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Cruises

Antarctic Explorer: Discovering the 7th Continent

Antarctica

11 days

Summary

Antarctica offers so many extraordinary things to see and do, there are multiple options to personalise your experience when discovering Antarctica. If this is your first visit, the classic Explorer voyage gives you the best of the stunning Antarctic Peninsula in 11 or 12 days. Conquer the famed Drake Passage in your choice of four stabilised, polar-class vessels (see details below). Explore majestic natural environments by zodiac and on foot. Furthermore, get up close and personal with penguins, whales and other wildlife. All while you enjoy talks on regional history, zoology and geology by experts guides. You can personalise your adventure with options that suit your interests.

This is one of the many itineraries available with this fleet. It can either be 11 or 12 days itineraries and there are more than 20 departures per season. Here is a guide to the seasons in Antarctica to help you decide the best time to travel.

About World Explorer (176 guests)

The newest addition and their first all-suites, all-balcony ice-class ship. It lets you discover everything Antarctica has to offer, with the type of service available only at premium hotels. World Explorer also delivers plenty of areas, both inside and out, to witness the incredible Antarctic wildlife. There is a spacious observation deck for taking in sights outdoors, an observation lounge with panoramic skyline views, a library for relaxing and reading, and the Explorer Lounge for a drink and a chat. Presentations and discussions are held in a dedicated lecture theatre. Health and wellness facilities feature an outdoor running track, a small gym and spa, plus a heated outdoor swimming pool. With its new and environmentally sustainable hybrid technology and state-of-the-art Rolls-Royce engines and generators, the ship also boasts reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

About Ocean Adventurer (132 guests)

The Sea Adventurer has been re-launched as Ocean Adventurer after a multi-million-dollar renovation. A team of marine architects, engineers, interior designers and polar expedition specialists worked together to enhance it. Upgrades include a refreshed look and feel throughout, plus the complete remodelling of the lounge, dining room and bar. All cabins received new linens and bathroom updates. Six new deluxe cabins, as well as three new suites, have also been added. Significant technical enhancements include two new Rolls-Royce engines, which yield increased speed and fuel efficiency, and a minimised carbon footprint.

About Ocean Diamond (189 guests)

You have the run of the place on the Ocean Diamond, one of the largest of their small ships. All rooms have an exterior view, ensuite facility, a flat-screen TV and DVD player, with some suites sporting a private balcony. After a day of exploration, you can relax with a book in the polar library, head to the gym for a quick workout, have a drink at the bar, or just soak in the scenery from the panoramic observation lounge. The Ocean Diamond has just completed renovations throughout the ship.

About Ocean Endeavor (199 guests)

The newly renovated Ocean Endeavor enjoys the distinction of being one of the only health- and wellness-focused adventure vessels in the Polar Regions. The Spa features a full treatment menu and there are Yoga classes available. There is also a gym, a heated saltwater pool, two saunas and a juice bar to add to the wellness factor. So does the new restaurant, which boasts a healthy, contemporary approach to cuisine. You will also find more adventure options than on any other sister ships, including two exclusive options: mountaineering and cross country skiing.

Highlights

  • Explore highlights of the Antarctic Peninsula
  • Travel safely and comfortably aboard any Quark Expeditions® ice-strengthened vessel
  • Enjoy talks about the environment and wildlife from our onboard polar experts
  • Experience abundant wildlife, such as penguins, seals and whales
  • Zodiacs are the workhorses of polar expeditions, safely transporting guests to remote shorelines and shallow inlets— places the ships can’t reach. Hopping in and out of them is super-easy
  • Hiking- Led by experienced staff, exploring on foot is the best way to appreciate the landscape, communities and shorelines.
  • Polar Plunge- This rite of passage, experienced just once per expedition, where you safely jump into icy ocean waters under the watchful eye of the staff—and just about every single camera lens on board!
  • Photography- documenting your voyage so you can take the memories home is both rewarding and constructive. Plus, it is next to impossible to take a bad picture of the Polar Regions.

Inclusions

  • Accommodation in selected cabin
  • All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board throughout your voyage. Beer and wine during dinner; and coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock.
  • All shore landings per the daily program
  • Formal and informal presentations by the Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled
  • A photographic journal documenting the expedition
  • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
  • An official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep
  • Comprehensive onboard materials, including a map and an informative Antarctic Reader
  • Leadership throughout the voyage by the experienced Expedition Leader, including shore landings and other activities
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
  • For trips commencing in Buenos Aires, there is an additional cost of $950 USD per person. It includes pre-expedition hotel night in Buenos Aires, with breakfast; Group transfer from the hotel to the airport in Buenos Aires; Charter flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, and return; Group transfer from Ushuaia airport to the ship, and return.

ITINERARY

Day 1 Ushuaia

You will begin your journey in Ushuaia, a small but bustling port town at the tip of South America. This Argentine town is an ideal gateway for you to explore the southern extent of Patagonia while preparing for your adventure ahead. Get active in the mountains or enjoy handcrafted chocolate at a café in town.

Day 2 Ushuaia/Cruise

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

Day 3 Cruise

Crossing the Drake Passage
Your days at sea are filled with presentations led by your Expedition Team who will prepare you for the wildlife, geology and history that will greet you upon your arrival. In between presentations spend time on deck looking for wildlife or chatting with your shipmates over a drink at the bar.

Day 4 Cruise

Crossing the Drake Passage
At sea

Day 5 Cruise

The most common reaction upon reaching the White Continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is beyond words since few places are as untouched, unique and enduring as Antarctica. You will begin to appreciate why this region has long captivated the attention of explorers and travellers alike. Every time we visit Antarctica, we witness something new or unexpected, which means that your expedition will be unlike any other—creating a unique, personal experience.

Day 6 Cruise

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 cunning leopard seal. Your Expedition Team will take care of you at each landing, whether you are hiking the Antarctic landscape, visiting a research station or consorting with penguin colonies. Chinstrap, Adélie and gentoo penguins are found here, along with Weddell, fur, crabeater and leopard seals.

Day 7 Cruise

Keep a lookout for curious whales, such as minkes, while on a Zodiac cruise. Each day and each landing will present a new collection of creatures to delight you and keep your camera busy. Amid the serene silence of Antarctica, noisy interludes become indelible memories, such as penguins squabbling over prized pebbles, or the boom and crack of a calving glacier.

Day 8 Cruise

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

Day 9 Cruise

The journey back across the Drake Passage provides final opportunities to enjoy the crisp Antarctic air. Spend time on the deck, watching for seabirds and scouting for whales, enjoy presentations by your Expedition Team and celebrate the experiences shared exploring Antarctica.

Day 10 Cruise

Crossing the Drake Passage
At sea

Day 11 Ushuaia

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

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