Antarctic Expeditions

Antarctica: the great white continent and one of the last true wilderness areas on earth – largely unchanged since the early explorers.

It’s home to the world’s greatest concentration of wildlife, where penguins, seals and whales are the only permanent residents.

Gaze up at magnificent icebergs, explore islands guided by various species of penguin including chinstrap, gentoo and Adélie. Experience the awe-inspiring king penguin rookeries of South Georgia, the “Galapagos of the Poles,” as well as the incredible wealth of untamed wildlife in the unique and diverse archipelagos of the Southern Ocean.

Quark Expeditions has been the world leader in polar adventures for over two decades and successfully operated many first-ever passenger voyages to Antarctica, including the Circumnavigation of the Antarctic continent and the first Weddell Sea voyage.

The Antarctic Peninsula

With its all glistening inlets, rocky cliff sides, pebbled beaches and floating ice sculptures, the Antarctic Peninsula is the northernmost stretch of land on the 7th continent—you’re in for total sensory overload. Whether you venture on our popular penguin safari or new photography voyages, this season’s line-up delivers sublime adventures beyond your wildest dreams.

Photo by David Merron

Antarctic Explorer: Discovering the 7th Continent

11 or 12 days
from £5,400

This expedition offers the perfect chance to discover the best of the Antarctic Peninsula, the last continent’s most northern region.

Photo by David Merron

Crossing the Circle: Southern Expedition

14 days
from £7,100

This expedition offers you the most in-depth exploration of the Antarctic Peninsula.

The Falkland Islands (Malvinas) and South Georgia

Encounter an unparalleled variety of wildlife and get a vivid picture of early Antarctic exploration at these two British territories in the South Atlantic Ocean. Hike through the tussock grass, wander the shorelines, listen to the stories, connect with nature—and get lost in the moment.

South Georgia Landscape

Epic Antarctica: Crossing the Circle via Falklands and South Georgia

23 days
from £13,000

If you desire to “do it all” on your Antarctic adventure, then this is the voyage for you.

Photo by David Merron

Falklands, South Georgia, and Antarctica: Explorers and Kings

20 days
from £10,700

This extended expedition encompasses the wildlife paradise of South Georgia, the remote Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), as well as the extraordinary beauty of the Antarctic Peninsula.

A guest photographing King penguins at St Andrews Bay, South Georgia. Photo: Acacia Johnson
New!

Solar Eclipse 2021: Totality in Antarctica, with South Georgia

17 days
from £12,900

This voyage will be the perfect opportunity to be rendered awestruck by the overwhelming enormity of Antarctica. From there, you’ll sail north and become part of a select few to experience a Total Solar Eclipse in the Antarctic before exploring the island of South Georgia.

A guest photographs Black Browed Albatross at West Point Island, Falkland Islands. Photo by Acacia Johnson.
New!

Solar Eclipse 2021: Totality in Antarctica, with South Georgia and Falkland Islands

20 days
from £12,900

Designed for eclipse chasers, this itinerary offers the rare opportunity to witness the total eclipse of the sun while also setting foot in Antarctica, as well as a chance to explore the rarely visited sub-Antarctic Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) and South Georgia.

South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula: Penguin Safari

16 days
from £11,800

This adventure is the fastest way to get to the rarely visited South Georgia Island while also stepping foot on the 7th Continent. As we set sail, photograph massive albatross and pintado petrel as they swoop and soar around the ship, guiding us toward South Georgia.

Fly/Cruise Expeditions

Our convenient Fly/Cruise expeditions whisk you to the 7th continent for as few as eight days. Fly over the Drake Passage to embark on the rest of your journey by ship. This shaves off a little time, so you can make the most of every minute. We can get you kayaking the bays, cruising around icebergs and camping out under the Antarctic night sky in next to no time.

Photo by Quark passenger Karen Jacot

Antarctic Express: Crossing the Circle

11 days
from £14,200

Enjoy Antarctica in style — by flying and then cruising south of the Antarctic Circle!

Photo: David Merron

Antarctic Express: Fly the Drake

8 days
from £8,300

You’re ready to explore King George Island and the Antarctic Peninsula—and no Drake Passage crossings are required! With a spectacular aerial view, included charter flights between Punta Arenas and Antarctica have you experiencing the majesty of the 7th continent before transferring you to your ship in no time.

Photo taken by a Quark passenger

Antarctic Peninsula

Your first step on the 7th continent will take place in the most readily accessible part of the Antarctic Peninsula, the most northern stretch of Antarctic land. Stepping foot on the 7th continent is a moment of pleasure and excitement that affects each traveler differently.
Photo by Quark passenger, Karine Bengualid

Buenos Aires, Argentina

This energetic port is the gateway to Argentina. Buenos Aires is often called the “Paris of South America” for its classic architecture and rich European heritage. The city has wide boulevards and cobblestone alleys, quaint cafés and markets.
Photo taken by a Quark passenger

Drake Passage

The infamous Drake Passage extends about 1,000 km (600 miles) between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands. To reach the Antarctic Peninsula it is necessary to traverse this stretch of water at right angles to the current flow.
Photo taken by a Quark passenger

Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

The Falkland Islands, also known as Islas Malvinas by the Argentines, are located some 400 km northeast of Tierra del Fuego, the southern-most point in South America. This archipelago itself consists of East and West Falkland, divided by Falkland Sound.
Photo taken by a Quark passenger

Punta Arenas, Chile

Punta Arenas, Chile, is your gateway to Antarctica for all of Quark’s fly-cruise voyages. It lies 3,090 km to the South of Santiago de Chile and is the most important urban center in the Magallanes Region.
Photo taken by Quark passenger

South Georgia

This slightly crescent-shaped, mountainous island lies some 1,300 km (800 miles) east-south-east of the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas). It has not only an astonishing concentration of wildlife, but also glaciers, fjords and low-lying grassland.

South Orkney Islands

These are a group of rather barren islands 1,360 km (850 miles) north east of the Antarctic Peninsula. The climate is rather harsh, with strong winds, frequent rain and snow. Snow falls about 280 days each year.
Photo taken by Quark passenger, Chris Harbard

South Sandwich Islands

The South Sandwich Islands are located about 800 km (460 miles) south-east of South Georgia. The islands form a chain some 390 km (240 miles) long, comprising 11 major and several smaller islands. The islands are volcanic in origin and some remain active.
Photo taken by a Quark passenger

South Shetland Islands

The South Shetland Islands are approximately 120 km north of the Antarctic Peninsula and will usually be your first stop en route to the Peninsula. Home to a great number of animals, you’ll spot an abundance of wildlife, including various species of penguins, seals and sea birds.
Photo by Quark passenger

Ushuaia, Argentina

Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world. It is now a major tourist town, complete with casinos and a variety of restaurants. Ushuaia is commonly used as a base for hiking, and of course, cruises to Antarctica.
Camping on the Antarctic Peninsula, photo by Acacia Johnson

Camping - Antarctic

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.
Skiing in the Antarctic

Cross-Country Skiing - Antarctic

Ski trekking is a cross between backcountry ski touring and cross-country skiing. But don’t confuse it with downhill skiing. Ski trekkers use lightweight touring skis that are equipped with special Ice Trek bindings, which provide flexibility, a crucial element when ski trekking downhill.

Flightseeing - General

Imagine soaring over the polar regions from the comfort of a helicopter and enjoying the most astounding aerial views imaginable of the frozen Antarctic Ocean, of snow-capped ice ridges, massive crevices, and of melt pools ranging from cerulean to deep, spectacular turquoise.
Photo taken by a Quark passenger

Mountaineering - Antarctic

Participants, using crampons or snowshoes and the occasional use of an ice axe, will find themselves hiking up the angled slopes of mountain glaciers and high peaks.
Passengers paddling on the Antarctic Peninsula. Photo by Michelle Sole.

Paddling Excursion - Antarctic

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 call of seabirds, and the occasional splash as wildlife break the su

Polar Plunge - Antarctic

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 place onshore or, in many cases, from the gangway or Zodiac.
Kayaking in Antarctica, photo by Sam Crimmin

Sea Kayaking - Antarctic

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.
Stand-up Paddleboarding, photo by David Merron

Stand-up Paddleboarding - Antarctic

Combining surfing with kayaking or canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding will give you a very personal and unique perspective on Antarctica. Taken in small groups in good weather conditions in Antarctica.
Passengers hiking in the Antarctic Peninsula, photo by David Merron

Walking/Hiking - Antarctic

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 Arctic and Antarctica.

Zodiac Cruising - Antarctic

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 that are accessible only by Zodiac.

Currency (Antarctic)

There is no Antarctic currency. However, if you visit Port Lockroy in the Antarctic Peninsula, U.S. dollars, Pound Sterling and Euro are accepted, as are Visa and MasterCard where your transaction will be charged in U.S. dollars.
Photo taken by a Quark passenger

Gear Shop and Polar Boutique

The best place to prepare for your Polar expedition is the Quark Gear Shop. The online Gear shop carries all the clothing and equipment you'll need to make the most of your expedition to the Polar regions.
King George Island

Getting to Antarctica

Most of Quark’s Antarctic voyages begin and end in Ushuaia, Argentina, with the exception of our Fly-Cruise voyages that may start and/or end in Punta Arenas, Chile.
Expedition Essentials

Packing Tips

“There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” Ranulph Fiennes We travel to the Polar Regions in the summer months when the weather isn’t that cold, however temperature can change unexpectedly.
Photo taken by a Quark passenger

Passports and Visas

All passengers are responsible for obtaining all necessary passport and visas prior to the departure of your voyage.
Photo taken by a Quark passenger

Seasickness (Antarctic)

Everyone reacts differently to sea conditions whether during the crossing of the infamous Drake Passage to Antarctica, or even during calmer seas.
Photo taken by a Quark passenger

The Quark Parka

We know that packing for your Polar voyage may be challenging, so Quark takes the guess work out of packing an appropriate coat. All our passengers will receive our signature yellow expedition parka on the first day you’re onboard the ship.
Photo by Quark passenger

Travel Insurance

Included in the cost of your expedition is an emergency evacuation insurance policy with a maximum benefit of USD$500,000 per paying passenger. This included policy provides coverage only while traveling with Quark Expeditions, between the first and last day of the expedition.
Photo by Quark passenger, Sam Crimmin

When to Go

A common question travelers have is “When is the best time to travel to Antarctica?” The answer depends on what you want to see or do. Keep in mind that you cannot cruise to the Polar regions all year round.
Displaying 1 - 10 of 232

The most dramatic place I’ve been too.

5

It is really hard to put into words just what this trip was like. It was the most dramatic scenery I’ve ever seen. Doing the sea kayaking was a great way to really take in the beauty of the place because you weren’t spending all your time looking through a lens. I originally booked the trip to see the penguins, and it was a dream come true just to be able to sit down amongst them and watch them. I can’t wait to go back there one day and explore more of the continent.

Amazing Top Notch Expedition

5

Fabulous trip, outstanding service and food, expedition team ensured we got the most out of each landing/cruising. Extremely knowledgeable team, amazing that they can expedite 170 passengers on and off the ship very quickly. Wildlife and scenery almost surreal. Great expedition for singles and couples, made friends from all over the world. Thank you Quark

Carol Peterson

5

It was an excellent trip. Getting to and from the Antarctic was an adventure in itself. We were one of the lucky ones who managed to have 6 nights on the boat. We loved our suite and thought the food on board was very good. The shore landings and zodiac cruises all were beyond expeditions. I truly will never forget our first landing on Paulette Island - the smell, the sound and then the sight of so many penguins, all a mind blowing experience. Gazing at the icebergs, another unforgettable experience, offered the opportunity to capture and share some incredible photos. We enjoyed our guides and always felt safe. We thank you for providing this opportunity and for giving us the chance to have it without having to cruise through the Drake Passage. If there are any photos available from your staff photographer, I would most appreciate seeing them if you could direct me to a site. I didn't get into the photo sharing process on board. Thanks again for a marvellous adventure. Carol and John Peterson, Jan 15 to 22 Fly the Drake Cruise.

Spellbound!!!

5

Having seen pictures, I thought I had an idea of what to expect!!! I was so wrong!!! Pictures just don’t do justice to this amazing continent. It is so vast & beautiful. I wanted to see wildlife & was not disappointed! Following feeding humpbacks & orcas, going on zodiacs cruising amongst floating ice & getting up close to leopard seals, crab eater seals or fur seals...zodiac water landings on islands & the continent to visit these amazing penguins ...walking amongst them...letting them go by as they waddle down or up the hill in their awkward manner of walking...climbing to the top of the hill with help of poles while navigating snow, ice, slush & guano...to reach the top to have a 360 degree view of harbor below with ship in distance!!! So small in retrospect when juxtaposed with the glaciers & icebergs nearby!
This trip was unbelievable & the staff & crew of the Ocean Diamond couldn’t have been better. They all made you feel as part of a big family, bound by the love of nature & preservation of our environment!!! Amazing trip!

Breathtaking, Remarkable and Exceeded our Expectations

5

Our expectations for this trip was surpassed 1000 percent (if there is such a thing). From our accommodations in Buenos Aires to our cabin in Ocean Endeavour, everything was done to perfection. Our Expedition team was a cadre of professionals who brought diversified skills and experience in accomplishing their jobs. Their dedication to their responsibilities was evident in the way they carried out such responsibility. The variety of lectures and presentations throughout the duration of the expedition was informative, varied and very interesting. All our shore landings and encounters with wild life was very delightful and entertaining. Not to forget the hotel team which complemented all the excitement brought about by our wild life encounters was the scrumptious array of food that await us at every meal always served with a smile. Everything was accomplished with such precision and perfection that our trip of a lifetime will always bring a smile and fond memories of every moment in this trip. My wife and my appreciation of your expedition and hotel team for making this trip one we will never forget and will be use as a standard to measure all our future cruises and trips. Keep up the outstanding job you've been doing.

Best trip of my life

5

Had the best Antarctica trio of my life. Everyone was amazing and easy to work with and made the trip incredible!!

Incredible trip south with Quark

5

I enjoyed every moment of this trip. The expedition staff are incredibly knowledgeable, passionate and helpful - which really made the trip. The food was also amazing and all of the hotel staff were welcoming and friendly.
We saw incredible wildlife and visited some beautiful sites. All round great trip.

Amazing experience

5

We had such a great time. There is no experience like it! We had such great guides that made sure we saw everything we could possible find. Mark was a fabulous SUP guide who made sure we had a once in a lifetime adventure and got a safely close to the animals as possible. Our ship also had the best serving staff! Marilou, Bryan, Marlon, and Keith were always there to make sure we had everything we needed. Archie, Jameson, and Bert Tan, made sure we had an amazing omelette bar. I am sure there are so many more names that I should acknowledge, but just know there was not one person on the ship I would have replaced. Such an amazing voyage!

The best trip ever!

5

Wow... this trip was incredible from the start to finish. Everything was so professionally thourght through and the staff were incredible.
Special mention to trip leader Laurie and expedition guide Cam.
The food was incredible. I can not recommend this enough, I cant wait to travel with Quark again.
Thanks
Mike and Sara

A magical experience

5

It surpassed all my expectations, the crew and expedition team was amazing and super friendly, the ship was fancy, the people great, and the nature.. indescribable. To be surrounded by the vast expanse of ice and freezing climate, yet seeing wildlife so close and abundant was breathtaking. It’s an experience I wish we all could share, but at the same time not damage with our presence, and Quark does a great job trying to maintain that balance.

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