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Quark passengers hiking on Petermann Island
Antarctic
Antarctic Explorer Discovering the 7th Continent

Antarctic Explorer Discovering the 7th Continent

Starting From:
$7,198 USD
Duration:
11 or 12 days

If this is your first visit, our classic Antarctic Explorer voyage gives you the best of the stunning Antarctic Peninsula in 11 days. Conquer the famed Drake Passage in your choice of four stabilized, polar-class vessels; explore majestic natural environments by zodiac and on foot; get up close and personal with penguins, whales and other wildlife; and enjoy talks on history, biology and glaciology by onboard polar experts. You can personalize your adventure with options that suit your interests, and cross the 7th Continent off the list—your way.

Introduced in our Antarctic 2024/2025 season we have a new helicopter enabled itinerary on our Antarctic Explorer: Discovering the 7th Continent. This itinerary will focus on getting you in our helicopters as much as possible to allow you soar above Antarctica in one of our twin engine helicopters, to take in all the marvels below.

Antarctic Explorer: Discovering the 7th Continent
Expedition in Brief

Explore highlights of the Antarctic Peninsula

Travel safely and comfortably aboard any Quark Expeditions ice-strengthened vessel

Enjoy presentations on wildlife, history, glaciology & geology by our onboard polar experts

Experience abundant wildlife, such as penguins, seals and whales

Immerse yourself in the icy realm of the Antarctic, with an optional paddling excursion

Make Your Polar Dream a Reality

All we need is a little bit of information about your travel preferences and one of our Polar Travel Advisors will be in touch.

Niki Trudeau

Your Expedition Team

Our Expedition Leaders and their teams bring diverse expertise in subjects as varied as polar history, marine biology, glaciology, ornithology and photography. Their knowledge and enthusiasm will greatly enhance your immersion into the polar environment and further deepen your connection to the Arctic.

With over 30 years of experience bringing passengers to remote polar regions and an industry-leading staff-to-guest ratio, we know how to safely handle the unexpected. Ensuring this hard-earned experience is passed on, all our new expedition staff receive comprehensive training in Quark Academy, which provides hands-on polar expedition training prior to any staff member’s first voyage as well as ongoing training for experienced staff.

Niki Trudeau
The most professional and passionate team of Expedition Leaders in the world

Your Ships

When it comes to polar expeditions, you’re only as good as where your ships can take you. And our diverse fleet of small polar vessels, which includes icebreakers and expedition ships, can take you to places larger ships can’t navigate. View All of Our Ships

Ice Class

1B

Cruising Speed

16 knots

in open water

Guests

172

140 on Antarctic Express programs

Staff and Crew

130

World Explorer - Deck 3
Deck 3

The spacious Mudroom on Deck 3 enables you to comfortably prepare for your Zodiac excursions, off-ship adventure options and shore landings. The Mudroom is conveniently located adjacent to the two Zodiac embarkation points.

World Explorer - Deck 4
Deck 4

Deck 4 is the social and educational hub on World Explorer. Key facilities and amenities on Deck 4 include the Dining Room, and the Lecture Theatre where you’ll attend expert-led presentations and watch films. Also on this floor is the Explorer Lounge, where you’ll participate in special functions and events, or grab a cup of complimentary coffee. Deck 4 will also be your go-to location to purchase souvenirs and outdoor gear at the Gift Shop. The Medical Clinic is also on this level.

World Explorer - Deck 5
Deck 5

Some of the ship's largest cabins are on Deck 5:: the 355 sq.-ft. (33 sq.-m) Owner's Suites, which—in addition to the 110 sq. ft. (10 sq. m) walk-out balcony—have one double or two single beds, plus a separate sitting area that includes a state of the art “infotainment” system. Other suites on Deck 5 are the 278 sq. ft. (26 sq. m) Superior Suites, which also feature a state-of-the-art “infotainment” system, as well as a 110 sq. ft. (10 sq. m) walk-out balcony which guests can access from their sitting room and bedroom. There are also the 270 sq. ft. (25 sq. m) Infinity Suites, with a floor-to-ceiling glass French balcony, and the 15 sq. ft. (20 sq. m) Veranda Suite that includes a walk-out balcony.

  • Owner's Suite
  • Deluxe Suite
  • Superior Suite
  • Infinity Suite
  • Veranda Suite
World Explorer - Deck 6
Deck 6

Guests wishing to visit the Bridge, to view the ship's operations, will do so on Deck 6. Cabins on this level include the 355 sq.-ft. (33 sq.-m) Owner's Suites, which—in addition to featuring a fabulous 110 sq. ft. (10 sq. m) walk-out balcony—have one double or two single beds, plus a separate sitting area that includes a state of the art “infotainment” system. Also on this level are the 278 sq. ft. (26 sq. m) Superior Suites, which also feature a state-of-the-art “infotainment” system, as well as a 110 sq. ft. (10 sq. m) walk-out balcony which guests can access from their sitting room and bedroom. The other two options on Deck 5 are the 270 sq. ft. (25 sq. m) Infinity Suites, designed with a floor-to-ceiling glass French balcony, and the 15 sq. ft. (20 sq. m) Veranda Suite which includes a walk-out balcony.

  • Owner's Suite
  • Superior Suite
  • Infinity Suite
  • Veranda Suite
  • Triple
World Explorer - Deck 7
Deck 7

Deck 7 is all about inspiration and rejuvenation. For incredibly inspiring panoramic views, guests can visit the glass-domed Observation Lounge on Deck 7. For well-earned indulgence after a day spent exploring off-ship, Deck 7 features the world’s only l’Occitane Spa at Sea, where guests can reward themselves with a facial or other spa treatment. Located nearby are the sauna, the large heated outdoor pool and two hot tubs. There’s also the well-equipped Fitness Center on Deck 7.

World Explorer - Deck 8
Deck 8

What polar traveler hasn’t envisioned themselves taking in the magnitude of their polar surroundings while standing on the upper deck of a ship? The Wrap-around Deck provides guests with stunning panoramic views as they breathe in the fresh polar air—resulting in a total connection to the polar environment. In addition, the heated seating on Deck 8 allows guests optimal comfort while they’re outside. Also on Deck 8: the Outdoor Track which enables guests to jog or walk as the ship sails past glaciers, icebergs and the expansive ocean waters.

Ice Class

1A+

PC6

Cruising Speed

16 knots

in open water

Guests

199

Staff and Crew

140

Ultramarine - Deck 2
Deck 2

Ultramarine's off-ship adventures start here on Deck 2. This is where you’ll find the efficiently-designed Ready Rooms A and B next to the Zodiac hangar, where you'll embark on your off-ship adventure options. Ultramarine’s two ready rooms include an individual locker for each guest to safely store and dry personal items and expedition gear between outings. They're  also equipped with benches that are handy when changing attire before or after off-ship excursions. Zodiac embarkation is at water-level which makes for quick deployment.

Ultramarine - Deck 3
Deck 3

Deck 3 is where you’ll find Reception, where a crew member is available (during posted hours) to assist you. It’s also where you’ll purchase internet or email access cards and phone cards, arrange for a wake-up call, or settle your accounts at the end of the voyage. Also on Deck 3 is the Polar Boutique, which is stocked with expedition gear and a selection of polar souvenirs. The Clinic is located on Deck 3, as are the Explorer Triples and the Explorer Suites (two of which offer modified layouts and bathrooms for wheelchair accessibility).

  • Explorer Suite
  • Explorer Triple
Ultramarine - Deck 4
Deck 4

Deck 4 offers guests two categories of suites. The Balcony Suites feature one double or two single beds, and a 52 sq. ft. (4.8 sq. m) balcony, a refrigerator, safe, TV, and a bathroom with shower and heated floors. (Some Balcony Suites offer interconnecting rooms.) The larger Deluxe Balcony Suites feature one double or two single beds, a 70 sq. ft. (6.5 sq. m) balcony, refrigerator, safe, TV, and a bathroom with shower, bathtub and heated floors.

  • Deluxe Balcony Suite
  • Balcony Suite
Ultramarine - Deck 5
Deck 5

Deck 5 is home to Balena restaurant, featuring tables that accommodate 2 to 10 guests. Every seat in Ultramarine’s main restaurant offers views of the wraparound deck. At the opposite end of Deck 5 is the state-of-the-art Ambassador Theatre, where guests enjoy daily presentations and films on the high-definition LED wall screen. This space is large enough to accommodate all guests.

Ultramarine - Deck 6
Deck 6

During your voyage you may be granted access to the Bridge to observe how the Captain and officers sail and navigate the ship. This is an excellent opportunity to learn how your vessel operates. Strict etiquette applies during Bridge visits which can be facilitated through the Expedition Leader. Also on Deck 6 is a selection of Deluxe Balcony Suites, Ultra Suite, Solo Panorama, Owner’s Suite and Terrace Suites.

  • Ultra Suite
  • Owner's Suite
  • Terrace Suite
  • Deluxe Balcony Suite
  • Solo Panorama
  • Balcony Suite
Ultramarine - Deck 7
Deck 7

Guests can go to Deck 7 to visit Bistro 487, an alternative dining option to the larger Balena restaurant. Here, they'll enjoy selections from the main menu, healthy eating options and light snacks, as well as an early riser’s breakfast, afternoon tea and late night snacks. Also on Deck 7 are the Sauna (with floor-to-ceiling windows), the Library, Tundra Spa, a gym with the latest fitness equipment, and studio space for informal yoga.

  • Penthouse Suite
Ultramarine - Deck 8
Deck 8

Ultramarine’s two twin-engine H145 helicopters enable guests to enjoy the largest selection of off-ship adventures, all of which start at the two helidecks. It’s here on Deck 8 that guests will safely board the two helicopters to experience more unique aerial perspectives and heli-supported activities than are possible on any other ship in the industry.

Ice Class

1A

PC6

Cruising Speed

16.5 knots

in open water

Guests

138

Staff and Crew

105

Deck 2
Deck 3
  • Studio Single
  • Studio Double
Deck 4
  • Royal Veranda Stateroom
  • Deluxe Veranda Stateroom
  • Deluxe Veranda Middle Stateroom 
  • Deluxe Veranda Forward Stateroom
Deck 5
Deck 6
  • Royal Veranda Stateroom
  • Junior Suite
  • Grand Veranda Stateroom
  • Studio Veranda Stateroom
Deck 7
  • Owners Suite
  • Explorer Suite
  • Studio Veranda Single
Deck 8

Meals on Board

If there is one constant on board, it is that you’ll enjoy delicious meals daily. While meal times may change due to landings and wildlife encounters, you’ll always be served three well-prepared meals per day. Most dietary restrictions can be accommodated by letting us know prior to your expedition.

Breakfasts and lunches are normally served buffet style, while dinners are served plated. À la carte meals are made at the time of your order, allowing our chefs to prepare each dish to your individual needs, ensuring you receive top-quality meals during the course of your expedition.

Soft drinks and juices are available during meals and when the bar is open; beer and wine are served with dinner; and coffee, tea and water stations are available around the clock – all included in the cost of your package. Spirits, premium wines and champagne are available at extra cost which can be billed to your shipboard account. The well-stocked bars on the ship are open to enjoy with your fellow shipmates in late morning, afternoon and evening.

Polar Barbeque
Buffet Style Lunch
Plated dinner

Included Activities

Ultramarine view from Helicopter
Helicopter_Black

Flightseeing aboard Ultramarine

While polar landscapes are spectacular from the sea, they’re even more stunning from the air, a view you can enjoy while seated in one of the two twin-engine helicopters stationed on Ultramarine. Typically in groups of 7 to 9, you... Read more
Passengers hiking in Antarctic Landscape
Hiking

Hiking

Hiking in the polar regions differs from your typical trail experience. Here, in a tree-less terrain, you are the tallest figure on the landscape as you walk over spongy tundra, crusty snow or sandy beaches in remotes parts of the... Read more
Passenger enjoying the Polar Plunge experience

Polar Plunge

The Polar Plunge is scheduled once during each voyage. Throughout the journey, the Expedition Leader and Captain constantly monitor conditions in order to choose the optimal time and location. The Polar Plunge sometimes takes plac... Read more
Zodiac cruising in the Antarctic
Zodiac

Zodiac Cruising

Zodiacs are used for transferring you ashore, transporting your luggage when necessary and for taking you ocean-level cruising among icebergs, whales and seabirds. During the expedition, you will visit remote and isolated sites th... Read more

Adventure Options

Alpine Heli-Trekking

Let us take you on an active adventure high up in the Antarctic Peninsula. You’ll be part of an intimate group of adventurers to board one of Ultramarine's two twin-engine helicopters for a trekking excursion in an area only safel... Read more
Camping in the Antarctic
Camping

Camping

Imagine for a moment, staring at the stars in the indigo glow of an Antarctic night as you bed down for the night outside in the elements. The buzz of your daily life becomes a distant memory as you listen to the bray of penguin, ... Read more

Exclusive Heli-Landing

Imagine setting foot in an area of the world that can only be safely accessed by helicopter. With a small group of fellow passengers and expert guides, you’ll board one of Ultramarine’s two twin-engine helicopters to soar off to a... Read more
Paddling excursion in the Antarctic
Paddling

Paddling Excursion

Every sweep of the paddle as your craft glides through the pristine polar waters creates an incredible soundtrack: the jostle of glacial ice, the lapping of waves against the rocky shore, the perpetual drip from your paddle, the c... Read more
Passengers Kayaking near icy landscape

Sea Kayaking

Positioning yourself in the seat of a kayak is one of the most intimate ways travelers can connect with the polar regions—at water level, up close, where you can touch and feel every polar sensation imaginable. The Sea Kayak Progr... Read more
Passengers Stand-up Paddleboarding in the Antarctic
Stand up Paddleboarding

Stand-up Paddleboarding

Stand-up Paddleboarding, popularly known as SUPing, originated in Hawaii. Quark Expeditions is the first company to bring this watersport all the way to Antarctica.   SUPing combines the immersive experience of kayaking but in a ... Read more

Possible Excursions

When traveling in extremely remote regions, your Expedition Team must consider the sea, ice and weather to guide the route and itinerary details. The following sites are a sample of what you may experience on your expedition, whether by ship, Zodiac cruise, helicopter, or shore landing.

Cierva Cove

If one of your expedition goals is to witness incredible icebergs and sea ice, Cierva Cove is the place for you. A massive glacial face regularly calves into the bay, and the floating ice can be quite spectacular. Seals can be spotted on ice floes, and later in the season, humpback whales occasionally feed in the icy waters.

Damoy Point

Damoy Point is the site of a historical ice runway used by the British Antarctic Survey for their flights further south since 1975. The well-maintained hut was used as a staging-post to store supplies and for accommodation while awaiting ideal flying conditions. The point is also home to a penguin rookery and allows for spectacular views of the mountains of Anvers Island.

Enterprise Island

Located in Wilhelmina Bay, this island’s protected coves were once used by whalers. A Zodiac cruise exploring the island passes the rusting remains of a wrecked whaling ship, and provides opportunities to search for humpback whales.

Melchior Islands

This group of low, glaciated islands in Dallmann Bay is where you may see hauled-out male fur seals as they recuperate from their battles for supremacy at the end of their breeding season.

Mikkelsen Harbour

Located on the south side of Trinity Island and surrounded by stunning ice cliffs and several reefs, Mikkelsen Harbor is a 1.86-mile (3 km)-wide bay, discovered by a Swedish Antarctic expedition in 1901-04. Enjoy a Zodiac cruise of the beautiful waters, or if conditions allow, land at D’Hainaut Island, home to an Argentine refuge and whaling remains in the form of a wooden boat and whale skeletons. Weddell seals are often seen in the area and a gentoo penguin rookery is situated on the island.

Cuverville Island

A gentoo penguin rookery is situated on a rocky beach at the north end of the island. Depending on when in the season you arrive, you may see the penguins building nests or attending to their chicks. Giant petrels and kelp gulls breed on the island.

Danco Island

Home to gentoo penguins, this small dome-shaped island provides you with a stunning view of the Errera Channel.

Port Lockroy, Goudier Island

As part of Operation Tabarin during the Second World War, a secret British base was built in this sheltered harbor, located on the west side of Wiencke Island. Now a designated historic site, the base is a museum and post office. Proceeds from your purchases in Port Lockroy support the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, which preserves British and other historic sites dating to the Heroic Age of Exploration. A large gentoo penguin population resides here.

Wilhelmina Bay

Humpback whales abound in “Whale-mina Bay,” as it’s nicknamed, and the scenery is spectacular. Sheer cliffs and glaciers surround the calm waters of the protected bay, named after Wilhelmina, queen of the Netherlands from 1890 to 1948. If you’re lucky, you may see the humpbacks bubble-net feeding: they exhale while swimming in a wide circle below the surface, trapping krill in a “net” of bubbles, and then swim straight up from below, mouths open, to engulf their prey. A truly astounding sight!

Lemaire Channel

One of the most scenic locations on the peninsula’s west coast, this dramatic strait runs between Booth Island and the Antarctic Peninsula. The channel may become impassable when ice fills the narrow, 6.8-mile (11 km)-long passageway, so we’ll hope for clear waters.

Neko Harbour

Little evidence remains that this bay was once used by the floating whale factory ship Neko. You might see whale vertebrae being used by resident gentoo penguins as shelter from the wind. Climb up a steep slope for spectacular views of the glacier-rimmed harbor.

Paradise Harbour (Paradise Bay)

Paradise Harbor is a wide bay and natural harbor on the West Antarctic Peninsula. Mountains, glaciers and ice cliffs offer spectacular views. Icebergs regularly calve from the glaciers, providing a place for seals, penguins and seabirds to rest and play. An Argentine research base, Almirante Brown Station—named after Admiral Guillermo Brown, father of the Argentine Navy—is also located in Paradise Harbor, and was operated from 1951 until a large section of it burned down in 1984. It has since been partially rebuilt and is used as a summer research base.

Petermann Island

Here, near the Lemaire Channel, you can stand ashore and see the southernmost breeding colony of gentoo penguins. Adélie penguins, shags and south polar skuas also inhabit the island.

Deception Island

Deception Island is a flooded circular caldera formed by the collapse of an active volcano. To reach this protected harbor, it is necessary to sail through a narrow passage called Neptune’s Bellows. Inside are several bays used at various times for whaling and scientific research. Along with waddling penguins and lounging seals, you’ll see the rusting remains of whaling operations on the beach in some locations. The landscape of Deception Island often presents opportunities for longer walks to striking vistas. The stark contrast between snow and dark volcanic sand and the steam along the shoreline from geothermic activity when the tide is right, gives this location an atmospheric feel.

Turret Point

Chinstrap and Adélie penguin rookeries are found on this point, situated on the south coast of King George Island. The beaches here are often crowded with southern elephant, fur and Weddell seals hauled out on the rocks.

Yankee Harbour

Gentoo penguins have established a rookery at this harbor, situated on the southwest side of Greenwich Island. Here, you can see an abandoned Argentine refuge hut and a large glacier that stretches along the east and north sides of the bay. An abandoned sealing try pot is all that remains of the activity that brought men thousands of miles in tall ships to seek their fortune. Enjoy a rare chance for a longer walk along the expansive beach, dotted with historical artifacts and wildlife.

Aitcho Islands

This group of small islands, some still unnamed, is situated in the northern entrance of the English Strait. You can often spot a great mix of wildlife in the area, with gentoo and chinstrap penguins having established rookeries on the islands. Southern elephant and fur seals frequently haul out here, too.

Half Moon Island

This crescent-shaped island was known to sealers as early as 1821. While they tried to keep this productive location secret, we’re happy to bring you ashore on this impressive island. Many Antarctic birds breed here, including chinstrap penguins, shags, Wilson’s storm petrels, kelp gulls, snowy sheathbills, Antarctic terns and skuas.

Hannah Point

On the southern coast of Livingston Island at Hannah Point, you may see chinstrap and gentoo penguin rookeries, along with the occasional breeding macaroni penguin. Due to the rather congested area available to the nesting penguins, we are able to visit here only after January 10.

Departure Dates and Cabins

Showing 1 - 10 of 35 Departures
Save up to 31%
  • Departure Date

    Nov 16 – 27, 2024

  • Itinerary

    12 days

  • Starting from

    Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • Ship

    Ultramarine

  • Languages

    English

Adventure Options
  • Paddling
  • Stand up Paddleboarding
Starting from
$11,416 USD
$16,390 USD
(Incl. Transfer Package)
Save up to 31%
  • Departure Date

    Dec 6 – 17, 2024

  • Itinerary

    12 days

  • Starting from

    Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • Ship

    Ultramarine

  • Languages

    English

Adventure Options
  • Paddling
  • Stand up Paddleboarding
Starting from
$11,416 USD
$16,390 USD
(Incl. Transfer Package)
Make Your Polar Dream a Reality

All we need is a little bit of information about your travel preferences and one of our Polar Travel Advisors will be in touch.

Extend Your Trip

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

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Look no further than the pink-toned La Casa Rosada, the opulent presidential residence, to truly appreciate that cosmopolitan Buenos Aires is proud of its art and architecture. The metropolis attracts more tourists than any other city in South America. Visitors gravitate toward the city’s artful graffiti, alfresco dining, tango dancing, and the energy of the crowds in Playa de Mayo in the heart of the 400-year-old capital.

Easter Island, Chile

Easter Island, Chile

Easter Island (its Polynesian name is Rapa Nui) is a remote volcanic island in Polynesia that’s known for its nearly 900 monumental statues called moai, which date from the 13th to 16th centuries. Easter Island is one of the world's most isolated inhabited islands. Despite being part of Chile, it’s more than 3,500 kilometers from the west coast of the South American continent. Easter Island was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in1966.

Iguazú Falls, Argentina

Iguazú Falls, Argentina

Iguazú Falls is a three-kilometer stretch of massive waterfalls on the Iguazú River on the border between Argentina and Brazil. The falls, 80% of which are on the Argentine side of the river, are the largest waterfall system in the world. There are 275 individual waterfalls, some of which reach 269 feet high (82 metres). The falls actually lie within Iguazú National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The falls were named one of the Seven Wonders of Nature in 2011.

Santiago, Chile

Santiago, Chile

It’s a city blessed by nature, yet cosmopolitan at the same time. The Chilean capital of Santiago (population 6.5 million) sits in a valley surrounded by the snow-covered peaks of the Andes and the Chilean Coast Range. Visitors have their pick of sidewalk eateries, cafes and beer halls, hillside parks, grand architecture, museums, pedestrian malls, and tony restaurants of chic neighborhoods like Providencia and Las Condes, and colorful barrios like Brasil, Lastarria and Bellavista.

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