Crossing the Circle Southern Expedition
Starting From:£11,310 GBP
Setting foot on the 7th Continent is a polar achievement relatively few people experience in their lifetime. Even more rare is the incomparable milestone that’s achieved when a traveler crosses the iconic Antarctic Circle. Navigating south of 66°33' S is—for most guests—the highlight of the 14-day itinerary Crossing the Circle: Southern Expedition, which rewards passengers daily with views of dramatic ice formations, humpback whales swimming alongside the ship, leopard seals diving beneath your Zodiac, penguins sliding off icebergs into crystal waters, or giant petrels soaring above the crackling sea.
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.
Be one of the few travelers to venture to 66°33'S
Visit Antarctic research stations
Witness abundant Antarctic wildlife, including penguins, seals and whales
Experience western Antarctic Peninsula highlights and visit iconic landing sites
Enjoy presentations on wildlife, history, glaciology & geology by our onboard polar experts
Immerse yourself in the icy realm of the Antarctic, with an optional paddling excursion
Our portfolio of immersive itineraries allows you to choose where—and how—you’d like to explore the Antarctic with the best expedition team in the Polar Regions.
- Departing From:
- Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Starting From:
- £15,466 GBP* Per person(Incl. Transfer Package)
- 14 Days
Upon arriving in this splendid city, known for its architecture and rich European heritage, you will independently transfer to your group hotel (pre-expedition hotel night included in mandatory transfer package).
After an early breakfast at the hotel, the group will transfer to the airport and board our private charter flight to Ushuaia, Argentina.
Upon arrival, you will be transferred from the airport to a central downtown location to have some time on your own to explore this quaint port town before making your way to the pier.
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 led by your Expedition Team on photography, wildlife, glaciology, and history In between presentations, spend time on deck looking for wildlife or chatting with your shipmates over a drink at the bar.
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 elusive 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 five different species of seals. Zodiac and ship 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 both a memorable experience and impressive achievement, as few travelers reach so far south. If conditions allow us to cross this famed latitude of 66°33 ́ S, we’ll toast the first explorers who ventured here, and you can raise a glass 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, Weddell seals, and your best chances of encountering sea ice – the foundation of the Antarctic marine ecosystem.
By now, your knowledge of Adélie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins will be matched by your ability to differentiate between a leopard, crabeater 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 adventures you've shared 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.
You will arrive in Ushuaia in the morning and disembark after breakfast. The mandatory transfer package includes a little taste of Patagonia with a Tierra del Fuego National Park tour before transferring to the airport for the return group charter flight to Buenos Aires.
- Leadership throughout your voyage by our experienced Expedition Leaders, including shore landings and other activities
- All Zodiac transfers and cruising as per the daily program
- All shore landings as 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.)
- Select 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 landings and Zodiac cruising excursions
- An official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep
- 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
- One 10- to 15-minute helicopter flightseeing excursion (weather and logistics permitting)
- International airfare
- Passport and applicable visa expenses
- Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned
- Meals unless otherwise specified
- Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance—strongly recommended
- Excess-baggage fees on international flights
- Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac landing and cruising excursions, or any other gear not mentioned
- Laundry, bar, spa services and other personal charges, unless specified
- Phone and Internet charges (connectivity may vary by location)
- Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for expedition staff and shipboard crew
- Additional overnight accommodation
- Arrival and departure transfers, except where explicitly stated
- Adventure Options not listed in Included Activities
All we need is a little bit of information about your travel preferences and one of our Polar Travel Advisors will be in touch.
in open water
140 on Antarctic Express programs
Staff and Crew
Distinct and comfortable, refined and roomy—these attributes and more describe World Explorer. Not only is it among our fastest ships, but it is also one of our finest, with six tiers of deluxe accommodation. More details
The spacious Mudroom on Deck 3 enables you to comfortably prepare for your Zodiac excursions, off-ship adventure options and shore landings. The Mudroom is conveniently located adjacent to the two Zodiac embarkation points.
Deck 4 is the social and educational hub on World Explorer. Key facilities and amenities on Deck 4 include the Dining Room, and the Lecture Theatre where you’ll attend expert-led presentations and watch films. Also on this floor is the Explorer Lounge, where you’ll participate in special functions and events, or grab a cup of complimentary coffee. Deck 4 will also be your go-to location to purchase souvenirs and outdoor gear at the Gift Shop. The Medical Clinic is also on this level.
Some of the ship's largest cabins are on Deck 5:: the 355 sq.-ft. (33 sq.-m) Owner's Suites, which—in addition to the 110 sq. ft. (10 sq. m) walk-out balcony—have one double or two single beds, plus a separate sitting area that includes a state of the art “infotainment” system. Other suites on Deck 5 are the 278 sq. ft. (26 sq. m) Superior Suites, which also feature a state-of-the-art “infotainment” system, as well as a 110 sq. ft. (10 sq. m) walk-out balcony which guests can access from their sitting room and bedroom. There are also the 270 sq. ft. (25 sq. m) Infinity Suites, with a floor-to-ceiling glass French balcony, and the 15 sq. ft. (20 sq. m) Veranda Suite that includes a walk-out balcony.
Guests wishing to visit the Bridge, to view the ship's operations, will do so on Deck 6. Cabins on this level include the 355 sq.-ft. (33 sq.-m) Owner's Suites, which—in addition to featuring a fabulous 110 sq. ft. (10 sq. m) walk-out balcony—have one double or two single beds, plus a separate sitting area that includes a state of the art “infotainment” system. Also on this level are the 278 sq. ft. (26 sq. m) Superior Suites, which also feature a state-of-the-art “infotainment” system, as well as a 110 sq. ft. (10 sq. m) walk-out balcony which guests can access from their sitting room and bedroom. The other two options on Deck 5 are the 270 sq. ft. (25 sq. m) Infinity Suites, designed with a floor-to-ceiling glass French balcony, and the 15 sq. ft. (20 sq. m) Veranda Suite which includes a walk-out balcony.
Deck 7 is all about inspiration and rejuvenation. For incredibly inspiring panoramic views, guests can visit the glass-domed Observation Lounge on Deck 7. For well-earned indulgence after a day spent exploring off-ship, Deck 7 features the world’s only l’Occitane Spa at Sea, where guests can reward themselves with a facial or other spa treatment. Located nearby are the sauna, the large heated outdoor pool and two hot tubs. There’s also the well-equipped Fitness Center on Deck 7.
What polar traveler hasn’t envisioned themselves taking in the magnitude of their polar surroundings while standing on the upper deck of a ship? The Wrap-around Deck provides guests with stunning panoramic views as they breathe in the fresh polar air—resulting in a total connection to the polar environment. In addition, the heated seating on Deck 8 allows guests optimal comfort while they’re outside. Also on Deck 8: the Outdoor Track which enables guests to jog or walk as the ship sails past glaciers, icebergs and the expansive ocean waters.
in open water
Staff and Crew
The newest ship in our fleet, Ultramarine, is designed to go beyond the familiar in polar exploration, to discover new places, and immerse you in the best the region has to offer. More details
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Departure Dates and Cabins
All we need is a little bit of information about your travel preferences and one of our Polar Travel Advisors will be in touch.