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Antarctic
Epic Antarctica Crossing the Circle via Falklands and South Georgia

Epic Antarctica Crossing the Circle via Falklands and South Georgia

Starting From:
$27,046 USD
Duration:
23 days

Our Epic Antarctica voyage is called so for a reason—it includes all of the major Antarctic highlights you can imagine. From the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) to South Georgia to the Antarctic Peninsula, you will have countless unforgettable moments on this adventure-packed, 23-day voyage. Start with the Falklands, reminiscent of both sandy Cape Cod and the English moors, home to albatross, dolphins, and five species of penguins. From there, venture to South Georgia where you’ll enter the home of 300,000 breeding king penguins, 50 million other seabirds and 5 million seals. Then, explore the stunning Antarctic Peninsula, and finally cross the Antarctic Circle—a significant milestone for any world traveler.

Starting in 2021, this itinerary allows you to the opportunity to experience our pioneering new vessel, Ultramarine. This purpose-built vessel is designed to extend the boundaries of polar exploration and offer an unmatched Antarctic experience, including a flightseeing tour you’ll never forget and a range of adventure options more extensive than any other ship in its class. 

Penguins in Antarctica
Expedition in Brief

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

Explore the quaint British town of Stanley in the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

See incredible wildlife—more than 30 species of breeding birds, including seven species of penguin.

Follow in the wake of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s perilous voyage to South Georgia and visit his grave site

Cross the Antarctic Circle and celebrate with a toast

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Antarctic Circle

Although not a shore landing, the crossing of the Antarctic Circle is a moment to remember for life. The event will happen while at sea, so be sure to head out on deck to toast the achievement.

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.

Detaille Island

Detaille Island lies in Lallemand Fjord, just south of the Antarctic Circle. Station W, of the British Antarctic Survey, is a historical research hut established in 1956. Researchers overwintered here, setting out on expeditions and conducting scientific investigations. Stepping inside is a walk back in time as the hut has been impeccably preserved. Revel in 1950s memorabilia such as jars of HP Sauce and canned butter, a little beyond their expiry dates, and imagine overwintering here, below the Circle.

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.

Hope Bay

Three members of the Swedish Antarctic Expedition (1901-04) spent the winter in a hut on the shores of the bay. The hut is located close to the jetty of Esperanza Station, an Argentine research station and one of only two civilian bases in Antarctica outfitted with a school and chapel.

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.

Paulet Island

Located in the northwestern Weddell Sea, Paulet Island is home to a large Adélie penguin rookery. With a volcanic cone that rises 1,158 feet (353 meters), the island reminds you that this was once a very active landscape. In addition to penguins, you may be interested in visiting the remains of a historic hut built by members of the Swedish Antarctic Expedition of 1901-04. A cross marks the grave site of Ole Wennersgaard, a member of the crew.

Stonington Island

Two abandoned research stations can be found on this island south of the Antarctic Circle. The first women to overwinter in Antarctica were housed at East Base. The British built Base E is about 656 feet (200 m) away from East Base, which was built by the United States Antarctic Service Expedition.

Waterboat Point

A surveyor and a geologist lived in a makeshift shelter utilizing a water boat on this point from 1921 to 1922. The remains of their camp have been designated an Antarctic historic site. The aptly named Waterboat Point is also home to a Chilean Antarctic research station, named González Videla Base after the first sitting head of state to visit the Antarctic continent. When the base is manned, you may be welcomed inside for a visit by the base personnel, or you may visit the resident nesting gentoo rookery if the base is inactive.

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!

Brown Bluff

A dormant volcano, Brown Bluff towers 2,225 feet (678 meters) over the rookeries of Adélie and gentoo penguins, which number in the thousands. These penguins will create a symphony of background noise while you explore the bluff.

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.

Carcass Island

This five-mile (8 km) island northwest of West Falkland is owned by Rob and Lorraine McGill. Named for the Royal Navy ship HMS Carcass, which arrived in 1766, it is a picturesque place, where songbirds nest amongst the luxuriant growth that covers the gently rolling landscape.

Stanley

Stanley’s deep-water harbor has been the economic mainstay of the community since the port’s completion in 1845. Carrying fortune seekers from the west coast of the Americas, ships battered by rough waters near Cape Horn often called in at Stanley as well. Take a stroll through this quaint English town, visiting the cathedral, museum, or one of its many pubs.

Saunders Island

Saunders Island is the fourth largest island in the Falklands and has been designated an Important Bird Area due to the high density of nesting seabirds. Nesting species on the island include rockhopper, gentoo and king penguins as well as black-browed albatross and king cormorants, among many others. Keep on the lookout for Commerson’s dolphins by the shore, and for whale blows out at sea.

West Point Island

The Napier family has owned West Point Island since the 1860s. On the island’s west coast, thousands of black-browed albatross nest in colonies on cliffs along the water’s edge. Rockhopper penguins share the cliffs, while Commerson’s dolphins can often be seen in the surrounding waters.

Drygalski Fjord

This is a photogenic and dramatic fjord, with sharp and jagged peaks rising out of the sea. Glaciation never reached the peaks, giving Drygalski its unique landscape.

Gold Harbour

The backdrop to this harbor is the hanging Bertrab Glacier. Thousands of king and gentoo penguins call Gold Harbour home, as do rowdy elephant and fur seals.

Grytviken

Only a handful of people live, albeit temporarily, on South Georgia, a British overseas territory. Two of them are curators of the South Georgia Museum, located in the former villa of the whaling station manager. The local church, built for the whaling community, is the only building in Grytviken still used for its original purpose. Buried in the church cemetery is one of Antarctica’s most famous explorers, Sir Ernest Shackleton, at whose grave you can pay your respects.

Saint Andrew's Bay

Over 150,000 breeding pairs of king penguins nest at St. Andrew’s Bay—the largest and fastest growing king penguin rookery on South Georgia, and a wildlife spectacle to behold.

Salisbury Plain

One of the largest king penguin colonies on South Georgia is located on Salisbury Plain. The Grace and Lucas Glaciers flank the plain, creating a perfect backdrop for photos.

Stromness

This abandoned whaling station was in full operation on the day in 1916 that Sir Ernest Shackleton and his companions staggered into it after a 36-hour trek across the island in an attempt to find help for their shipmates stranded on Elephant Island. There is a small cemetery here which can be seen from a distance, with the graves of 14 whalers.

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.

Penguin Island

Antarctica has two flowering plants, both of which you can find on Penguin Island: Antarctic hair grass (Deschampsia antarctica) and Antarctic pearlwort (Colobanthus quitensis). Chinstrap penguins, fur seals and southern elephant seals can also be spotted here.

Robert Point

A beautiful spot for Zodiac cruising, this point was known to sealers as early as 1820. Chinstrap penguins, kelp gulls and pintado petrels breed here, and whales may be seen in the surrounding waters.

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.

Elephant Island

Elephant Island is a site of great historical significance as Shackleton’s party beached here after the Endurance sank in the Weddell Sea. Twenty-two of Shackleton’s men remained here, living under a lifeboat, while ‘the Boss’ and five companions took to the James Caird and sailed for South Georgia. The stranded party, led by Frank Wild (for whom Point Wild is named), kept all the men alive. On August 30, 1916, 137 days later, Shackleton returned to rescue his men with the vessel Yelcho. A bronze bust of the Yelcho’s Captain, Luis Pardo Villalon, can be seen within the chinstrap penguin colony at Point Wild. Conditions here can make shore landings rare, but we hope to spot this historic island from Zodiacs or the ship.

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 - 2 of 2 Departures
Save up to 24%
  • Departure Date

    Dec 16, 2024 – Jan 7, 2025

  • Itinerary

    23 days

  • Starting from

    Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • Ship

    Ultramarine

  • Languages

    English

Adventure Options
  • Paddling
  • Stand up Paddleboarding
Starting from
$30,251 USD
$39,490 USD
(Incl. Transfer Package)
Save up to 32%
  • Departure Date

    Jan 18 – Feb 9, 2026

  • Itinerary

    23 days

  • Starting from

    Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • Ship

    Ultramarine

  • Languages

    English

Adventure Options
  • Paddling
  • Stand up Paddleboarding
Starting from
$27,046 USD
$39,590 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

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.

Passenger Reviews