Falklands, South Georgia, and Antarctica

Quark Expeditions
4.0 . Great
74%
Travel Style: Array Relaxed
Physical Level: Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment. 2- Easy
Lodging Level: The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury (5*)
20 days
From: $ 13,795 $ 690 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • Explore the world’s seventh continent on the Antarctic Peninsula by ship, Zodiac and on foot.
  • Learn about Antarctica’s unique geology, history and wildlife with an expert team of lecturers.
  • See the incredible wildlife of South Georgia, often referred to as “the Galapagos of the South.” This includes more than 30 species of breeding birds, including four species of Penguin.
  • Follow in the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s perilous voyages on South Georgia and pause for a moment at his graveside.
  • Explore the quaint, British town of Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands.
  • On board lecturers and educational presentations from Polar Specialists.

Short Description

This is a truly epic adventure through the remote Falkland Islands, the wildlife paradise of South Georgia, and the extraordinary landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula. You’ll enjoy unforgettable encounters with untamed wildlife in a vast, dramatic and spectacular setting.

You’ll take a step back in time at historically significant sites. And you’ll be mesmerized by the rich diversity and contrasts that make these regions so captivating and unique. Watch a wild, isolated and extreme world come to life, as scores of penguins dive for food, elephant seals bathe in the sun and pods of orcas pass you by. You’ll be transported to your own wildlife documentary, staged in a magnificent setting of mountains, sea and ice.

Style Small ship cruise
Off the beaten track trips will stretch your comfort zone. They don't always feature tourist highlights, but dive deeper into local life and culture.
Itinerary Focus Off the Beaten Path
The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.
Lodging Level Luxury (5*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions All internal ground transport
Start City Ushuaia
End City Ushuaia

Itinerary

Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina

Your gateway for this expedition is Ushuaia, Argentina. Nestled within the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, Ushuaia offers you a small-town feel but has many shops, museums, cafes and restaurants to enjoy before your voyage. If you’re feeling adventurous, the nearby national park and Martial Glacier offer plenty of hiking and outdoor activities.

Day 2: Embarkation Day

As we embark, the anticipation and excitement grows. Trade your land legs for sea legs, meet and greet your fellow travelers and get acquainted with your ship. As every Antarctic adventure presents new opportunities and experiences, Embarkation day is just as exciting for your Expedition Team as it is for you. They’re onboard to ensure your comfort and safety, as well as help make your wildlife dreams come true.

Day 3: At Sea

There are many activities to keep you engaged while we’re at sea. Learn to identify seabirds that glide alongside the ship or attend illustrated presentations by your Expedition Team. You will be prepped on procedures for your Zodiac cruises and shore landings. You’ll also be given instructions for getting the most out of your optional kayaking adventures, a truly intimate way to experience the Antarctic.

Days 4 and 5: Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

Upon arrival in this archipelago your cameras will get their first real workout capturing the abundant wildlife and rugged feel of the Falklands. The archipelago contains two main islands - East and West, which we will explore by Zodiac excursions and daily landings.

Port Stanley is often a favored landing site, as the town offers a unique British outpost feel to it, complete with a bit of a ramshackle charm. You’ll be free to explore the town, grab a pint at the local pub, or visit numerous churches and museums.

In terms of wildlife, the archipelago is home to Magellanic, gentoo and rockhopper penguins. If lucky, you may even spot king penguins here as well! We can expect to see black-browed albatross and two endemic species; Cobb’s wren and the Falkland’s flightless steamer duck.

Your team of lecturers and specialists will be sure to educate you on the local flora and fauna so that you get the most out of your time in the Falklands.

Days 6 and 7: At Sea

Sailing south, you’ll officially enter Antarctic waters by crossing the invisible biological boundary called the Antarctic Convergence. Encircling the continent, cold Antarctic waters meet and mix with the warmer waters of the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, creating the abundance of krill and marine life that attracts whales and seals to this part of the world. Ship staff will be sure to keep you posted when we cross this invisible, yet important line.

Days 8 to 11: South Georgia

This remote outpost was a popular stop for many historic Antarctic expeditions and was once a haven for hunting whales and elephant and fur seals. Today, South Georgia Island wildlife populations have rebounded, but you’ll still see remnants of those old whaling stations and other abandoned outposts.

One significant and historic site that will be of interest is the grave of the great explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton. You can visit his grave at the settlement of Grytviken, which is also home to an old whaling station, a museum, gift shop, church and a research station of approximately 20 scientists and support personnel.

While South Georgia’s history is an important attraction to the islands, it is the wildlife on South Georgia that you and your shipmates will surely find most captivating. Often referred to as the Galapagos of the Poles, each landing you make on South Georgia will open your eyes to a new wonder of wildlife.

One day you may see rookeries with a hundred thousand pairs of king penguins waddling on the beach. The next day we may visit another beach with thousands of fur seals or elephant seals with (non-native) reindeer grazing in the background. The grasses, mountains and beaches of South Georgia all play an important role in the breeding and survival of different species on the island, this fragile and symbiotic relationship is something that your Expedition Team will share with you during your time here.

Days 12 and 13: At Sea

Say goodbye to the king penguins, as your next destination is Antarctica! Your days at sea are filled with seminars from your Expedition Team, who will prepare you for the wildlife that will be greeting you upon your arrival in Antarctica. In between presentations, spend time chatting with your shipmates over a drink at the bar. If conditions allow, we may attempt landfall on the South Orkney Islands, which are officially in Antarctica.

Days 14 to 17: South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula

The most common reaction to arriving at the white continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is hard to put into words, as few places are as untouched, unique and enduring as Antarctica. You will discover that Antarctica is a land of extremes. At one moment you’ll be overcome with a feeling of complete desolation and silence, at the next moment you’ll be inspired by nature as a calving glacier crashes into the brilliant blue sea or a penguin comes waddling by to inspect your footwear.

Your Expedition Team will take care of you at each landing, whether it is trekking up a glacier, visiting a research station or consorting with penguin colonies. Chinstrap, Adelie and gentoo penguins are found here, along with Weddell, fur, crabeater and leopard seals. Curious whales, such as Minkes, are often attracted to Zodiacs as well, giving you a chance to get within reaching distance of these majestic animals. Each day and every landing will present a new collection of creatures to entertain you and keep your camera shutter busy.

As exciting as the Zodiac excursions and landings are, perhaps you’ll treat yourself to an extra special Antarctic experience by partaking in an optional (extra cost) kayaking excursion or going for a swim in the Antarctic!

Days 18 and 19: Crossing the Drake Passage

After more than two weeks of endless wildlife encounters, your journey home begins. Crossing the Drake Passage is your unofficial rite of passage, completing your Antarctic adventure.

Enjoy some final moments mingling with your fellow travelers. The noisy, busy, populated world awaits your return, so savor the silence of the sea as long as you can.

Day 20: Disembarkation in Ushuaia, Argentina

After breakfast aboard the ship, it is time to part ways and say goodbye to your Expedition Team. We will transfer you to the airport for your homeward flight.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 13,795
Price Per Day: $ 690 per day
  • Deposit Price: $ 1,000

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

Falklands, South Georgia, and Antarctica

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Company Reviews

Company is a scam

1.0
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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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Terrible company.

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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
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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

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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

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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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Check the Quark terms and conditions

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Check the Quark terms and conditions carefully and my guess is you will decide against booking or choose an alternative provider.

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 on-board 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)

Optional Activities

Every Quark Antarctic voyage includes great daily outdoor activities including Zodiac cruises, hiking and some also offer snowshoeing. The more discerning adrenaline junkie can also choose from a range of optional adventure activities, with varying exertion levels, to experience the 7th continent in a more personal way.

Kayaking - $950 per person

Kayaking in Antarctica is probably one of the most intimate and inspiring ways you can explore this incredible region. Glide through the quiet waters and take in the beauty of Antarctica. Paddle through astounding icebergs, watch penguins, seals and possibly whales swim around your kayak.

Kayaking in the Polar Regions is highly weather-dependent, however we guarantee at least one outing during your voyage. Your kayak guides will always attempts to take you out as many times as possible throughout your voyage.

Offered on most Antarctic voyages, spaces are limited and require some kayaking experience. All equipment, guides and instructions are provided by Quark. 

Flight & Transport Inclusions

All internal ground transport

Group Size

Standard Group - 25 + people

Cancellation policy

All requests for cancellation must be received in writing. Cancellations received 180 days or more prior to departure, are refunded less an administrative fee of minimum US$1250, AU$1000, £650, €800 per person. If cancellation is received between 179 days and 120 days, the deposit is forfeited. If cancellation occurs less than 120 days prior to departure, all payments are forfeited. If full payment has not yet been received, the full penalty will still apply and any unpaid balance is due immediately. To protect the traveler’s investment, we recommend that you obtain adequate trip cancellation insurance.

Cancellations cannot be made online.

Additional Information

Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that we can achieve everything we set out to accomplish. A measure of flexibility is something all of us must bring to a voyage. There are nearly 200 recognized sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned above may be changed to others equally as interesting.

Trip ID#:

FalAntQua

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