Three Arctic Islands: Iceland, Greenland, Spitsbergen

Three Arctic Islands: Iceland, Greenland, Spitsbergen

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tourhub | Quark Expeditions | Three Arctic Islands: Iceland, Greenland, Spitsbergen | three-arctic-islands:-iceland,-greenland,-spitsbergen-reykjavík-longyearbyen-15-days-ocean-adventurer
15 Days
From

$8865

$8466

Three Arctic Islands: Iceland, Greenland, Spitsbergen

15 Days Starting in Reykjavík and ending in Longyearbyen

Visiting: Reykjavík, Spitsbergen, Longyearbyen

Tour operator:

Quark Expeditions

Ship Name:
Ocean Adventurer
Ship Capacity:

128

Tour operated in:
English
Activities:

Boat/Cruise Excursion

From:
$8865
$8466 Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$399

NB: Prices correct on 19-May-2024 but subject to change.

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

Tour Overview

Named one of National Geographic Traveler’s 50 Tours of a Lifetime, this unforgettable voyage begins above the Arctic Circle at Spitsbergen, the “wildlife capital of the Arctic,” ventures to the spectacular, remote landscape of East Greenland, and ends in Iceland.In Spitsbergen, you’ll visit spectacular glacier fronts, steep-walled fjords and wind-swept tundra, where wildlife sightings include walrus, polar bears, Svalbard reindeer and thousands of birds. During your tour of Greenland’s remote eastern coast, you’ll explore the remains of ancient Thule settlements and keep an eye out for grazing muskoxen—40 percent of the world’s muskoxen population lives here.The towering cliffs, massive glaciers, rugged fjords and vast swaths of untouched tundra in these breathtaking environments will provide sights, sounds and scenes you’ve never experienced, permanently transforming your connection to the planet we call home. Explore the amazing Arctic, immerse yourself in the beauty and fragility of a wondrous region, and return with unique memories that will last a lifetime.

Itinerary

Expand All

Day 1 : Reykjavík

Location: Reykjavík

Your Arctic expedition begins in Reykjavik. Arrive in the Icelandic capital in the morning and make your way to your included hotel. You will have the day to explore the city on your own.

Day 2 : Reykjavík

Location: Reykjavík

This afternoon, you’ll board your vessel and begin your expedition. Get ready for a great adventure ahead!

Day 11 : Spitsbergen

Location: Spitsbergen

Exploring Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago, rewards you with austere beauty and opportunities to spot its abundant wildlife. Here, you’ll visit spectacular glacier fronts and and tundra in full bloom, with walrus, polar bears and Svalbard reindeer amongst your possible wildlife sightings. Birders will be thrilled to see Arctic terns, skuas, and Brünnich’s guillemots.

Day 12 : Spitsbergen

Location: Spitsbergen

Exploring Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago, rewards you with austere beauty and opportunities to spot its abundant wildlife. Here, you’ll visit spectacular glacier fronts and and tundra in full bloom, with walrus, polar bears and Svalbard reindeer amongst your possible wildlife sightings. Birders will be thrilled to see Arctic terns, skuas, and Brünnich’s guillemots.

Day 13 : Spitsbergen

Location: Spitsbergen

Exploring Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago, rewards you with austere beauty and opportunities to spot its abundant wildlife. Here, you’ll visit spectacular glacier fronts and and tundra in full bloom, with walrus, polar bears and Svalbard reindeer amongst your possible wildlife sightings. Birders will be thrilled to see Arctic terns, skuas, and Brünnich’s guillemots.

Day 14 : Spitsbergen

Location: Spitsbergen

Exploring Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago, rewards you with austere beauty and opportunities to spot its abundant wildlife. Here, you’ll visit spectacular glacier fronts and and tundra in full bloom, with walrus, polar bears and Svalbard reindeer amongst your possible wildlife sightings. Birders will be thrilled to see Arctic terns, skuas, and Brünnich’s guillemots.

Day 15 : Longyearbyen

Location: Longyearbyen

The time to say goodbye has come. Your adventure ends in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here, we’ll transfer you to the airport for your return group charter flight to Helsinki, included in the transfer package.

Ship Details

Ocean Adventurer

Image Of Ship

Ocean Adventurer has long been a fleet favorite among guests and crew who’ve appreciated the charm and intimacy of this 128-passenger vessel, its ample outdoor deck space, numerous cozy spots to socialize onboard—and the outdoor jacuzzi. A few years ago, Ocean Adventurer underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation involving a talented team of marine architects, engineers, interior designers and polar expedition specialists. Quark Expeditions is proud of the enhancements to the much-loved polar vessel—which subsequently won the Travel Weekly Magellan Award for Overall Small Cruise Ship (500 passengers or under).

Ship Name:

Ocean Adventurer

Adults Only Areas:

adults only

Ship Children Facilities:

none

Ship Nursery:

none

Smoking Areas:

some

Ship Size:

boutique

Ship Class:

Ice

Ship Style:

expedition

Ship Type:

ocean

Ship Currency:

USD

Ship Language:

en

Ship Capacity:

128

Ship Crew Count:

87

Number of Decks:

4

Number of Cabins:

54

Ship Launch Year:

1975

Ship Refit Year:

2017

Ship Gross Tonnage:

4364

Ship Length (Meters):

101 M

Ship Width (Meters):

16.3 M

Ship Speed (Knots):

12 Kn

Bridge Deck

BridgeOwner's Suites

Captain's Deck

Polar LibraryClinicSuiteSuperior CabinDeluxe Cabin

Lower Deck

Lower Deck Twin

Main Deck

Zodiac Boarding RoomsGymMain Deck Twin Window CabinMain Deck Twin Porthole CabinTriple Cabin

Observation Deck

Observation Deck

Upper Deck

Dining RoomClipper ClubMain LoungeReceptionPolar BoutiqueSuperior Cabin

63 outside cabins with exterior views and en-suite facilities

TV in every cabin

Lower Deck Twin (Grade OAD-LD )

A Lower Deck Twin cabin has two lower berths, private facilities, and a porthole with exterior views. Please note that porthole covers may be closed during sea days or during inclement weather as a safety precaution.

Triple (Grade OAD-TPL )

A Triple Cabin has two lower berths and one upper berth, private facilities, and a porthole with exterior views. Please note that porthole covers may be closed during sea days or during inclement weather as a safety precaution.

Suite (Grade OAD-STE )

A Suite has a double bed, windows with exterior views, private facilities.

Deluxe (Grade OAD-DLX )

A Deluxe Cabin has two lower berths, private facilities, and windows with exterior views.

Main Deck Twin Window (Grade OAD-MDW )

A Main Deck Twin Window cabin has two lower berths, private facilities, and two windows with exterior views.

Main Deck Twin Porthole (Grade OAD-MDP )

A Main Deck Twin Porthole cabin has two lower berths, private facilities, and a porthole with exterior views. Please note that porthole covers may be closed during sea days or during inclement weather as a safety precaution.

Superior (Grade OAD-SUP )

A Superior cabin has two lower berths, private facilities, and windows with exterior views. Note: this cabin has either corner or parallel bed configuration.

Owner's Suite (Grade OAD-OWN )

An Owner's Suite has a double bed and private sitting room. One features a large panoramic window facing aft, and the other two suites face port and starboard. Cabin 403 has a bathtub; other Owner's Suites have showers.

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).

Dining Room

There is one dining room located on the Upper Deck. If there is one constant at sea, it is that you’ll enjoy delicious meals on a daily basis. While meal times may change due to landings and wildlife encounters, you’ll always be served three meals a day.

Bar staffed by a professional bartender

Polar Boutique

Multi-purpose lounge and presentation room

Polar Library with a large collection of polar books

Bar

The well-stocked bar on the ship is open to enjoy with your fellow shipmates in the late morning, afternoon and evening. Soft drinks, juices and water are available at no cost, and beer and wine are offered with dinner. A selection of liquors, spirits, and premium beer, wine and champagne is available and can be charged to your shipboard account.Please note that it is Quark Expeditions®’ policy to not serve alcoholic beverages to persons under the age of 18 years. 

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.

Clipper Club

Enjoy a more private dining experience in the Clipper Club, just off of the main Dining Room.

Library

On the Captain's Deck you will find a library of polar books, reference and general reading materials in multiple languages covering subjects like wildlife, history, marine biology, ecology and geology. The library is open 24 hours a day and also includes a selection of games for your entertainment.

Main Lounge and Lecture Hall

Our theater-style auditorium in the Main Lounge on the Upper Deck can accommodate everyone onboard, so it serves as our main lecture hall where presentations and movies are provided for your education and enjoyment.

Polar Boutique

If you forgot any essentials or need a little souvenir from your voyage, the Polar Boutique on Deck 5 is our onboard gift shop.

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

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.

Heli-Hiking

ArcticOur 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

ArcticYou 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 sunscreenCamera (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.

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.

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 children's facilities on board.

There is a gym on the main deck.

Gym

Located on the Main Deck, gym hours are posted at the door, with facilities available on a first come, first served basis.

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

Laundry service is available on every ship. Costs are reasonable. Excess baggage charges will often exceed laundry charges, so we recommend that you pack fewer items and use the laundry service to refresh your wardrobe.

Life at Sea

What is life like on an expedition? 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 Ocean Adventurer, so take a look below to help get the most out of your time aboard.SCHEDULE CHANGESWhile the daily program is posted in the lobby, 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 ONBOARD AND ASHOREYour safety and security is 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 & LIFE BOAT 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, using the ship’s horn. 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. 

Medical Facilities

MEDICAL CLINICThe Clinic is located on the Captain’s Deck. In case of emergency, the doctor is available 24 hours a day, and can be contacted through reception or any member of the Expedition Team.DOCTORQuark provides an English-speaking doctor onboard 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.

On Board Procedures

WATERAll passengers receive an eco-friendly, reusable water bottle in their cabin upon arrival. The Expedition Team will brief you on the location of filling stations on the ship.ON BOARD 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 onboard (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 onboard. 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 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.ANNOUNCEMENTSAnnouncements in English over the ship’s public address system will alert you to wildlife sightings, itinerary changes, and landing instructions for going ashore. Announcements can be heard in cabins and all public spaces.On some voyages, where non-English-speaking groups travel with us, announcements will be repeated in other languages. Out of courtesy to other travelers, we ask that you remain quiet during all announcements – even those made in languages that are not your own.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.ENVIRONMENTAL POLICYHelp us take care of our environment! To keep our land and waters clean, kindly use all trash receptacles on board. Never throw anything over the side of the ship. Due to the complicated process of desalinating sea water for use on board, guests are asked to practice water conservation at all times.BATTERY DISPOSALPlease do not throw old batteries in your cabin garbage. Kindly bring them to reception for proper disposal.LOST & FOUNDIf you find any misplaced items, please bring them to reception or give them to a member of the Expedition Team. If you lose anything yourself, advise our staff so that they can assist you.

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. 

The Bridge

Quark’s Expedition team members are all Polar-passionate and are seasoned veterans with rich backgrounds in marine biology, history, geology and more. Many are skilled Zodiac drivers and kayakers. Quark offers one of the highest staff-to-guest ratios in the expedition world. And that means more expert guidance for your trip-of-a-lifetime, not to mention you'll be spending time with some of the most fascinating people on the planet!

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.  

Wi-Fi and Communications

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.To access email or internet, you can purchase a pre-paid PIN card from reception. Data PIN cards can be used to access the internet from personal computers, tablets and smartphones. These cards are based on data used, not time connected, and can be consumed very quickly if you are not careful about what services are running in the background on your device(s). Once purchased, your PIN card will grant you access to 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 may also choose to set up a temporary ship-board email account. These special Webmail accounts are specifically geared towards satellite communications and will be a more efficient, lower-cost alternative to data service. Accounts are set up for a small charge, and include up to 200KB of text-only transmission per day. Additional emails can be sent over this amount for an additional charge.Making phone calls from the ship will also require the purchase of a pre-paid PIN Card. Voice PIN cards allow calling from your cabin or guest telephones to shore telephones at various rates per minute - dependent on location and type of phone you are calling (calling mobile phones tends to be more expensive).Current prices for these optional services will be available at reception. Please note we cannot provide refunds for unused voice or data cards. 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.

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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

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  • 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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