Crossing the Circle: Southern Expedition

Crossing the Circle: Southern Expedition

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tourhub | Quark Expeditions | Crossing the Circle: Southern Expedition | crossing-the-circle:-southern-expedition-buenos-aires-ushuaia-14-days-ultramarine
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14 Days
From

$13393

$12724

Crossing the Circle: Southern Expedition

14 Days Starting in Buenos Aires and ending in Ushuaia

Visiting: Buenos Aires, Ushuaia, South Shetland Islands, Antarctic Peninsula

Tour operator:

Quark Expeditions

Ship Name:
Ultramarine
Ship Capacity:

199

Tour operated in:
English
Activities:

Boat/Cruise Excursion

From:
$13393
$12724 (USD) The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$670

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

Tour Overview

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.

Itinerary

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Day 1 : Buenos Aires
Location: Buenos Aires

Upon arriving in this cosmopolitan 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).

Day 2 : Ushuaia
Location: Ushuaia

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 for free 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 historic 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.

Day 5 : South Shetland Islands
Location: South Shetland Islands

The most common reaction upon reaching the Antarctic Peninsula 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 cruising can offer opportunities to view some of the larger local marine mammals more intimately, such as Antarctic minke and humpback whales. Days 5 to 7 are also ideal times to experience Ultramarine's portfolio of helicopter- supported adventures exclusive to Quark Expeditions.Your days will be busy spotting wildlife and being mesmerized by the astounding beauty of Antarctica. Listening to the crackling and crumbling of icebergs andglaciers and watching penguins waddling on the beach will become your daily entertainment, while heli flightseeing, sea kayaking or paddle excursions are optional activities available on select voyages (at an extra cost).

Day 6 : South Shetland Islands
Location: South Shetland Islands

The most common reaction upon reaching the Antarctic Peninsula 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 cruising can offer opportunities to view some of the larger local marine mammals more intimately, such as Antarctic minke and humpback whales. Days 5 to 7 are also ideal times to experience Ultramarine's portfolio of helicopter- supported adventures exclusive to Quark Expeditions.Your days will be busy spotting wildlife and being mesmerized by the astounding beauty of Antarctica. Listening to the crackling and crumbling of icebergs andglaciers and watching penguins waddling on the beach will become your daily entertainment, while heli flightseeing, sea kayaking or paddle excursions are optional activities available on select voyages (at an extra cost).

Day 7 : Antarctic Peninsula
Location: Antarctic Peninsula

The most common reaction upon reaching the Antarctic Peninsula 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 cruising can offer opportunities to view some of the larger local marine mammals more intimately, such as Antarctic minke and humpback whales. Days 5 to 7 are also ideal times to experience Ultramarine's portfolio of helicopter- supported adventures exclusive to Quark Expeditions.Your days will be busy spotting wildlife and being mesmerized by the astounding beauty of Antarctica. Listening to the crackling and crumbling of icebergs andglaciers and watching penguins waddling on the beach will become your daily entertainment, while heli flightseeing, sea kayaking or paddle excursions are optional activities available on select voyages (at an extra cost).

Day 10 : Antarctic Peninsula
Location: Antarctic Peninsula

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.

Day 11 : Antarctic Peninsula
Location: Antarctic Peninsula

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.

Day 14 : Ushuaia
Location: Ushuaia

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.

Ship Details

Ultramarine

Image Of Ship

The newest ship in our fleet, Ultramarine, is designed to go beyond the familiar in polar exploration, to discover new places, and to immerse you in the best the region has to offer.

Equipped with two twin-engine helicopters, Ultramarine offers the most robust portfolio of adventure activities in the industry, the most spacious suites in its category, breathtaking public spaces, and more outdoor wildlife viewing spaces than other expedition ships its size. It also features an innovative mix of sustainability features that exceed all industry standards.

With all this and more, Ultramarine is set to deliver the ultimate polar expedition experience.

Ship Name:

Ultramarine

Adults Only Areas:

no kids

Ship Children Facilities:

none

Ship Nursery:

none

Smoking Areas:

some

Ship Size:

small

Ship Class:

Ice

Ship Style:

expedition

Ship Type:

ocean

Ship Currency:

USD

Ship Language:

en

Ship Capacity:

199

Ship Crew Count:

140

Number of Decks:

7

Ship Launch Year:

2021

Ship Length (Meters):

128 M

Ship Speed (Knots):

16 Kn

Deck 2

Ready RoomZodiacs

Deck 3

Explorer SuiteExplorer TripleReceptionPolar BoutiqueExpedition DeskClinic

Deck 4

Balcony SuiteDeluxe Balcony Suite

Deck 5

RestaurantLecture Theatre  

Deck 6

BridgeDeluxe Balcony SuiteBalcony SuiteTerrace SuiteOwner's SuiteUltra SuiteSolo Panorama

Deck 7

Panorama Bar & LoungeLibrarySaunaSpaFitness CentreBistroPenthouse Suite

Deck 8

Helipad 

Explorer Suite (Grade ULT-EXP )

Located on Deck 3, and approximately 285 sq. ft. (26.5 m2). These suites are perfect for people traveling together or solo guests looking to share with like-minded individuals. This suite maximizes interior living space while still offering guests the opportunity to stay connected to the outdoors. Our entry-level twin suites are the largest available on a ship of this class.Features: one double or two single beds, sitting area with sofa bed, picture window, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower and heated floors.Standard Amenities: hair dryer, bathrobe, slippers, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, complimentary water bottle.

Owner's Suite (Grade ULT-OWN )

Located on Deck 6, with approximately 446 sq. ft. (41.4 m2) of indoor living space and a 46.3 sq. ft. (4.3 m2) balcony. This suite is perfect for guests who want it all. A large, luxurious suite featuring a private bedroom, full bathroom, powder room, and two separate living spaces. This suite is perfect for families or couples who want all the comforts of home onboard the ship.Features: one double or two single beds in a private bedroom with walk-in closet, sitting area with sofa bed and additional closet, private balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower, bathtub and heated floors and separate powder room.Standard Amenities: hair dryer, bathrobe, slippers, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, complimentary water bottle.Premium Amenities: upgraded bedding, in suite coffee, binoculars on loan.Services: onboard WiFi credit*, included laundry**, in suite dining during scheduled meals, included spa package, upgraded hotel accommodation pre-/post-expedition where applicable, included arrival transfers where applicable.*terms & conditions apply, WiFi may be limited in duration or data**terms & conditions apply, limited number of laundry loads per voyage 

Explorer Triple (Grade ULT-TPL )

Located on Deck 3, and approximately 285 sq. ft. (26.5 m2). This suite is perfect for guests traveling solo who want to share their experience with other like-minded travelers of the same gender, or for groups of three traveling together. Featuring three separate single beds, and amenities for each of the three guests.Features: three single beds (two of which can be combined into a double bed), sitting area, picture window, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower and heated floors.Standard Amenities: hair dryer, bathrobe, slippers, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, complimentary water bottle.

Solo Panorama (Grade ULT-SGL )

Located on Deck 6, and approximately 132 sq. ft. (12.3 m2). This suite is perfect for solo guests who appreciate privacy and want to wake up to sweeping views from the comfort of their bed. These are the only solo suites with floor-to-ceiling windows available onboard any ship in its class.Features: single bed, floor-to-ceiling window, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower and heated floors.Standard Amenities: hair dryer, bathrobe, slippers, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, complimentary water bottle.

Ultra Suite (Grade ULT-ULT )

Located on Deck 6, with approximately 563 sq. ft. (52.3m2) of interior living space, and a 46 sq. ft. (4.3 m2) balcony. This suite is perfect for guests who want to travel without compromise. Our largest and most luxurious suite features the most sleeping, entertainment and storage space onboard the ship. It is perfect for families or travelers who want all the comforts of home onboard the ship.Features: one double or two single beds in a private bedroom with walk-in closet, sitting area with sofa bed and additional walk-in hallway closet, private balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower, bathtub and heated floors and separate powder room.Standard Amenities: hair dryer, bathrobe, slippers, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, complimentary water bottle. Premium Amenities: upgraded bedding, in suite coffee, binoculars on loan. Services: onboard WiFi credit*, included laundry**, in suite dining during scheduled meals, included spa package, upgraded hotel accommodation pre-/post-expedition where applicable, included arrival transfers where applicable.*terms & conditions apply, WiFi may be limited in duration or data **terms & conditions apply, limited number of laundry loads per voyage 

Balcony Suite (Grade ULT-BST )

Located on Decks 4 and 6, with approximately 226 sq. ft. (21 m2) of indoor living space, and a 52 sq. ft. (4.8 m2) balcony, this entry-level balcony suite is one of the largest available on a ship of this class. This suite is perfect for guests who are looking for both indoor and outdoor living spaces. There are four connecting suites in this category, making this an excellent option for families or groups wanting to stay connected to each other during their expedition.Features: one double or two single beds, sitting area with sofa bed, private balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower and heated floors.Standard Amenities: hair dryer, bathrobe, slippers, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, complimentary water bottle.

Terrace Suite (Grade ULT-TER )

Located on Deck 6, with approximately 350 sq. ft. (32.5 m2) of indoor living space, and a 100 sq. ft. (9.3 m2) balcony. This suite is perfect for guests wanting generous interiors with a wide layout and the largest balconies on the ship. Centrally located on Deck 6, guests will enjoy minimal movement and motion from the comfort of these suites.Features: one double or two single beds, sitting area with sofa bed, private extra-wide balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower, bathtub and heated floors.Standard Amenities: hair dryer, bathrobe, slippers, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, complimentary water bottle.Premium Amenities: upgraded bedding, in suite coffee. Services: onboard WiFi credit*, included laundry**, in suite dining during scheduled meals. *terms & conditions apply, WiFi may be limited in duration or data **terms & conditions apply, limited number of laundry loads per voyage 

Deluxe Balcony Suite (Grade ULT-DLX )

Located on Decks 4 and 6, with approximately 299 sq. ft. (27.8 m2) of indoor living space, and a 70 sq. ft. (6.5 m2) balcony. This suite is perfect for guests wanting a larger living space, full bathroom, and a substantial balcony. Deluxe Balcony Suites are the first suite type to offer additional privacy in the bathroom with an enclosed toilet, a full bath and shower to make it easier for guests to get ready together in the morning.Features: one double or two single beds, sitting area with sofa bed, private balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower, bathtub and heated floors.Standard Amenities: hair dryer, bathrobe, slippers, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, complimentary water bottle.

Penthouse Suite (Grade ULT-PEN )

The only suite category to be located on Deck 7, with approximately 369 sq. ft. (34.3 m2) of indoor living space, and a 67 sq. ft. (6.2 m2) balcony. This suite is perfect for guests wanting to wake up to unobstructed polar views from the warmth and comfort of their bed onboard the ship. These suites offer the best of everything—views, spacious interiors, full bathrooms and generous balcony sizes—as well as easy access to the wellness centre.Features: one double or two single beds, sitting area with sofa bed, private balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower, bathtub and heated floors.Standard Amenities: hair dryer, bathrobe, slippers, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, complimentary water bottle.Premium Amenities: upgraded bedding, in suite coffee. Services: onboard WiFi credit*, included laundry**, in suite dining during scheduled meals.*terms & conditions apply, WiFi may be limited in duration or data **terms & conditions apply, limited number of laundry loads per voyage 

We pride ourselves on the meals we serve aboard our ships. Our chefs are internationally trained. And our service style is too! The menu changes every day. Breakfast is buffet style. Lunch often features a buffet. Dinner is plated service, with a choice of 3 main dishes. A vegetarian choice is always offered. Desserts are fabulous! Afternoon tea, with pastries or cookies, is provided about 16:00 (4 PM) every day. Fresh pastries arrive warm from the oven for early birds about 06:00 (6 AM). 

Balena Restaurant

Featuring table tops that accommodate 2 to 10, guests can enjoy a quiet dinner with a loved one or join a larger table of new friends. Guests will also enjoy views from every seat in addition to direct access to the wraparound deck.

Bistro

Guests can enjoy a meal in the Bistro which offers an indoor/outdoor dining experience. Perfect for enjoying the polar landscapes.

Bistro 487

Guests can enjoy a meal in the Bistro which offers an indoor/outdoor dining experience. Perfect for enjoying the polar landscapes.

More information coming soon.

Bridge

During your voyage you may be given access to the Bridge, where you can observe how the Captain and officers sail and navigate the ship.

Lecture Theater

A comfortable space where passengers learn more from our world-class experts about the adventures enjoyed and the wonders to come, featuring a high-resolution LED screen, real-time translations, and live broadcasting for those who prefer to listen from the ease of their suite.

Library

Located on Deck 7, the library offers a large collection of field guides, picture books and reference books, and also includes a selection of games for your entertainment. The Ultramarine collection includes books in multiple languages covering subjects like wildlife, history, marine biology, ecology and geology.

Panorama Lounge and Bar

Enclosed in glass and featuring unobstructed views, the Panorama Lounge and Bar allows guests to relax indoors while staying connected to the awe-inspiring landscapes drifting by. ?It serves as a cozy gathering point where guests can sip a glass of wine, engage in great conversation, indulge in a board game, or socialize at the bar—and, later in the evening, bust a move on the dance floor.

Polar Boutique

If you forgot any essentials or need a little souvenir from your voyage, the Polar Boutique on Deck 3 is our onboard gift shop. Opening hours will vary based on the daily expedition activities.Gifts and souvenirs are great to bring home as mementos of your polar expedition. In addition to small souvenirs, our Polar Boutique offers a selection of expedition gear, including base layer clothing, waterproof pants, gloves and more. 

Reception

A crew member is available at reception to assist you or answer any questions during posted hours. You can purchase internet or email access cards and phone cards here, arrange for a wake-up call or settle your accounts at the end of the voyage.

Alpine Heli-Trekking

Let us take you on an active adventure high up in the Antarctic Peninsula. You’ll be part of an intimate group of adventurers to board one of Ultramarine's two twin-engine helicopters for a trekking excursion in an area only safely accessed by air. The helicopter flight alone rewards guests with unforgettable views of the expansive polar landscape down below. On land, during an invigorating walk, hike or snowshoe trek (depending on conditions), you’ll be rewarded with equally stunning views of remote ridgelines, glaciated terrain, and snow-topped peaks. This once-in-a-lifetime heli-adventure will leave you marveling at the overwhelming beauty of the Antarctic.

Ambassador Theater

A state-of-the-art, high-resolution LED screen wall in the main theater ensures high-definition viewing of presentations from your Expedition Team from any angle. ?

Auditorium

A state-of-the-art, high-resolution LED screen wall in the main theater ensures high-definition viewing of presentations from your Expedition Team from any angle. ?

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.  

Cross-Country Skiing

AntarcticSki 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. In Ski Trekking, the group aims to trek on low- to moderate-angled terrain° over snow-covered slopes and glaciated landscapes. If the incline is too steep to slide down safely, or if snow conditions change, we’ll all remove our skis and affix them to our packs and walk down until conditions are suitable to put the skis back on.Your Quark Expeditions guides will do everything to foster a strong sense of team spirit. It’s by working together, acknowledging each other’s abilities and challenges, and looking out for one another, that we’ll tackle the wild mountain environments of the Antarctic Peninsula—just like the original polar explorers whose footsteps we follow across the hallowed 7th Continent.What’s the level of difficulty?Moderate: Expect uphill ski touring and hiking on low- to moderate-angled terrain of a low technical nature. Ropes will be used when traversing glaciers and occasionally for short, steeper sections of terrain if required. Previous ski trekking experience isn’t necessary but downhill or ski touring experience will give you an advantage. A good sense of balance and agility is essential.What fitness level is required?Moderate: The Cross-country skiing adventure option is suitable for anyone who exercises regularly, can carry a light pack (10kg/22Ib) and is capable of moving for several hours at a stretch with short stops every hour. We recommend strength-training activities such as regular walking on hills, gym work, light running, swimming and biking. Participants must be in good health with no preexisting injuries or medical issues that could potentially° cause problems or difficulties during the activity.Duration: Up to 4 hoursElevation: Up to 500 metresGuide to client ratio: 1:8 (2:15)Equipment: All technical gear will be provided on the ship, including the following:Lightweight touring skisPolesBack packHarnessOther recommended gear/clothing:BaselayersMid-layersSocksSmall fleece or wool glove linersHatSunglasses/gogglesScarf/buff/neck warmerSunscreenCamera

Exclusive Heli-Landing

Imagine setting foot in an area of the Antarctic that can only be safely accessed by helicopter. With a small group of fellow passengers and expert guides, you’ll board one of Ultramarine’s two twin-engine helicopters to soar off to an exclusive polar site where no ships can navigate. Expect stunning bird’s-eye views during your flight, and then, upon arrival, simply sit back, relax and take in the splendor of the Antarctic from “the best seat in the house”: glacial amphitheaters, breath-taking summits, and more. Traveling in groups of 12 with no more than 4 groups (48 guests) at a time on each landing, you’ll have time to relax and quietly reflect on the beauty of your polar surroundings, after which you’ll be picked up by the helicopters in the same location and returned to Ultramarine.Each heli-landing experience is uniquely curated by our expedition team, taking conditions and location capacity into consideration.

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.

Flightseeing aboard Ultramarine

While polar landscapes are spectacular from the sea, they’re even more stunning from the air, a view you can enjoy while seated in one of the two twin-engine helicopters stationed on Ultramarine. Typically in groups of 7 to 9, you will experience an unforgettable aerial° tour of the Arctic during a 10- to 15-minute flightseeing excursion° that’s included in the cost of the voyage. Additional helicopter activities may also be available for purchase onboard. Please note: all helicopter operations are weather- and logistics-dependent.

Heli-Hiking

Arctic Our twin-engine helicopters will transfer you to the start of the most scenic hiking routes of Southern Greenland and then pick you up at the endpoint of the route. Each heli-hiking departure will be tailored° to your personal needs and level of interest. You may choose to join one of our fast walking groups who will go for exploration and distance, one of our medium hiking routes where there will be plenty of time to stop for photography and reflection, or explore at a slower pace with ample time to enjoy the scenery and immerse yourself in your surroundings. 

Heli-Landing

Arctic You will be transferred from Ultramarine’s heli-decks via our two twin-engine helicopters to a pre-selected° Arctic destination. You’ll have time to explore the location, accompanied by Quark Expeditions team members, after which you’ll be picked up by the helicopters in the same location and returned to Ultramarine. Note: heli-landings are dependent on weather conditions and logistics. 

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.

Hot Air Ballooning

ArcticImagine the sensation of rising slowly upward in the basket of a hot-air balloon during a much-anticipated visit to the North Pole. Suspended 30 metres (100 feet) high above the icy surface in the safety of a tethered hot-air balloon basket, guests enjoy a 360° view of the Arctic landscape° below. Exclusive to Quark Expeditions, the hot-air balloon option provides guests an entirely new perspective at the top of the world!Hot air ballooning is an accessible activity in one of the most inaccessible parts of the world. No experience is required. Quark Expeditions staff will make every effort to make sure you´re not only safe and comfortable but most of all, that you have a wonderful ride.Recommended gear/clothingWaterproof and breathable pantsMid and base layersWarm hat and or brimmed hatGlovesSunglassesWaterproof and sweatproof sunscreen and lip balm (minimum SPF 30)Camera and accessories (if you have a wide-angle lens, this is a great opportunity to use it)Binoculars

Kayaking

Sea Kayaking in the AntarcticPositioning 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. The Sea Kayak Program enables a small group of like-minded individuals to forge bonds as they explore fjords, glacial faces or mazes of sea ice.Quark Expeditions Sea Kayak Program is a voyage-length program available in Antarctica, in which kayakers (those who have minimal experience as well as seasoned paddlers) will enjoy the polar regions from a unique perspective.Conditions and logistics permitting, your kayak guide(s) will endeavor to have you paddling as often as possible throughout° the voyage. Typically, sea kayakers are shuttled by Zodiac from the ship to an ideal starting point, where the kayak excursion begins. Guests return to the ship by Zodiac at the end of their paddling experience. Some kayak excursions are designed so guests can go ashore and explore. In addition to the kayak guides, a safety driver in a Zodiac will always stay nearby to offer assistance if required. Excursions typically last one and a half to three hours.Note: Due to its popularity and limited space, if you want to ensure a space in the Sea Kayak program, please register when you book your expedition. While the program° routinely fills up well before the voyage, if there are vacant spaces when you board the vessel you may sign up. Quark Expedition guides attempt to lead guests on as many sea kayak excursions as possible, but the number of excursions will depend on weather and sea conditions as well as logistical factors. Be prepared to paddle in a double or single kayak depending on availability.Is Kayaking Experience Necessary?The Sea Kayak program was developed to accommodate kayakers with a range of experience. Please don’t hesitate to consult with our polar travel advisors if you have any questions.Provided gearSea kayaks (single or double)PaddleSpray-skirtDrysuitInsulated rubber gloves and pogies*PFD (personal flotation device)Neoprene booties10L dry bagWater bottle (provided in rooms upon embarkation)Other recommended gear/clothingThermal base layer top and bottom (synthetic or wool, no cotton)Thin fleece 200 weight top or wool sweaterFleece pantsLiner socksThick wool socksNeckwarmerThin fleece or wool liner glove to wear under rubber gloves (if you wish)Warm hatSunglassesWaterproof and sweatproof sunscreen Camera (either waterproof, in exterior waterproof housing, or stored in a drybag)Waterproof backpack or a drybagAlpine Kayaking in the ArcticOur expert kayak guides will take you beyond to remote glacial lakes high in the upper alpine zones of Southern Greenland. Find yourself in complete tranquility as you pioneer° the untouched and raw beauty of these isolated lakes. Once deployed by our helicopters, you will find yourself immersed in the most remote corners of this area of Greenland. 

Mountaineering

AntarcticParticipants, 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.The Mountain Trek adventure option in Antarctica takes participants over glaciers, snow, rock, scree and talus. We’ll use a rope whenever the group° treks across a glacier or if the terrain is too steep. Client safety is always paramount. Team spirit is also an important factor as the entire group pulls together to summit a mountain peak or to reach a vantage point to take in the incredible polar views.Duration: Up to 4 hoursElevation: Up to 500 metresGuide to client ratio: 1:5What’s the level of difficulty?Moderate: Expect uphill hiking and scrambling on low- to moderate-angled terrain of a low technical nature. This could include snow, ice, rock and scree and talus. Ropes are used when traversing glaciers and occasionally for short steeper sections of terrain if required.What fitness level is required?Moderate: The Mountain Trek program is open to those who exercise regularly, can carry a light pack (10kg/22Ib) and are capable of moving for several hours at a stretch with short stops every hour. Participants° should be in good health and have no preexisting injuries or medical issues that could possibly cause problems or difficulty during the activity.The following gear will be provided:Plastic mountaineering bootsIce axeCramponsHelmetHarnessSnowshoesTrekking polesTrekking backpackOther recommended gear/clothing:BaselayersMid-layersSocksSmall fleece or wool glove linersHatSunglasses/gogglesScarf/buff/neck warmerSunscreenCamera

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.

Ready Room

Designed for efficiency—with wider hallways, plenty of seating, and conveniently located bathrooms—our two ready rooms allow guests to quickly change in and out of their expedition gear.?

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.

Twin Engine Helicopters

Two twin-engine helicopters operated from two helidecks allow more passengers to simultaneously experience new destinations accessible only by air, and to enjoy more unique aerial perspectives of the polar regions than on any other ship. ?

Walking/Hiking

Arctic & AntarcticHiking 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.Equipment you’ll be provided with for hiking outingsTrekking poles are available upon requestBring your Quark Parka and collapsible water bottle provided at embarkation (they’re yours to keep)Muck boots (loaned to you for the duration of your expedition)Other recommended gear/clothingBase and mid-layer clothingWaterproof breathable pantsWool or synthetic hiking socksWarm hatBrimmed hatSunglassesWaterproof and sunscreen and lip balm (minimum SPF 30)Backpack, preferably water-resistant (or with a rain cover)Warm glovesCamera and accessories

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.

There are no dedicated children's facilities onboard.

Fitness Center

In the fully-equipped fitness center, featuring a separate yoga space with views to the outside.

Sauna

Perfectly juxtaposed luxury: guests can rest and relax in the comfort and warmth of the sauna while enjoying the spectacular views outside.?

Tundra Sauna

Perfectly juxtaposed luxury: guests can rest and relax in the comfort and warmth of the sauna while enjoying the spectacular views outside.?

Tundra Spa

Offering a variety of treatments exclusively crafted for our guests, the spa and adjacent steam room allow passengers; to fully relax and unwind before their next off-ship adventure.

Wellness Centre

A modern space featuring three distinct areas where guests can unwind before their next adventure: a luxurious spa with a wide range of treatments, a state-of-the-art sauna featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, and a fully equipped fitness room with separate yoga space.

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.

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 among 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.

Cabin Information

SHOWERS AND TOILETSEach cabin has a private bathroom with shower and heated floors, toilet and wash basin. Shampoo, conditioner and shower gel are provided for your use.ELECTRIC CURRENTThe electrical supply on board is 220 volts, 50 Hz. Passengers coming from the USA and Canada may need to bring a small 220v/110v converter. Before you buy a converter, check your electronics, as most modern cameras, computers and devices are already compatible to use 220/110 volts.The electrical outlets found in your cabin and around the ship accept standard European two round pin plugs, so you may need to bring a travel adapter. You’ll also find a USB outlet at each bedside, and some in the public presentation spaces.Please be aware that the electricity supply may not be sufficient to power your electronic devices at all times. It is recommended that you check the voltage of your device before plugging it in, as the device may be damaged if the incoming voltage is higher than that for which it is manufactured. Please see www.quarkexpeditions.com/en/terms-and-conditions for more information.HAIRDRYERSThere is a hair dryer included in each cabin.BATHROBESThe bathrobes in your cabins are on loan for you to enjoy for the duration of your expedition.VALUABLESPlease store your valuables in the safe in your cabin. We recommend you travel with as few valuables as possible.

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.

Life at Sea

During days at sea, you’ll enjoy lectures and workshops presented by our Expedition Team and spend time on deck looking for seabirds and cetaceans. Other days are packed full with multiple landings, Zodiac cruises and activities. Exhausting or relaxing, smiles abound as do great meals from your onboard chefs!We have a number of policies and procedures that help make sure things run smoothly on the Ultramarine, so take a look below to help get the most out of your time aboard.SCHEDULE CHANGESWhile a daily program will be posted, sometimes new opportunities present themselves on short notice – so expect the unexpected and enjoy knowing that staff members are always here to make sure your expedition is as memorable and enjoyable as possible!SAFETY ON BOARD AND ASHOREYour safety and security are a top priority for our Expedition Team and crew members. Knowing how to safely move about your ship, act ashore and handle both wet and dry landings will help ensure you have a hassle-free expedition. Please take time to read the instructions in this important safety section.SAFETY WHILE ON DECKBe careful while walking around the outer decks, as footing can be slippery. Always use the handrails and wear proper closed-toe, nonslip footwear. Slip-on sandals, slippers or flip flops are neither safe nor suitable for wearing on board.STAIRS & DOORSThere are high steps in many doorways that lead to the outer decks, please watch your step and proceed with caution. When passing through doorways or walking in your room, do not place your hands around the edges of doors. Be aware that if doors are not closed or latched open properly, they present a danger and can open or close violently and unexpectedly as the ship moves across the sea.SAFETY BRIEFING & LIFEBOAT DRILLBy international maritime law, you must participate in an emergency drill within 24 hours of sailing. Upon embarkation, you will have a safety briefing to outline appropriate behavior on board, and emergency procedures. Afterward, a drill will be conducted to familiarize you with your lifeboat, life vest and emergency evacuation route. This mandatory drill will be scheduled as soon as possible by the Expedition Leader. You will be provided with full details after you embark.CONDUCT ASHOREFor safety reasons, never walk alone while ashore. Always travel with someone else, or as part of a group.If weather conditions deteriorate the Captain will sound the return to ship signal (continuous short blasts). If you hear this, immediately return to the landing area or follow instructions from staff members.Do not litter. Take only photos and leave only footprints.Be punctual, as on time boarding and efficient landings mean we’ll have more time to explore at future landings. HELICOPTER SAFETYThe Ultramarine provides an expedition adventure above that of many other ships – by taking you on helicopter excursions. Helicopters allow us to take you on aerial sightseeing adventures, to bays that are inaccessible to shore landings, as well as glaciers high atop mountains!Please see your expedition brochure for details on whether helicopter activities are offered on your itinerary, as helicopter operations are not permitted in certain regions (for example, Svalbard and South Georgia). Weather conditions permitting, you will find that we make good use of the helicopter operations. As your safety is our first concern, a mandatory briefing will be held before the first helicopter excursion. You will be required to sign the Helicopter Waiver form before your first flight. Please note that the decision to fly is ultimately up to the Pilot in Command who will be working closely with the Captain and Expedition Leader.You will be assigned to a small group for your flightseeing excursion. Please note that as weather factors and time constraints can shorten the time available for helicopter flights on any given day, no particular day or time can be guaranteed for flightseeing, and all helicopter operations are weather- and logistics-dependent. DRESS APPROPRIATELY FOR SAFETYThere is some possibility that you could be stranded ashore or on the ice for a period of hours until conditions improve for your helicopter to return. In the unlikely event that you are grounded for a long duration, the Expedition Team will prepare a base camp with a large tent for shelter and emergency supplies. Be sure to always dress warmly in layers, including your Quark Expeditions® parka as your outer layer which is weatherproof in case this eventuality occurs. Bring along extra clothes and water in a small waterproof backpack on each of your helicopter rides. ADVENTURE TAKES TIMEBe aware that even in the best conditions, it may take six hours for 100 people to make a 20-minute helicopter flight inland. For efficient operations, weather, or refueling and maintenance, the helicopter may not be available for you to return immediately.PROCEDURES FOR BOARDING A HELICOPTER:Dress warmly for all excursions.Follow instructions from the Helicopter Team on life jacket procedures during helicopter excursions.Watch your footing on deck, walk slowly and deliberately.Stay clear of the helicopter deck.Remain at the muster area well away from the helicopter deck until instructed by the Helicopter Team.When in a hurry, slow down – the noise of the helicopter can be unsettling.An Helicopter Team member will always direct you to the helicopter doors.Always approach and leave the helicopter from the front.Never approach and leave the helicopter unsupervised.Beware of the down-draft.Ensure that your belongings are properly secured.Carry long items, such as tripods or walking sticks, below your waistline.

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.

Onboard Procedures

WATERAll passengers receive an eco-friendly, reusable water bottle in their cabin upon arrival. There are water filling stations throughout the ship.ONBOARD ACCOUNTSTo make things as stress-free as possible, items you purchase from the Polar Boutique, lounge or bar (including drinks) are charged to your ship account. Cabin charges can also include laundry, postage, communication charges and adventure options booked on board (space permitting). Payments of shipboard accounts are made towards the end of the expedition, at the reception area. The US dollar is the standard currency on board. You can use cash, Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit cards to pay your shipboard account. Personal checks are not accepted.Note: If you are sharing a cabin and would like separate accounts, you must advise reception.GRATUITIESWe 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. 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 among our hotel and expedition team members.BRIDGE VISITSDuring your voyage you may be given access to the Bridge, where you can observe how the Captain and officers sail and navigate the ship. However, the Captain and Bridge officers do restrict access during arrivals and departures from port and during times of complicated navigation. As the Bridge is an important working area on the ship, we ask that you keep noise to a minimum to avoid distracting the officers from conducting their jobs efficiently. Understandably, Bridge etiquette includes a ‘no eating, drinking or smoking’ policy.ELEVATORThe onboard elevator system is available for travel between decks. However, for your safety this elevator will be shut down during any periods of inclement weather.

Our Polar Promise: Polar Exploration and Sustainability

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. Through Polar Promise, our comprehensive sustainability strategy framework, we’ve incorporated existing sustainability initiatives into a cohesive plan so we can identify where we can do better or do more.“Quark Expeditions recognizes its responsibility to do more to protect these magnificent places,” says Andrew White, President of Quark Expeditions. “We want to go beyond reducing our footprint. We want to work with other leaders in the industry and with our guests to address the complex and challenging issues facing the polar regions.”Our Polar Promise framework is made up of four pillars. Each addresses a different aspect of our business, our operations—and ultimately your journey.

Our Sustainability Initiatives

Quark Expeditions is profoundly committed to environmentally responsible tourism.As a long-time, active member of both the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO), and the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO), Quark adheres to stringent guidelines° designed to ensure the Polar Regions remain pristine for generations to come.Our Sustainability InitiativesWe were the first operator to offer inclusive CarbonNeutral® voyages on the Ocean DiamondQuark’s flights on the Antarctic Express Fly-Cruise program are carbon offset and help the conservation of 38,000 hectares of native forest in the Magallanes region of ChileAll Quark team air travel is carbon offsetOur vessels burn Marine Gas Oil (MGO) – a clean burning fuel with a low emission factorQuark conforms to all international regulations/policies governing disposal of waste at seaWe serve only sustainable seafoodWe use eco-friendly laundry chemicals° & cabin amenitiesWe provide every passenger with a reusable water bottleWe use only recycled, acid-free paper onboard and limit paper useWe use recycled paper and acid free inks in the manufacture of our brochuresOur Charitable WorkQuark has been a proud ambassador of the Polar Regions since 1991. Thanks to our passengers, Quark’s onboard° auctions have raised an average of $150,000 each season for charities dedicated to sustainability and conservation in the places we visit.This year, Quark will support the following charities:Polar Bears InternationalPolar Bears international is dedicated to the worldwide conservation of the polar bear and its sea-ice home through research, education, and stewardship.Clean Up SvalbardThe governor of Svalbard, through Clean Up Svalbard, enlists the aid of tourism companies like Quark Expeditions to collect refuse from beaches and wilderness areas.Underwater Bait SetterThe Underwater Bait Setter is a project designed to deliver a new piece of fishing equipment that sets longline hooks underwater to prevent seabird by catch. The BS30 is the first° device of its kind in the world. It has the potential to solve the seabird by catch problem in longline fisheries once and for all.Penguin LifelinesPenguin Lifelines is a project run by Dr. Tom Hart researching the threats to Antarctic penguins. Done in collaboration with Oxford University, ZSL, Oceanites, Stony Brook and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, long-term monitoring is being used in the field, along with a genetic analysis of penguin feathers, to get a complete picture of how populations are changing.

Partnerships: Conservation and Impact in Polar Environments

Quark Expeditions aims to be the leading expedition investor in outreach projects within the polar regions, working with a wide circumpolar network of scientists, community leaders, and sustainable innovators. Our goal is to contribute a minimum of $500,000 USD each year through in-kind donations, Quark Expeditions funding, and funds from passenger auctions in support of key polar environmental research, community engagement and sustainable development projects.Nalunaiqsijiit, the Inuit Cruise Training Initiative, is a program dedicated to providing Nunavummiut with the qualifications and certifications required to work onboard expedition cruise ships, through in situ training and experience onboard ships. Quark Expeditions is excited to have hosted two Nalunaiqsijiit interns onboard Ocean Adventurer during the 2019 Arctic season, and have invited an additional four during the 2019/20 Antarctic Season.Thanks to our guests’ support, proceeds from Quark Expeditions’ onboard auctions have contributed an average of $200,000 each year to organizations dedicated to polar environmental research, community engagement, and sustainable development projects.Some of the organizations we’re supporting this year include the South Georgia Heritage Trust, Penguin Watch, Seabird Watch, and Polar Bears International.

Planet: Reducing Our Footprint and Building Resilience

When it comes to our footprint, the most substantial impact we can have is how we get you, our guest, to the remote Polar environments and how we preserve those majestic environments once we get there.Quark Expeditions aims to reduce our carbon emissions per passenger by 10% through fleet improvements and changes in order to reduce our impact. We’re working with our supply chain to measure, report and reduce their emissions, and our office and field operations aim to reuse or recycle 100% of waste on Quark Expeditions-owned vessels.In 2019, an analysis of our historical ship fuel consumption showed that we decreased emissions by 13% from the 5-year average emissions per passenger per day. The purpose of this analysis was to establish a baseline and to further reduce our Scope 1 carbon emissions.In terms of waste, Quark Expeditions has taken steps to reduce the amount of waste we are sending to landfills, including avoiding single-use plastics and partnering in the SeaGreen recycling initiative in Ushuaia. We’re working towards a zero-waste plan on Quark Expeditions-owned vessels.

Principles: Embedding Responsible Business Practices

Quark Expeditions aims to be the leader in responsible polar tourism, the ‘go-to’ operator for conscious travelers and the preferred partner of the world’s most responsible brands. As a polar-focused tourism operator, our sustainability principles are integral to every decision we make, whether it’s in the polar wilderness or in the places we work every day. We employ the best people in the industry and will lead the industry in the diversification of our workforce. We work to reduce our impact, catalyze change in the industry and help improve our suppliers’ operations.We’re proud, long-time members in key industry organizations, such as the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) and the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO). We adhere to these organizations’ stringent guidelines, which are designed to ensure the Polar Regions are protected for future generations.

Smoking

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.

Wi-Fi and Bar Service

Because Quark Expeditions’ fleet of small polar vessels carry a maximum of 199 guests, there’s an almost instant camaraderie and intimacy that you won’t get on larger cruise ships. Within your first day or two of your expedition, you’ll be on first-name basis with many of your fellow guests, as well as with members of the Expedition Team. That invariably means you’ll spend time together on ship sharing your day’s adventures, showing one another favourite wildlife photographs taken during your off-ship adventures—quite possibly over a drink in one of the on-ship bars or lounges. Great news! As of our Antarctic 2024/25 sailing season, beer, standard wines and spirits, as well as cocktails, will be available to guests at no charge during bar service hours and dinner as part of our “Raise a Glass and Stay Connected” campaign. This complimentary bar service is available to all guests.Just as our free Wi-Fi will help you stay connected with friends and family, our complimentary bar service helps you connect and spend time with your fellow guests on your voyage. After all, making connections is one of the most memorable experiences of exploring remote parts of the Arctic and Antarctic regions with like-minded travelers.  

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Check out our Q&As

  • 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

Dates & Availability

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Instant Booking Available

Monday - Sunday

Jan 06, 2025 - Jan 19, 2025
$23186 $22027 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$1159 (USD)

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Tuesday - Monday

Feb 04, 2025 - Feb 17, 2025
$18337 $17420 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$917 (USD)

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Friday - Thursday

Feb 07, 2025 - Feb 20, 2025
$20091 $19086 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$1005 (USD)

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Saturday - Friday

Mar 01, 2025 - Mar 14, 2025
$17648 $16765 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$882 (USD)

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Tuesday - Monday

Mar 04, 2025 - Mar 17, 2025
$13393 $12724 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$670 (USD)

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Tuesday - Monday

Jan 06, 2026 - Jan 19, 2026
$16744 $15907 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$837 (USD)

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Monday - Sunday

Feb 09, 2026 - Feb 22, 2026
$15772 $14983 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$789 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Friday

Feb 28, 2026 - Mar 13, 2026
$13443 $12771 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$672 (USD)

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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