Antarctic Express: Crossing the Circle

Antarctic Express: Crossing the Circle

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11 Days
From

$13754

$13067

Antarctic Express: Crossing the Circle

11 Days Starting and ending in Punta Arenas, Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica, Chile

Visiting: Punta Arenas, King George Island, South Shetland Islands, South Shetland Islands

Tour operator:

Quark Expeditions

Ship Name:
Ocean Explorer
Ship Capacity:

138

Physical rating:

Medium

Age range:

8-99

Tour operated in:
English
Activities:

Boat/Cruise Excursion

From:
$13754
$13067 (USD) The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$688

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

Check off a travel milestone by crossing the Antarctic Circle. Maximize your adventure by skipping the ocean transit and flying over the Drake Passage by charter plane. Simply combine our exciting Crossing the Circle: Southern Expedition itinerary with a direct round-trip flight from Chile to your polar-ready ship, to get our Antarctic Express: Crossing the Circle voyage. Then, explore the wonders of the Antarctic Peninsula by sea, and continue further to reach 66°33´ south. Check other achievements off your bucket list as well, such as sea kayaking through channels dotted with icebergs.

Highlights

  • Fly over the Drake Passage and experience the fastest, most direct way to Antarctica

  • Witness iconic Antarctic wildlife, such as penguins, seals and whales

  • Marvel at Antarctic Peninsula highlights, including crossing the Antarctic Circle

  • Celebrate crossing the Antarctic Circle with a toast

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

Itinerary

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Day 1 : Punta Arenas
Location: Punta Arenas

Your adventure begins in Punta Arenas, Chile, the most populated city in southern Patagonia. If you arrive early, there are many museums, restaurants and shops to keep you busy for days. By early afternoon, a Quark Expeditions representative will meet you at the official starting point hotel, where you’ll enjoy a welcome dinner and be briefed on preparations for your embarkation day.

Day 2 : King George Island, South Shetland Islands
Location: King George Island, South Shetland Islands

Your charter flight from Punta Arenas to Antarctica enables you to cross the legendary Drake Passage in only two hours, while far below your ship will approach King George Island for your arrival. Your first glimpse of dramatic Antarctic landscapes will be from a unique perspective, as your plane descends for landing in the South Shetland Islands. After landing, make your way to the shore, before being transferred by Zodiac to your ship to set sail for the Antarctic Peninsula!

Day 3 : Days 3-5 Antarctic Peninsula And South Shetland Islands
Location: South Shetland Islands

There are few places in the world as evocative as Antarctica. The Antarctic Continent is indescribable and can only be fully appreciated through your own eyes.Even more exciting are your land excursions. Your first Zodiac landing is something you’ll never forget! Setting foot on a beach inhabited by thousands of penguins is the most intimate way to experience the unique wildlife of Antarctica.Each landing is different and dependent on weather, but every day presents new sightings and photo opportunities, and it won’t be long before you can tell the difference between an Adélie, gentoo and chinstrap penguin.You may take a Zodiac cruise in search of whales and icebergs one day, followed by a hike to a penguin rookery the next day. From the booming sound of a calving glacier to the thrill of spotting apex predators like leopard seals and orcas in action, you’ll wake up early and welcome each day with a sense of adventure and a desire to explore this unrivaled wilderness experience.Your Expedition Team will accompany you along the way, ensuring safety and providing insights into the places you visit. Our expert education team will also provide in-depth explanations of the glaciology, history and wildlife of the region.

Day 6 : Days 6-7 Antarctic Circle
Location: South Shetland Islands

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.

Day 8 : Days 8-9 Northbound Along The Peninsula
Location: Punta Arenas

If you haven’t had your fill of Antarctic wildlife and icebergs by now, you’ll surely be satisfied by the time you return to King George Island. You will continue to explore by Zodiac or on land as you travel north along the western Antarctic Peninsula.Your Expedition Team will always be on the lookout for species of seabirds, seals and whales that may have eluded you on your journey south.

Day 10 : Disembarkation And Fly To Punta Arenas
Location: Punta Arenas

After your week of exploration, you’ll say goodbye to your Expedition Team and disembark at King George Island. Your two-hour flight across the Drake Passage to Punta Arenas, Chile, brings your adventure to an end. After your group transfer to the hotel, you are free to explore and enjoy an evening on your own, in the city or at the hotel to reminisce about the sights and sounds of Antarctica.

Day 11 : Depart Punta Arenas
Location: Punta Arenas

After breakfast, you are welcome to continue on your own travels or make your way to the Punta Arenas airport for your homeward flights.

Ship Details

Ocean Explorer

Image Of Ship

Ocean Explorer, the newest addition to our fleet, is modern, elegant and purpose-built for polar exploration. The 138-passenger vessel has been designed with the latest in expedition ship technology. One of the ship’s key features is the ULSTEIN X-BOW®, a marine engineering innovation that ensures a comfortable and smooth sailing experience thanks to the inverted bow. Located at the bow is the two-story, light-filled library, which introduces a welcome airiness to the expedition ship.

Spacious cabins feature a modern, bespoke Scandinavian design and almost all have verandas. Guests can relax and find comfort in the spacious gym, sauna with large windows, and two outdoor Jacuzzis.

Ocean Explorer features ample outdoor viewing areas and multi-height outer decks, which are ideal for long-view photography and wildlife viewing. The vessel is equipped with a fleet of 15 Zodiacs that enable guests to get off the ship quickly and safely for off-ship adventures. In addition to the well-appointed and spacious public areas, Ocean Explorer has an industry-leading mix of sustainability systems, including fuel-efficient Rolls Royce engines. 

Ship Name:

Ocean Explorer

Adults Only Areas:

kids allowed

Ship Children Facilities:

none

Ship Nursery:

none

Smoking Areas:

some

Ship Size:

boutique

Ship Class:

Ice Class 1A, PC6

Ship Style:

expedition

Ship Type:

ocean

Ship Currency:

USD

Ship Language:

en

Ship Capacity:

138

Ship Crew Count:

105

Ship Launch Year:

2020

Ship Length (Meters):

104.4 M

Ship Width (Meters):

5.3 M

Ship Speed (Knots):

16 Kn

Deck 2

More information coming soon.

Deck 3

MudroomZodiac Embarkation PointsStudio Single StateroomsStudio Double StateroomsElevator

Deck 4

Deluxe Veranda StateroomDeluxe Veranda Middle StateroomDeluxe Veranda Forward StateroomRoyal Veranda StateroomElevator

Deck 5

Main Dining RoomPrivate Dining RoomThe Latitude BarReceptionPolar BoutiqueExplorer Lecture LoungeElevator

Deck 6

LibraryJunior SuitesRoyal Veranda StateroomGrand Veranda StateroomElevator

Deck 7

Explorer SuiteOwners SuiteDry SaunaFitness CenterJacuzzisBridgeObservation DeckSun Deck and BarElevator

Deck 8

Observation DeckObservation BistroObservation LoungeElevator

Spacious and luxurious cabins ensure your quiet ambience with no sound disturbance from adjoining cabins—and almost all cabins feature a balcony for outdoor viewing.

Deluxe Veranda Stateroom

Revel in superior comfort of this stateroom on Deck 4 while taking in the panoramic ocean views from your private veranda. Bed Config.One double bed made up of two twin berths plus fold out sofa bed

Grand Veranda Stateroom (Grade OEX-GRV )

Near the center of the ship on Deck 6, this stateroom offers easy access to the lounge, dining room and a private veranda. Bed Config.One double bed made up of two twin berths plus fold out sofa bed

Owners Suite

This palatial, airy apartment offers stunning views from its large private veranda on the highest cabin level. The luxurious suite features a large master bedroom, living room and dining area and two large master bathrooms, among other amenities. Bed Config.Two rooms. One double bed made up of two twin berths fold out sofa bed

Owners Suite (Grade OEX-OWN )

This palatial, airy apartment offers stunning views from its large private veranda on the highest cabin level. The luxurious suite features a large master bedroom, living room and dining area and two large master bathrooms, among other amenities. Bed Config.Two rooms. One double bed made up of two twin berths fold out sofa bed

Studio Veranda Stateroom

More information coming soon.

Junior Suite

The decor and layout of this stately suite will amaze. The private veranda, convenient Deck 6 location, plus proximity to the lounge and downstairs dining room are equally impressive. Bed Config.Two rooms. One double bed made up of two twin berths fold out sofa bed

Studio Veranda Stateroom (Grade OEX-STU )

More information coming soon.

Deluxe Veranda Middle Stateroom (Grade OEX-MID )

These classic staterooms ensure guests have easy access to all amenities the ship has to offer. Bed Config.One double bed made up of two twin berths plus some with fold out sofa bed.

Deluxe Veranda Forward Stateroom (Grade OEX-FWD )

Enjoy privacy and elegance at the front of the ship where guests are treated to sweeping views from their private veranda. Bed Config.One double bed made up of two twin berths

Studio Double (Grade OEX-DBL )

Enjoy the calm ambience of this stateroom which features a porthole window and every amenity essential for your polar voyage.  Bed Config.One double bed made up of two twin berths

Royal Veranda Stateroom

This spacious, classic stateroom allows you to stretch freely. Centrally located on Decks 4 and 6. Bed Config.One double bed made up of two twin berths plus fold out sofa bed

Deluxe Veranda Stateroom (Grade OEX-DLX )

Revel in superior comfort of this stateroom on Deck 4 while taking in the panoramic ocean views from your private veranda. Bed Config.One double bed made up of two twin berths plus fold out sofa bed

Explorers Suite (Grade OEX-EXP )

This unique 2-room suite is located on Deck 7 and is approximately 269 sq. f (25.0 sq. m.) in size. It has one double bed that can be configured into two singles in the inner bedroom and the outer sitting area is furnished with a sofa-bed. Walk-out from either room to a double sized balcony . There are also 2 TV's, state of the art 'infotainment' system and private bathroom with shower, vanity and heated floor. And an additional powder room in the outside sitting area.  Bed Config.Two rooms. One double bed made up of two twin berths fold out sofa bed

Deluxe Veranda Forward Stateroom

Enjoy privacy and elegance at the front of the ship where guests are treated to sweeping views from their private veranda. Bed Config.One double bed made up of two twin berths

Royal Veranda Stateroom (Grade OEX-ROY )

This spacious, classic stateroom allows you to stretch freely. Centrally located on Decks 4 and 6. Bed Config.One double bed made up of two twin berths plus fold out sofa bed

Studio Veranda Single

More information coming soon.

Grand Veranda Stateroom

Near the center of the ship on Deck 6, this stateroom offers easy access to the lounge, dining room and a private veranda. Bed Config.One double bed made up of two twin berths plus fold out sofa bed

Studio Single

Designed for one. These cabins are located on Deck 3 and approximately 177 sq. ft. (16.5 sq. m,) in size, with one double bed and a porthole view. There is also a desk and chair, TV, state of the art 'infotainment' system and private bathroom with shower, vanity and heated floor. Bed Config.One double bed made up of two twin berths

Studio Veranda Single (Grade OEX-SVS )

More information coming soon.

Studio Single (Grade OEX-SGL )

Designed for one. These cabins are located on Deck 3 and approximately 177 sq. ft. (16.5 sq. m,) in size, with one double bed and a porthole view. There is also a desk and chair, TV, state of the art 'infotainment' system and private bathroom with shower, vanity and heated floor. Bed Config.One double bed made up of two twin berths

Studio Double

Enjoy the calm ambience of this stateroom which features a porthole window and every amenity essential for your polar voyage.  Bed Config.One double bed made up of two twin berths

Deluxe Veranda Middle Stateroom

These classic staterooms ensure guests have easy access to all amenities the ship has to offer. Bed Config.One double bed made up of two twin berths plus some with fold out sofa bed.

Junior Suite (Grade OEX-JST )

The decor and layout of this stately suite will amaze. The private veranda, convenient Deck 6 location, plus proximity to the lounge and downstairs dining room are equally impressive. Bed Config.Two rooms. One double bed made up of two twin berths fold out sofa bed

Explorers Suite

This unique 2-room suite is located on Deck 7 and is approximately 269 sq. f (25.0 sq. m.) in size. It has one double bed that can be configured into two singles in the inner bedroom and the outer sitting area is furnished with a sofa-bed. Walk-out from either room to a double sized balcony . There are also 2 TV's, state of the art 'infotainment' system and private bathroom with shower, vanity and heated floor. And an additional powder room in the outside sitting area.  Bed Config.Two rooms. One double bed made up of two twin berths fold out sofa bed

Main Dining Room

Contemporary meets cozy in this modern dining room with its stylish lighting and contemporary art. Located on Deck 5, the Main Dining Room seats 144 guests, and features expansive floor-to-ceiling windows that open onto the spectacular polar wilderness.

Private Dining Room

Tasteful and intimate. This stylish, private dining room on deck 5 provides a relaxed dining experience—with views of the polar landscape—for up to 36 guests.

Each interior element was carefully hand-picked by designers for you to enjoy, from the dramatic two-story forward lounge, the floor-to-ceiling glass refuge in the library, to the grand fixtures and luxe furnishings throughout the ship.

Observation areas on Decks 7 and 8 allow for higher, longer-view landscape photography while contending with less sea spray.

Discovery Library

Located on Deck 6 at the top of the gorgeous atrium staircase, this beautiful Library with floor-to-ceiling glass, accommodates up to 47 people.

Explorer Presentation Lounge

More information coming soon.

Observation Lounge

This stylish lounge at the top of the ship guarantees incredible views. Guests also frequent this spacious lookout on Deck 8 to enjoy cocktails and conversation with fellow travelers. Seats 63.

The Latitude Bar

A popular social hub on Deck 5, the beautifully-lit Latitude Bar—with its lush sofas and faux marble-topped end tables—is large enough to seat 46 and is ideal for enjoying a quiet drink on your own or hanging out with friends.

Camping

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. The buzz of your daily life becomes a distant memory as you listen to the bray of penguin, the ethereal calls of the Weddell sea – even the exhalation of a humpback whale. And then you fall asleep.Antarctic Camping with Quark Expeditions is an unforgettable experience. After dinner onboard, you'll be escorted ashore by Zodiac to camp out on the snow for the night in your ready-to-roll bivy sack (tents can be used upon request). Once you decide on your spot, you set up camp and enjoy the peace as the Antarctic night unfolds.Camping in Antarctica is limited to 50 participants, all of whom will be briefed beforehand on the principals of basic camping. Prior to you settling down for the night, Quark Expeditions staff will prepare the site, including setting up a perimeter in safe, flat to gently-sloping and beautiful site. You’re free to choose where (within the perimeters) you want to settle down for the night.  

Expedition Team

The perfect polar expedition doesn't just happen. It takes a team of talented, knowledgeable and experienced professionals to bring it all together. Our Expedition Team is comprised of seasoned veterans with rich backgrounds in marine biology, history, glaciology, geology and more. With the highest staff-to-guest ratio in the industry, our Expedition Teams safely deliver your trip-of-a-lifetime to maximize your polar adventure every step of the way.

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 Arctic and Antarctica. Stepping ashore anywhere in the polar regions means you’re not a distant observer.Our organized hikes range from short jaunts to the top of lookouts or visits to see wildlife or longer walks of several kilometers over ice and rock and snow. Hiking excursions may last from two to three hours with plenty of time for photographs of wildlife, learning moments from your experienced guides, or just time to stand back and admire the incredible polar surroundings.No experience is necessary but participants should be able to get in and out of a Zodiac and walk on uneven terrain. Hiking options are tailored to all interests and abilities, from those who want to contemplate the landscape in silence to photographers who want that perfect image to energetic travelers who want to summit a peak in the hopes of seeing wildlife in their natural habitat.

Off-Ship Adventures

With four separate sea-level embarkation points and a fleet of 15 Zodiacs, Ocean Explorer offers a comprehensive breadth of off-ship activities including Zodiac cruising and paddling, allowing you to intimately connect with the polar wilderness.

Paddling Excursion

Explore the ocean from a more intimate vantage point on a sit-on-top kayak. No experience is required to manoeuvre these very stable kayaks, allowing you to enjoy an unforgettable experience on the water, taking in breathtaking landscapes and wildlife. Whether it’s your first time in a kayak or you want greater flexibility to try other Adventure options, this shorter excursion is for you.Paddling in the Polar Regions is highly weather-dependent and a one-time experience. Your kayak guides will attempt to take you out on the water for 1-1.5 hours of paddling. Offered on most voyages, spaces are limited. All equipment, guides and instructions are provided by Quark.Pricing subject to change based on season. Please proceed to checkout or contact a Polar Travel Adviser for more details. 

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 place onshore or, in many cases, from the gangway or Zodiac. All participants wear a tethered harness and plunge into the polar waters from the side of Zodiac or safety of the gangplank cheered on, of course, by fellow passengers and Expedition Team.Safety is paramount—the onboard physician always attends the Polar Plunge. Guides in survival gear circle the area in Zodiacs as guests take their turn jumping or cannon-balling into the polar waters.

Sea Kayaking

Sea kayaking is offered on all of our departures and you require no previous experience to enjoy this activity. Our sea kayaks are the ideal means by which to get some good exercise and explore the cliffs and shores of the various visitor sites around the archipelago. A typical cruise week offers great opportunities to go kayaking around secluded coves, shores, mangrove estuaries and beautiful beaches. Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorants, sea lions and many other animals can be seen up close on a kayak and even as they swim.

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 standing position. Participants, if they prefer, can kneel, sit or even lie down and stare up at the azure Antarctic sky. Because of their wide base and tail fins, SUP boards are quite stable, enabling participants – after a bit of practice – to stop staring at their feet and admire the surrounding scenery. Imagine seeing Gentoo penguins gliding below you, or making eye contact with a Weddell seal lying on a piece of ice as you paddle by.Guests receive on-ship and on-water instruction from a qualified SUP guide. In addition, a safety driver (in a Zodiac) stays within range to offer assistance.

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 that are accessible only by Zodiac.These large, heavy-duty inflatable vessels are extremely safe and were specially designed for expedition work. Zodiacs are the workhorses of Polar expeditions. Separate air compartments retain a large reserve of buoyancy even if these sturdy boats are damaged. Their flat bottom design permits the craft to land directly onto the cobble and ice-strewn beaches that you will encounter on your Polar expedition.

A dry sauna and two outdoor Jacuzzis for you to rejuvenate after a day of off-ship adventures.

Dry Sauna

After a day of exciting off-ship adventure, guests can relax on the sauna’s traditional wood benches while gazing at the polar wilderness just outside the large sauna windows. Accommodates 15 people on Deck 7.

Fitness Centre

Stay fit with the latest work-out equipment in the Fitness Center on Deck 7.

Jacuzzis

Two outdoor Jacuzzis on deck 7, at the ship’s stern, mean you can relax alfresco while soaking up the breath-taking polar views.

We understand this is a very personal subject and whatever amount you give is at your own discretion. As a guideline, we suggest for your convenience the amount of US$15 to US$20 per traveler per day. At the end of the voyage you will have the option to charge a gratuity amount to your onboard account, or to place cash in an envelope. Gratuities are shared amongst our hotel and expedition team members.

Age Restrictions

Quark Expeditions welcomes passengers age of 8 and above on all trips with a signed waiver by a parent prior to trip commencement. There are however some caveats and restrictions to be aware of:Children on Ship-based tripsQuark Expeditions welcomes passengers° age of 8 and above and under the age of 16 at time of travel with a signed waiver by a parent prior to commencement on any Quark Expeditions trip, provided they meet height and weight requirements (weight of 64lbs or 29kg and 48" or 1.2 m. tall). Children under 8 years old at the time of travel are not allowed to participate in the trip.Children Ship-based Adventure OptionsAdventure Options on ships are available for all persons over the age of 16. Children under the age of 16 are not allowed to participate in Adventure Options. Parents must be with children under the age of 16 at all times, so the parent’s participation in Adventure Options may be limited.

Dress Code

The dress code on the ship is casual, though some may choose to dress up a little for the Captain’s Welcome Reception.

Laundry

A complete list of laundry fees will be provided on board. Laundry is collected each morning; please allow 48 hours for your laundry to be returned. Ironing services are also available at a minimal charge. We encourage you to take advantage of the laundry services, as it will mean you can pack fewer articles of clothing. If you prefer to hand wash small items in your cabin, please remember to bring environmentally friendly detergent.

Leading Edge Sustainability

With the latest sustainability technology in polar expedition, the ship features fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines and the ground-breaking MAGS gasification system that converts waste into energy, eliminating the environmental impact of waste transportation.

Medical Facilities

MEDICAL CLINICThe Clinic is located on Deck 3. In case of emergency, the doctor is available 24 hours a day, and can be contacted through receptionor any member of the Expedition Team. Quark provides an English-speaking doctor on board who manages a medical clinic stocked with a supply of common prescription medicines and basic first aid equipment. If you are under regular treatment for any ailment, you must bring a sufficient supply of medicine for yourself. We cannot accept responsibility for not having a specific brand or type of drug on board. Should you fall ill, the doctor will refer to the medical forms that you completed and returned to us; therefore it is vital that the information you provide is complete and accurate.

Smoking Policy

To protect the health and safety of its guests, Quark Expeditions® maintains a no smoking policy in the interior of the ship including cabins, near Zodiacs and on landings. Smoking on the ship is permitted in the designated smoking area only, which your Expedition° Team members will be happy to point out for you. Always make sure to extinguish cigarettes properly and dispose of them in the proper receptacle. Please, never throw cigarettes overboard.

Special Dietary Requirements

If you do not eat meat there is a wide selection of vegetables, pasta, grains and fruit available. Quark Expeditions® is able to cater to most special dietary requests, as long as you clearly indicated your needs on the required expedition forms when you booked your voyage. Menus will be clearly labeled for vegetarian and gluten free options, but please do notify your server of the dietary restrictions you indicated on your form. We regret that kosher food cannot be prepared. 

Wi-Fi & Communications

All our vessels have WiFi onboard. Please note that we travel to some of the most remote parts of the world. As we utilize satellite equipment for our connection, it is possible that occasional degradation or outages of services may occur. Personal communication services are not always guaranteed throughout your voyage. Please refer to your Ship Book for specific WiFi details of your ship. We encourage passengers to disconnect from digital life and reconnect with the natural world.If you are concerned about staying in touch with friends and family while onboard, you can also find Emergency Contact Information for the ship on your Final Document that you’ll receive approximately one month prior to departure. You can leave these details with your friends and family for peace of mind.MAILSending polar mail is still a rare and memorable way for loved ones to receive a memento from your voyage. Mail may be posted from the ship and will be charged to your on board account. Please deposit your mail at reception with your cabin number and name noted clearly in the upper right-hand corner of each card or letter. If your voyage visits a research base, we may be permitted to leave mail. If we are unable to post the mail during your voyage, staff will attempt to do so on subsequent voyages. Please note, delivery can take many months and cannot be guaranteed.STAYING IN TOUCH WHILE ON BOARDWhen you are not busy exploring the natural beauty of the Polar Regions, you may have the ability to make phone calls, check emails and use the internet while on board. Please note that we travel to some of the most remote parts of the world. As we utilize satellite equipment for our connection, it is possible that occasional degradation or outages of services may occur. Personal communication services are not always guaranteed throughout your voyage. We encourage passengers to disconnect from digital life and reconnect with the natural world.To access email or internet on your personal computer, tablet or smart phone, you can purchase a data credit. You can access network spots found throughout the public spaces of the ship. In some cases, the connection will also work from your cabins; however the best connections will be from public areas. You can also use any 64 kbps web-enabled chat service apps you have downloaded to your device prior to your departure (e.g. WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook Messenger, iMessage, etc.) free of charge, without purchasing a data credit. Only text will transmit over these services while on board.If you would like to make phone calls from the ship, Voice credits are also available for a small fee, and allow calling from your cabin to shore telephones at various rates per minute, dependent on location and type of phone you are dialing (calling mobile phones tends to be more expensive). Current prices for these optional services will be posted on board the ship. Please note we cannot provide refunds for unused voice or data credits.ONBOARD WEBSITEOur free onboard website is an excellent resource for daily programs, expedition team biographies, photos, and other voyage information. Visit http://www.MyQuarkVoyage.com during your expedition to take advantage of the materials. Access to this site is available free of charge, even if you have not purchased data. Contact Guest Services if you experience any difficulty logging on.

What's Included

  • Accommodation

    Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping. One night’s pre-expedition hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas with breakfast (Note: The number of guests per room is the same as cabin occupancy on the ship. Due to limited availability, travelers who reserve a suite on board are accommodated in standard rooms at the hotel. Triple rooms may not be available.) One night’s post-expedition hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas with breakfast

  • Additional Services

    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

  • Airport Transfers at Destination

    A pre-expedition group transfer in Punta Arenas from the hotel to the airport. A post-expedition group transfer in Punta Arenas from the airport to the hotel

  • Fully Guided

    Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leaders, including shore landings and other activities

  • Insurance

    Emergency Evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person

  • Meals

    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.). A briefing dinner on Day 1 in Punta Arenas

  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program

  • All shore landings as per the daily program

  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising as per the daily program

  • Select beer and wine during dinner; and coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock

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What's Not Included

  • Insurance

    Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance - strongly recommended

  • International Travel

  • Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac landing and cruising excursions, or any other gear not mentioned

  • Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for expedition staff and shipboard crew

  • Arrival and departure transfers, except where explicitly stated

  • Additional overnight accommodation

  • Excess-baggage fees on international flights

  • Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned

  • Passport and applicable visa expenses

Videos

Check out our Q&As

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    A pre-expedition group transfer in Punta Arenas from the hotel to the airport. A post-expedition group transfer in Punta Arenas from the airport to the hotel

  • What type of baggage do you recommend?

    We generally recommend soft-sided luggage as it's easier to transport and store. There is plenty of storage space in our cabins for unpacking your things, but not all hard-shelled suitcases will fit under the beds/in our wardrobes, so we recommend other baggage solutions if you have them. For your carry-on, please consider a backpack or something you are comfortable carrying; you will need to take these on and off the ship as well as potentially walk around with them before and after your voyage so consider what is comfortable for you.

  • What clothing does Quark Expeditions provide?

    Every passenger that travels with us receives a complimentary Quark Expeditions Parka which is theirs to keep. We'll also lend you a pair of waterproof, insulated muck boots for the duration of your voyage. You can select your sizes for both items on your Passenger Forms. Your Quark Expeditions Parka is a 2-in-1 outer, waterproof jacket with an inner puffer jacket that can be removed and worn on its own. The Parka is incredibly warm as it's designed specifically for the Polar Regions. Our boots are Muck boots or similar brand, and are comfortable to wear on our excursions. We recommend wearing a couple of pairs of socks with them for added warmth and comfort. If you are taking part in one of our optional water-based adventure options, all additional equipment such as dry suits, dry bags, flotation devices etc. are provided and you do not need to bring anything extra.

  • What do you mean by waterproof pants and why are they mandatory?

    We require all passengers to wear waterproof pants when on our Zodiacs. There is always the chance you'll get wet and the conditions can be freezing. Rain pants are a great option as they are affordable, fully waterproof, and can be worn over the top of any pants you bring with you. Alternatively, bring waterproof ski pants if you already have them. Please ensure the pants you bring are fully waterproof—and not water resistant—to ensure you stay dry and comfortable.

  • What are the weight and size restrictions for my baggage?

    If you have charter flights with us as part of your expedition, weight allowance will be noted on your invoice once we have them confirmed. We do not allow for excess baggage so please ensure you keep your checked and carry-on within the limits. For dimensions, you are welcome to bring any sized bag that you can take on a regular commerical flight.

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    Quark Expeditions welcomes passengers of the age of 8 and above and under the age of 16 at time of travel with a signed waiver by a parent prior to commencement on any Expedition, provided they meet height and weight requirements (weight of 64lbs or 29kg and 48" or 1.2 m. tall). Children under 8 years old at the time of travel or children, regardless of age, who do not meet the above weight and/or height criteria are not allowed to participate in the Expedition. Adventure Options on vessels are only available for all persons over the age of 16. Children under the age of 16 are not allowed to participate in Adventure Options. Parents must be with children under the age of 16 at all times, so the parent’s participation in Adventure Options may be limited.

  • Is free Wi-Fi available in the accommodation used?

    Yes, all our vessels have WiFi onboard. Please note that we travel to some of the most remote parts of the world. As we utilize satellite equipment for our connection, it is possible that occasional degradation or outages of services may occur. Personal communication services are not always guaranteed throughout your voyage. Please refer to your Ship Book for specific WiFi details of your ship. We encourage passengers to disconnect from digital life and reconnect with the natural world. If you are concerned about staying in touch with friends and family while onboard, you can also find Emergency Contact Information for the ship on your Final Document that you’ll receive approximately one month prior to departure. You can leave these details with your friends and family for peace of mind.

  • How can I pay for my bill and gratuities onboard?

    We accept Visa and Mastercard onboard as well as USD cash. Please advise your bank ahead of your upcoming trip so that your card is not blocked. It can be difficult to contact your bank once onboard. Charges will originate from the USA. We recommend registering your card at reception within the first three days of your voyage to ensure there are no issues later in your voyage. For gratuities we understand this is a very personal subject and whatever amount you give is at your own discretion. As a guideline, we suggest the amount of US$15 to US$20 per traveler per day. Gratuities are shared among our hotel and expedition team members.

  • What camera gear and/or gadgets are best to bring to take amazing photos in the Polar Regions? Can I bring a drone?

    If you are passionate about photography, we understand how important it is to ensure you bring the right gear on a trip like this. If you have a camera, please bring spare SD cards, as well as some spare batteries, and potentially a hard drive or laptop to back up your photographs. If you're considering which lenses to bring, we suggest you bring a couple of lenses to give you the perfect balance for all situations; one well suited to landscape photography and one for wildlife close-ups such as a telephoto. We do not recommend bringing a tripod unless you are planning to do a lot of video recording. Drones are not allowed on any of our vessels.

  • Can I leave excess baggage somewhere before my voyage?

    Most of the hotels we work with have some sort of luggage storage room that they can offer, subject to availability. However if you need a secure, guaranteed storage place for excess baggage you're bringing on your trip, we would recommend checking out the storage facilities/lockers in the airport. Most airports offer this service. Quark Expeditions does not have its own storage facilities that we can offer to our guests.

  • What Kind of weather can I expect?

    Weather conditions are variable, with temperatures hovering around the freezing mark. The continuous daylight warms sheltered areas so that you may find temperatures warm enough for t-shirts. However, you may encounter snow squalls, fog and white-outs, during an expedition. Always pack for all eventualities. Generally speaking, our ships run warm so you may find you're comfortable in just t-shirts or shirts onboard.

  • What luggage can I carry?

    Luggage is restricted to suitcases and hand luggage of such size and type as can easily be stored in passenger cabins. Cabin trunks are not acceptable. Passengers cannot bring onboard any contraband or illegal substances, nor firearms, dsngerous goods or live animals. Fly and cruise product has a 15kg per person maximum luggage restriction for checked luggage and 5kg for hand baggage.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Solo travelers who really do enjoy a cabin to themselves pay the single supplement. Others can take advantage of our Request-Share program. We match solo travelers of the same gender with other solo travelers who indicate they are willing to share. Both guests save the single supplement. Should we be unable to find a cabin mate for a Request-Share traveler, the single supplement is waived.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Please contact us for latest Covid-19 policies

  • Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    They are just like you - curious, adventure seekers, who love to travel off the beaten path. Their ages range from 20 to 80, with the majority between 45 and 65 years. Our guests come from around the world. Many departures have several nationalities onboard. All programs, however, are delivered in English.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Since 1991

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Quark Expeditions is profoundly committed to environmentally responsible tourism. Protecting the places we visit is necessary to ensure we can continue to introduce travelers to the spectacular beauty of the polar wilderness.

Reviews of this Operator

BRIANCLINE  

Incredible Journey to Antarctic!

31-Dec-2022

My wife and I just did the Fly the Drake Antarctica expedition. Everything about the experience was perfect, from the leader Abby to the server Royvahn and all the expedition team and crew. It is an incredible task to coordinate logistics in such a remote part of the world. We were left wanting for nothing. It was a once in a lifetime experience perfectly executed at all levels. These are top notch pros and we are thankful we picked them. No regrets flying over the drake as well. The food was great. Sites and excursions unbelievable. I saw some less than great reviews of Quark and doesn't even sound like the same company as our cruise. Literally nothing not executed to our delight! It was nice not being nickeled and dimed to death while on board like we have experienced on other boats. Everything that you want is basically included with options for reasonably priced souvenirs, upscale wine, etc...

Cruise Critic
HCam  

Quark are now my first choice

16-Apr-2020

I was on the most incredible voyage with them when the coronavirus hit. They reacted quickly in passengers best interests, ensure no expense was spare in respect of our comfort and wellbeing. I cannot fault the duty of care they took for all of us and continued. The service went beyond their responsibility to ensure we had all the facilities, information and care required to plan our onward travel. Their communication through the whole process was clear, concise and informative, their crew and staff continued the incredibly high standards throughout the unsettling time and I feel much affection for the care and support provided from crew and staff both on board and also on land. I would not hesitate to book with them again. When the chips are down people and companies show their true colours, they are passed with flying colours!

Trustpilot
Lisa Mack  

Amazing trip!

13-Jan-2023

Amazing trip! I keep wondering what could have been better and the only thing I can come up with is wishing our young adult children had been able to get vacation time to experience it with us; it was truly that outstanding- no regrets or disappointments of any kind. The excursion team led by Ali & Dahven were simply the best! Super interesting lectures and fun recaps. The food and hotel team was outstanding too. Shout out to the captain who delayed our crossing of the Drake Passage by a day due to storms which made the entire trip comfortable. We then had sunny days and magical moments with the weather, wildlife, and on excursions. Our trip to Antarctica with Quark is now the bar to which all other vacations will be measured. I loved the small ship! Ultramarine 150 passengers, 140 crew. Extremely well done.

Facebook Reviews
schillapalli  

Quark Expeditions: Most Comprehensive Expedition Led By Competent Leader.

31-Dec-2022

When my wife and I decided to travel to Antarctica, we researched various itineraries with different companies. We definitely wanted to include Falkland Islands and South Georgia Islands as long as we are in the region. Quark provided the best itinerary at the time of the year we wanted to travel. This decision was validated by a very positive review in a national travel magazine. We just came back from the 22-day expedition 2 weeks ago and fondly remember the experience we had. Quark provided a very competent, most knowledgeable and experienced Expedition Leader and his staff. There was not a single incident such as injury during the entire trip. The staff made sure all guests followed all safety and biohazard protocols. We, guests on the ship were convinced that the Expedition Leader made sure we had the maximum experience by making sure we got off the ship and went on-shore at every opportunity. As a result, by our count we got off the ship at least 26 times to go on-shore and do zodiac cruising. The cabins were comfortable and the hotel staff did a terrific job to keep us well fed. We were impressed by the collection of such well qualified, experienced and competent expedition staff on the ship.

Cruise Critic
Laura Radford  

Just back from a INCREDIBLE experience in Spitsbergen.

25-May-2022

Just back from a INCREDIBLE experience in Spitsbergen. The Ultramarine is a wonderful, modern and comfortable ship for exploring the polar regions, and the ship & expedition staff are all amazing. Informative and happy to help. We were so lucky to experience so much wildlife in 6 days, including multiple polar bears, Arctic fox, Svalbard reindeer, many different bird species, seals and walrus! It was an experience I will never forget.

Facebook Reviews
Rita Lipsky  

Fabulous trip to Antarctica

06-Feb-2019

Fabulous trip to Antarctica - would not go with any other company! Would love to do another trip with them .

Trustpilot

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Book with Confidence

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Quark Expeditions allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform quark expeditions, 60 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Quark Expeditions requires a minimum deposit of 25% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 120 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of quark expeditions charges.

    Up to 120 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 119 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 89 days before tour starts: Forfeit 75% of booking price.

    At 59 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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