- Ushuaia, Argentina
- Buenos Aires, Argentina
Starting Price$8,995 USD
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader, including shore landings and other activities
- All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
- All shore landings per the daily program
- Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
- All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board throughout your voyage (Please inform us of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals.)
- Beer and wine during dinner; and coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
- Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled
- A photographic journal documenting the expedition
- A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
- An official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep
- A hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
- All luggage handling aboard the ship
- Emergency Evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person
- Group transfer in Ushuaia from airport to pre-expedition hotel on Day 1
- One night’s pre-expedition hotel accommodation in Ushuaia with breakfast (Note: The number of guests per room is the same as cabin occupancy on the ship. Due to limited availability, travelers who reserve a suite on board are accommodated in standard rooms at the hotel. Triple rooms may not be available.)
- Group transfer from hotel to ship on embarkation day
- Group departure transfer upon disembarkation in Ushuaia from ship to local airport or to luggage storage facility
- International airfare
- Passport and applicable visa expenses
- Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned
- Meals ashore unless otherwise specified
- Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance—strongly recommended
- Excess-baggage fees on international flights
- Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned
- Laundry, bar, massage services and other personal charges, unless specified
- Phone and Internet charges
- Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew
- Additional overnight accommodation
- Arrival and departure transfers, except where explicitly stated
- Adventure options on expeditions (all weather dependent) that are not included in the cost of the voyage (e.g., sea kayaking, camping, etc.)
March 03, 2020
Best trip ever
I must thank Quark Expeditions for such a amazing trip, so well organised, amazing crew, expedition team and everyone associated with the expedition. The whole trip was beyond my expeditions from the size of the cabin, to the wonderful assistance from all the crew to all the presentations we enjoyed and of course to the delicious food.
March 03, 2020
Crossing the Circle with Quark Expeditions
To put it mildly, my life is forever changed. The absolute beauty, serenity, peace, and just nature were overwhelming. I spent a lot of time in the observation lounge just soaking it in.due to some physical limitations I chose not to leave the ship for any zodiac adventures, but what I got just from the ship was amazing. I cant rave enough about the food...the scientific presentations...and the entire crew. Our cabin was clean and comfy too. I thought it was once in a lifetime, but now we are discussing how to pull off a repeat....and we just got home! :heart: