Antarctic Explorer: Discovering the 7th Continent

Quark Expeditions
4.0 . Great
74%
Travel Style: Array Relaxed
Physical Level: Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment. Easy
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Comfort (4*)
11 days
From: $ 5,495 $ 500 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • Witness and explore the highlights of the Antarctic Peninsula;
  • Be aboard one of Quark’s specially designed ice strengthened vessels;
  • Learn about the environment and wildlife from onboard lecturers and specialists;
  • Witness the abundant wildlife - penguins, seals, whales and more!

Short Description

This expedition offers the perfect chance to discover the best of the Antarctic Peninsula, the last continent’s most northern region. You’ll be delighted by penguins, seals and whales as they accompany you on your journey along the Antarctic coastline. Landing on the continent itself is a memorable highlight, where you’ll explore the iconic sights that make this one of the world’s most pristine, exotic and unforgettable natural environments.

Style Small ship cruise
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Comfort (4*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions All internal ground transport
Start City Ushuaia
End City Ushuaia

Itinerary

Day 1 — Ushuaia, Argentina

With a population of more than 63,000 people, Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world. The city has grown over the past few years, yet it has retained an easy going and accessible feel. With the sea to the south and mountains to the north, Ushuaia is a spectacular departure point for your Antarctic cruise. If you arrive early, you can spend some time in the nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park, enjoy some Argentinean wines and barbeques in the city, or visit the many boutique shops and cafés before you leave for your expedition to Antarctica.

Day 2 — Embarkation Day

Embarkation will occur in the late afternoon, after which your vessel will sail down the historic Beagle Channel. This famous channel transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Expect an air of excitement as you depart—the next time you see land you’ll be in the world’s most southern continent!

Days 3 and 4 — Crossing the Drake Passage

Prepare yourself for potentially rough water, but hope for a smooth sailing as the Drake is unpredictable and always changing. You’ll spend these first days getting to know your shipmates, while we’ll provide safety briefings and insights into what excitement lies ahead.

Days 5 to 8 — South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula

When the Antarctic Convergence is left in our wake, you will truly begin your Antarctic adventure. It is perhaps the first sight of land itself that is embraced as the true beginning of any Antarctic expedition.

You can begin to appreciate why this region has long captivated the attention of explorers and travelers alike. Every time we visit Antarctica we witness something new or unexpected, meaning your expedition will be unlike any other—creating a unique, personal experience. We will take Zodiac excursions from the ship to explore bays, channels and landing sites each day. 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 the southern seal species, including the cunning leopard seal.

The majesty of the Peninsula’s mountains will enchant you as you scramble up snowy pathways to vantage points offering you 360° views of your surroundings. One of these in particular, in Orne Harbour, gives the opportunity to visit a chinstrap penguin colony high up on a ridge. Here you’ll have the choice between going for a mountain hike or spending time sitting quietly on a pebbled beach to enjoy the antics of curious penguins. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, participating in the Polar Plunge swim is about as crazy as it gets! Amidst the serene silence of Antarctica, noisy interludes now become indelible memories, such as penguins squabbling over prized pebbles, or the boom and crack of a calving glacier in Neko Harbour.

Every day will be different, having been carefully crafted by your Expedition Team so as to entertain and educate you about this wonderful part of the world.

Days 9 and 10 — Drake Passage to Ushuaia

The journey back across the Drake Passage provides you with some final opportunities to enjoy the crisp Antarctic air. Spend time on the deck watching for seabirds and scouting for whales, enjoy a few final presentations by your Expedition Team or simply relax and reminisce about your experiences.

Day 11 — Disembarkation in Ushuaia

You will arrive in Ushuaia in the morning allowing for you to continue your adventure on land or catch your flights home.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 5,495
Price Per Day: $ 500 per day

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Quark Expeditions.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

77 Quark Expeditions Travel Reviews & Ratings

74%
4.0 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 56
Great 2
Average 0
Disappointing 1
Terrible 18
Value
4.0
Guide
4.0
Activities
4.0
Lodging
4.0
Transportation
4.0
Meals
4.0

Antarctic Explorer: Discovering the 7th Continent

Company is a scam

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
This company cancelled our trip 3 times due to COVID. The most recent cancellation was less than 10 days notice. When we tried to re-book this time for a later date (our fourth reservation with them), they charged us over $10,000 more for the EXACT same itinerary even after their 100% guarantee says they have a voyage-for-voyage exchange on cancelled trips and we would be able to exchange the trip for the same itinerary. Now they've changed their rules to say they only have 1 date available that's approved for "exchanges." So our original booking, which was the week of Christmas, now has to be some random week when conditions are not as good and we won't even see Antarctica in the season we wanted. For the EXACT same itinerary as we already booked and paid for (and they kept the money for over 2 years for, while continuing to cancel our trips) they want 10k+ more to book. This is a scam and these people have kept our money for going on 3 years now with absolutely no intent to honor their "guarantee." This company has been a nightmare from the beginning and I highly recommend you book with someone else.
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Company Reviews

Terrible company.

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
Terrible company. It has taken me 10 months to finally get the refund from the trip me and my wife had booked (Aberdeen to svalbard). Quark refused to refund for the first 7 months saying they didn't cancel the trip (even though it didn’t run and the boat was at anchor in a different country) i was told that the trip has been re scheduled and not cancelled so legally they do not have to refund me. I hope Andrew white the ceo is proud of his decision to steal hard earned money from customers and make them fight for months to get back what is rightfully there's. After 7 months of me constantly badgering the travel agent i booked through and quark directly they agreed to refund my money but it will take them 90 days to process this refund. Its amazing quark can accept payments automatically but needs 90 days to return payments. If you are booking with quark now on there new refund terms be careful of the wording. It says IF THEY CANCEL THE TRIP which quark will not do, they will re schedule it for another date 12 months or more away, ie next years trip which you will then have to pay the price increases to them as well. Avoid at all costs.
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So much excitement yet letdown after letdown

2.0
Details
Value2.0
Guide2.0
Activities2.0
Lodging2.0
Transportation2.0
Meals2.0
My wife and I recently planned and booked a trip to Antarctica with Quark. We were thrilled about the opportunity and had done the research to ensure we could make it happen. We chose Quark because of there great marketing and reviews and leadership with the expeditions in the area.

Everything was great until we actually went to go book. It started off by experiencing an abnormal 3 week delay in response to our request to book a tour. Then once we did and responded with specifics about what to book and where to send the deposit, another long delay. Eventually Quark made the decision to cancel all of its upcoming trips until March 2021. They presented options on how to reconcile any prepayments. We responded with how we would like to move forward. THREE MONTHS LATER, we get a response that they had a technical error preventing them from being able to provide refunds without having to send over specific bank details. Poor customer service in general. Maybe we will have forgotten by the time we go to book this again in the future, but other travelers should know.

TLDR: Great marketing, terrible service.
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Warning

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
Warning
I booked a trip to the Arctic Circle 2021 on 08/28 and paid a deposit.
On 09/10 Quark canceled the trip and informed me today that the repayment will take up to 90 days due to the high workload!
I assume that Quark knew about the cancellation at the End of August and managed to collect my money in 2 days despite the workload.
I would like the money back that fast!
With the cancellation, Quark made a promise that it would be very easy to rebook in 2022, fo the same voyage, the same ship and the same price (or two options for money back).
Well, nothing was easy, because the promise could not be kept, since 2 trips in 2021 will only become one trip in 2022.
First they had a single cabin for me, then suddenly they didn't.
Instead of offering me another shared cabin at the price of the booking period - there was an early bird discount - they offered a single cabin for 34,000.00 and told me that the prices in 2022 were now higher.
Where was the promise?
And now they keep my money up to 90 days. This is really bad style Quark Expeditions!
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Do NOT book with Quark

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
Do NOT book with Quark. Please please please take your hard earned money elsewhere. Due to Covid, our voyage was cancelled for January 2021 which is totally acceptable. Times are tough and businesses need to make the right decisions for their employees, their investors and their future. However, by not taking care of customers, they have failed miserably. Quark wanted to book us on a future voyage instead (great!) but then proceeds to tell us that all of the options that we have paid for are not available - so a lesser product. Additionally, before the voyage was cancelled, we had friends that we travel with frequently shop for the same trip. The price was lower each time (again, typical business practice and understood by me as someone that works in both marketing and in the travel space), but the issue is that Quark refuses to do a price adjustment (we have screenshots sent from friends of what that price was). Noted here, per Quark's cancellation policy, we could have cancelled and rebooked on that same trip at the lower rate ($3k per person lower rate). However, when we contacted Quark at that time, we received no response as they were clearly deciding how to solve the challenge they created by having a cancellation policy that was in conflict with their pricing strategy. So instead of just making it right for the customer, Quark has lost a customer. Simple price adjustment, date change to the same excursion we booked and decent customer service would have built some loyal customers that can easily influence others to give their product a try. Quark has failed us, do not let them fail you. There are plenty of other options available.
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Details

Ship Name

Ocean Diamond

Ship Stats

Staff and Crew: 144
Guests: 189
Length: 124 meters
Breadth: 16 meters

Draft: 4.9 meters
Propulsion: 2 Wichmann Engines, 7375 horsepower
Ice Class: 1D

Cruising Speed: 15.5 knots
Registration: Nassau, Bahamas
Lifeboats: 2 fully enclosed

Ship Description

The Ocean Diamond is a modern, stable super-yacht, and one of the largest of our small expedition ships. Carrying a maximum of 189 passengers, and with two stabilizers and an ice-strengthened hull, this outstanding vessel is ideal for polar expeditions.

As one of the fastest, and most eco-friendly ships in Antarctica, it is also one of the most comfortable. There are 101 elegantly designed cabins and suites, all with exterior views, and expansive common spaces, a club lounge, and a spacious restaurant. The ship offers numerous adventure options, plus onboard features such as interactions with photography instructors. After a full day of exploration, passengers can relax, browse books or DVDs in the well-stocked polar library, or enjoy stunning polar scenery from the sun-lit, panoramic observation lounge.

Passengers traveling to one of the world's most remote destinations will also do so in a "greener” fashion; the Ocean Diamond is the first ship in Antarctica, and in polar travel history, to offer certified CarbonNeutral® voyages.

Deck & Cabin Plans

All Deck & Cabin Plans (affiliate link) Trip Photos (affiliate link)

Flight & Transport Inclusions

All internal ground transport

Group Size

Standard Group - 25 + people

Trip ID#:

antexpqua

What's excluded

  • Any airfare unless otherwise specified in the itinerary.
  • Passport and visa expenses.
  • Government arrival and departure taxes.
  • Any meals ashore with the exception of breakfast at the host hotel before embarkation and lunch on specified fly and cruise programs.
  • Baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance.
  • Excess baggage charges.
  • Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified.
  • Telecommunications charges.
  • The voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew.
  • Massage services.

Meals Included

All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage

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