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Spitsbergen Explorer: Wildlife Capital of the Arctic — Reviews

Showing 1-10 of 14 reviews

RICHARD J.

Verified Passenger

June 24, 2019

Spitsbergen Explorer

The Quark reservation process was handled efficiently and the agent seemed well informed. Upon arrival on the Ocean Nova we were greeted with warm hospitality, good food and enthusiastic Quark staff members. Each staff person was a specialist in their own right and also showed a comprehensive knowledge of the flora and fauna, geologic and glacial features. The Quark staff was able to adjust to the daily changing conditions of ice and weather by providing other activity for the passengers.


The ship was comfortable, we enjoyed the panorama lounge and the cabins provided basic privacy and sleeping quarters.

The dining area was noisy at meal times and it was hard to hear table conversation even for those with good hearing. Hospitality staff was efficient, hard working and generous with their smiles.

We would recommend Quark to others and thank you for the opportunity to visit an area we have wanted to see for some time.

LAURENE H.

Verified Passenger

June 22, 2019

Wonderful Arctic Experience

Our 10-day Arctic wildlife cruise was terrific. The expedition leaders knocked themselves out to find wildlife, educate us and provide memorable experiences. Polar bears, walruses, bulugas, two blue whales, puffins and caribou were all we could reasonably hope for. What thrills to see them all in their incredible environment.

CAROL E.

Verified Passenger

June 21, 2019

Whales and puffins and bears! Oh My!

I hoped to see wildlife on the expedition and this voyage exceeded my expectations, not only in that area, but with the expedition crew. They gave us the “wow” factor on a daily basis and kept us busy, informed and well-fed the entire time. Their enthusiasm and knowledge just enhanced the experience and we could all sense how much they love their jobs. Now I’m hooked on Quark and am considering going to the Antarctic next year.

MACE H.

Verified Passenger

July 08, 2018

Spectacular Arctic voyage around Svalbard

Amazing expedition staff found us spectacular wildlife - everything I was looking for including special Arctic birds - and did a wonderful job educating us as to the ecology, geology, and history of this unique region. The trip leader in particular showed great judgment and instincts in adjusting our itinerary in response to weather and wildlife viewing to ensure we got the most out of our voyage. Really comfortable ship - not too small, definitely not too big - and wonderful food made this the perfect platform to experience the High Arctic. Paddling the inflatable kayaks amidst the crackling ice was very memorable. The team's attention to safety also stood out, as this is a very remote and potentially dangerous locale.

CATHERINE R.

Verified Passenger

July 07, 2018

It was a fantastic trip.

It was a fantastic trip. The expertise of the staff and the quality of the crew was incredible. We had a a trip of a life time. Thank you

STEVE A.

Verified Passenger

July 02, 2018

Fantastic combination: Ocean Nova plus Quark expedition team.

I sailed with the Quark expedition team on the Ocean Nova in mid-June 2018. The vessel, its Captain, and its operational staff was excellent and maneuvered us to whereever needed to get the best possible experiences. The On board “Hotel” staff was superb providing consistently excellent food and drink choices. The combination of Arctic adventure and world-class fine dining made for an exceptional experience. And, I give the highest possible ratings for the Quark expedition team. Everyone on the team had skills and experiences that qualified them as exceptional guides. We had a New York Times best selling author as our avian specialist, a PhD Geologist with exceptional communication skills to explain Arctic oceanographic processes, glaciology, and the magnificant land forms we observered and explored. We had a PhD mammalogist with humorous and captivating delivery to tell us about the marine mammals we would be looking for and to interpret what we saw. And we had a true expert on Svalbard history to explain the human component of the Svalbard system and how the human history has interacted with both the geophysical and biological components. We even heard a captivating and humorous, talk about the various plankton species (the foundation of the food chain) that careful observers were seeing in the ocean waters. The teams that led Zodiac and Kayak outings were incredibly experienced and skilled, and assured that all passengers, regardless of ability or past experience had safe and pleasant experiences getting in and out of small boats. All members of the team were experienced with the Svalbard system and knew where to look for the various species of wildlife—and they had amazing spotting ability. Our expedition leader was always watching weather and sea ice conditions and had the skill and experience to be sure we took advantage of every opportunity to optimize our observations. Finally, we observed all the major species I expected to see, and we saw first-hand how human caused climate change is dramatically impacting them and this incredible place. I believe everyone on board went home with experiences and observations they never will forget, and with better understandings of why maintaining Svalbard and other Arctic environments is important to the rest of life on earth—including us. All in all, it was a fantastic experience. Steven. C. Amstrup

ROBERT T.

Verified Passenger

June 28, 2018

Surpassed my expectations

Quark’s guides and the staff of the Ocean Nova where exceptional. The weather cooperated, wildlife seen up close. It was a glorious adventure.

NATALIE R.

Verified Passenger

August 17, 2017

Fantastic experience

We had the most amazing expedition. The Quark Expedition Team are an amazing, talented, knowledgeable, friendly bunch of people I have ever met. We felt very privileged to have shared such a wonderful voyage with them. We were also looked after by the hotel staff who again are an amazing group of people. Thank you ALL so much. You ALL work so very hard to make it the most memorable trip of a lifetime. A big well done to you ALL.

BRIAN A.

Verified Passenger

July 26, 2017

Thank you Quark

We highly recommend Quark, for an exceptional cruise to the Arctic. It was a magical, well organised tour on a beautiful and comfortable small ship.
Their staff were outstanding,a very knowledgeable and professional team that had a passion for their field of interest in History, Geology, Marine biology, and Ornotholgy. They took care to make a minimal environmental impact on the Ice and provided a wide variety of excursions for groups at all physical levels.
The ship was immaculate and the dining room deserved an award for excellent food..all served with a smile!!!
Their aim was to provide a tour that excelled and it was hugely successful.
Many thanks for a trip of a lifetime, Nan and Brian Abbott

RICHARD P.

Verified Passenger

July 23, 2017

Adventure of a lifetime

We two septuagenarians spent 11 nights on Ocean Nova exploring the amazing Arctic landscape.The whole trip was a wonderful experience. The ship's crew were outstanding in making us feel welcome. The food was as good, sometimes better ,than any we have experienced on 5star cruise ships.
The leaders with their expertise had the ability to engage, educate and enlighten us on all kinds of subjects , with
humour and enthusiasm.We could not praise the trip highly enough. It was a trip of a lifetime.