You will begin your journey in Ushuaia, a small but bustling port at the tip of South America. It’s the 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.
Settle in to your cabin on the newest ship in the fleet,
Ultramarine. Designed to go beyond the familiar in polar exploration, to discover new places, and to immerse you in the best the region has to offer.
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!
Notice those jackets? Rounding out your expedition gear will be a signature Quark Expeditions parka waiting for you in your cabin…yours to keep!
Forgot something? No problem, the Polar Boutique onboard will have everything you need for your Antarctic adventure.
There are many activities to keep you engaged while you are at sea. Learn to identify seabirds that glide alongside the ship, or attend dynamic presentations by your Expedition Team.
If there is one constant on board, it is that you’ll enjoy delicious meals daily. While meal times may change due to landings and wildlife encounters, you’ll always be served three well-prepared meals per day.
This rite of passage, scheduled only once per expedition, gives you the chance to jump safely into the bracing Antarctic waters under the watchful eye of our staff—and just about every single camera on board.
If conditions are right, the first indication that you are approaching South Georgia is the sight of birds around a group of rocky spires called Shag Rocks. Have your binoculars and cameras ready to capture these rocky spires rising out of the icy ocean waters. Shags and prions often rest here, and due to nutrient rich upwellings around the rocks it can be a good place to keep a lookout for whales.
After enjoying South Georgia from a distance, we’ll head toward its numerous beaches to find a bay for your first excursion.
South Georgia is one of the most fertile breeding grounds in the world for sub-Antarctic wildlife, with beaches blanketed with penguins and seals. It won’t take you long to realize that you are in a bird paradise, as burrowing seabirds, albatross and petrels can be seen in abundance.
One of the most significant sites you will visit on the South Georgia is Grytviken. This settlement is the first whaling station established in sub-Antarctic waters. Many travelers find that this place has a special appeal, as it is the site of the grave of Sir Ernest Shackleton, one of the most famous Antarctic explorers.
Say goodbye to the king penguins, as your next destination is Antarctica! Your days at sea are filled with presentations and workshops led by your Expedition Team, who will prepare you for the wildlife and landscapes that will surround you upon your arrival.
While sailing, explore the Tundra Spa and Sauna. Offering a variety of treatments exclusively crafted for guests, the spa and adjacent steam room allows you to fully relax and unwind before your next off-ship adventure.
The most common reaction upon reaching the White Continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is hard to put into words, since few places are as untouched 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 isolation and silence, and at the next moment you’ll be inspired by nature as a calving glacier crashes into a brilliant blue sea or a penguin waddles by to inspect your footwear.
Your Expedition Team will take care of you at each excursion, whether you are Zodiac cruising, visiting a historical site or consorting with penguin colonies. Chinstrap, Adélie and gentoo penguins are found here, along with Weddell, fur, crabeater and leopard seals.
Keep a lookout for Antarctic whales, such as minkes, while on a Zodiac cruise. Each day and each excursion will present a new collection of creatures to delight you and keep your camera 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 paddling excursion or ocean kayaking.
It's time to start your journey back to Argentina. Spend time on deck watching for seabirds and whales, enjoy presentations by your Expedition Team or simply relax.
Crossing the Drake is your unofficial rite of passage. Drake Passage connects the southwestern part of the Atlantic Ocean with the southeastern part of the Pacific Ocean and extends into the Southern Ocean It is 620 miles wide, with depths up to 15,700 feet.
You will arrive in Ushuaia in the morning, which allows for you to continue your adventure onward or catch your flights home. Take time to reminisce and look back on your journey to the polar wilds of Antarctica and South Georgia.
Your experience will vary depending on the time of year that you visit and each season has its own special appeal. For instance, in late December, the fi rst penguin chicks begin to hatch, making this a great time to see adult penguins hunting for fish and krill just off shore or playing with their young. - Casey
Ultramarine features two twin-engine Airbus H145 helicopters that are designed to take you deeper into the Polar Regions, to set foot where few humans have ever walked—something no other ship can offer. - Kitte