On this photographic voyage to the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula, discover what has lured explorers and adventurers to this remote region for centuries. Traveling with our professional polar guides to one of the most photographic destinations on the planet, you will have the unique opportunity to watch our photography experts in action, and perfect your skills through special workshops and lectures, so you too can capture fantastic polar photographs just like a pro. With an itinerary governed by Mother Nature, each expedition is personal and each day more beautiful than you ever imagined, rewarding with an abundance of photo ops and unforgettable memories. Don’t be surprised if you experience much of this expedition to the end of the world through the lens of your camera!
As you cruise in a Zodiac through crackling sea ice, sailing past soaring ice formations and bergs, or you sit amidst a penguin rookery, surrounded by hundreds of these curious creatures, what you’ll notice most is that Antarctica is a photographer’s delight—pure nature, with untamed wildlife and vistas that are incomparable to anywhere else on earth.
Day-by-Day Expedition in Brief
- Take your polar photography to the next level thanks to unique workshops and lectures and the chance to watch our photo pros in action
- Witness iconic Antarctic wildlife, such as penguins, seals and whales
- Explore highlights of the Antarctic Peninsula
- Learn about the region’s wildlife and environment from on-board experts
- Experience the White Continent from the unique and intimate perspective of a Zodiac
Day 1 — Ushuaia, Argentina
The southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia is a bustling port with an easygoing, small-town vibe. Tucked scenically between the mountains to the north and the sea to the south, Ushuaia is a spectacular gateway for your Antarctic cruise. Before departing for your expedition, spend some time exploring the nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park, relax over authentic Argentine asado (barbecue) and a glass of local wine at one of the many restaurants, or immerse yourself in the museums, boutiques and cafés.
Day 2 — Embarkation Day
Embarkation will occur in the late afternoon, after which your vessel will sail through the historic Beagle Channel. This famous channel, where your camera will be put into action snapping shots of seabirds, sea lions and seals, transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Expect an air of anticipation as you depart—the next time you see land, you’ll be in the world’s most southern continent!
Days 3 and 4 — Crossing the Drake Passage
Prepare yourself for potentially rough water, but hope for a smooth sailing, as the Drake is unpredictable and always changing. You’ll spend these first days getting to know your shipmates while your Expedition Team provides safety briefings and insights into what excitement lies ahead.
Expedition staff will also give photography buffs the scoop on shooting in the Polar Regions, which has its own set of unique challenges. You’ll learn how capture the gleaming white and deep blues of the snow, ice and icebergs in the White Continent, which can be tricky to do, with light reflecting off the surrounding sea and snow.
Days 5 to 8 — South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula
Once the Antarctic Convergence is left in our wake, you will truly begin your Antarctic adventure. It is perhaps the first sight of land itself that is embraced as the true beginning of any Antarctic expedition. You will begin to appreciate why this region has long captivated the attention of explorers and travelers alike. Every time we visit Antarctica, we witness something new or unexpected, which means that your expedition will be unlike any other—creating a unique, personal experience.
Days 9 and 10 — Crossing the Drake Passage
The journey back across the Drake Passage provides final opportunities to enjoy the crisp Antarctic air. Spend time on the deck, camera close at hand as you watch for seabirds and whales, and pause to take it all in. Enjoy presentations, including tips for perfecting your photos in post-production, or simply relax and reminisce about your experiences.
Day 11 — Disembarkation in Ushuaia
After breakfast aboard your ship, it’s time to say goodbye to your Expedition Team and fellow travelers. From here, you can continue your adventure in Ushuaia, exploring this city at “the end of the world,” or catch your homeward flights.
Pre- and Post-Trip Options Extend Your Stay
Getting to the Antarctic can be just as much fun as being there. Quark offers multiple travel packages that enable you to see more of the world before and after your Antarctic adventure.
Savour a spectacular bottle of Malbec with fine Argentine steak, explore street art in colourful San Telmo or experience the world-class shopping on Avenida Florida. Discover the elegant beauty of Buenos Aires, a city that melds European charm with the frenzied pace of Latin life. This package includes a guided tour of the city’s impressive highlights, from the quaint, cobbled plazas to its most sophisticated neighbourhoods. In the evening, you will enjoy a spectacular dinner and tango show with a live orchestra. Please contact a Quark Polar Travel Adviser for pricing.
Take a five-hour flight from Santiago to Easter Island, one of the world’s most remote inhabited islands. A single massive (extinct) volcano rising over 10,000 feet from the Pacific Ocean floor, Easter Island is famous for its enormous statues carved from the tough stone of the Rano Raraku, the island’s volcano. Your package includes tours of the statues, tombs and volcanoes of the island. This luxurious package offers guests three nights’ accommodation at Explora Rapa Nui, where all meals, daily explorations and drinks are included.
One of the great natural wonders of the world, the grandeur of Iguazú Falls includes over 274 cascades spread over nearly two miles of the Iguazú River. Learn about the history, flora and fauna of the National Park, and the waterfalls. Experience the spectacular views and the thundering sounds of the waterfalls, located in the midst of 890 square miles of nature reserve. The National Park has easily walkable footpaths which will give you incredible access to the numerous waterfalls. Enjoy one of the true wonders of the natural world.
After an amazing day touring the national capital, you will head to Chile’s garden city by the sea, Viña del Mar for a lunch overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Your driver will then head through the Casablanca Valley to Valparaiso, Chile’s best known seaside resort, for a visit to the old town, a UNESCO World heritage Site.