antarctic can be just as much fun as being there. Quark offers multiple travel packages that enable you to see more of the world before and after your Antarctic adventure.

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.