Epic Antarctica: Crossing the Circle via Falklands and South Georgia

002151 - W20

Embark on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure on this diverse expedition — you’ll experience the spectacular flora and fauna of the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) before immersing yourself in the unique history and exquisite, rare wildlife of South Georgia.

Whether you’re visiting Antarctic research stations, witnessing a sudden minke whale breach from your Zodiac, sharing a magical moment with king penguins, or celebrating crossing the Antarctic Circle with like-minded travellers and crew, you’ll know this experience will live on in you forever.

Highlights
Details
Itinerary
Included
Not Included
Tour Notes
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Highlights
  • 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 voyage on South Georgia and pause for a moment at his graveside
  • Explore the quaint, British town of Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands
  • Crossing of the Antarctic Circle
  • On board lecturers and educational presentations from Polar specialists
Details

2018 Dates:
December: 18

2019 Dates:
February: 18

2018 & 2019 Prices:
US$13,195 – triple
US$19,695 – twin porthole
US$20,495 – twin window
US$21,395 – twin upper deck or double upper deck
US$22,195 – twin porthole suite
US$23,195 – twin superior or double superior
US$23,695 – single inside
US$24,095 – double top deck
US$25,195 – twin window suite
US$26,295 – Junior Suite
US$27,395 – Owner’s Suite

Prices are shown in US$, per person, based on three people sharing a triple cabin; two people in a twin, double or suite and one person in a single cabin.

Tour Code:
002151 - W20

Itinerary
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Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina

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: Embarkation Day:

As the ship sets sail in the late afternoon, you will begin your Antarctic journey, passing through the Beagle Channel. Named after the famed ship on which Charles Darwin voyaged, the channel presents great photo opportunities to capture seabirds hovering overhead.

Day 3: At Sea

There are many activities to keep you engaged while we’re at sea. You can take advantage of the library of books available on your ship, chat with your shipmates at the bar, or spend time out on deck, admiring the sea. Your Expedition Team will also conduct a series of presentations to familiarize yourself with how to prepare for Zodiac cruises and shore landings.

Days 4 & 5: Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

The Falkland archipelago contains two main islands, East Falkland and West Falkland, which you will explore thanks to Zodiac excursions and daily landings. These rugged islands have a frontier feel to them. This is especially true of the largest settlement, Stanley, an interesting British outpost–type place, where you could just as easily wander into a pub as you could a church or museum.

Have your camera handy, as your wildlife sightings in the Falklands (Malvinas) should include at least three species of penguins, plus two endemic bird 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 have the most memorable time.

Days 6 & 7: At Sea

En route to South Georgia, you’ll cross the Antarctic Convergence, an invisible biological boundary unique to Antarctica. This meeting of oceans is what creates the abundance of krill and marine life that attracts large cetaceans, such as humpback whales, to the area.

Days 8 to 11: South Georgia

Evidence of the old whaling and sealing heyday is still found throughout the island. You’ll be surprised to learn that whale and seal populations were once decimated here. Today, their populations are strong, with massive rookeries to be seen.

One significant and historic site that will be of interest is the grave of the great explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. Your visit to his gravesite at the Grytviken settlement, also home to an old whaling station and a research station, is a day for reflecting on what it must have been like to be one of the first explorers of this unforgiving yet beautiful environment.

Although South Georgia’s history is an important attraction to the island, it is the wildlife that you and your shipmates will likely find most captivating. Often referred to as the Galapagos of the Poles, South Georgia contains an exceptional quantity of wildlife. Each landing you make on the island will open your eyes to a new wonder: one day you may see rookeries with hundreds of thousands of pairs of king penguins waddling on a beach; the next day you may visit another beach dotted with thousands of fur or elephant seals.

The grasses, mountains and beaches of South Georgia all play an important role in the breeding and survival of different bird and animal species. Your Expedition Team will be happy to share its knowledge of how these vulnerable relationships all play out on the island.

Days 12 & 13: At Sea

Antarctica awaits, along with its own penguin and seal species. While you’re at sea, you can enjoy quiet time or take in presentations by your Expedition Team, who will cover everything from the history and geology of Antarctica to tips on identifying different species and what makes each of them unique.

Days 14 to 16: South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula

The experience is hard to put into words, but the most common reaction upon reaching the White Continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is hard to put into words. You will discover that Antarctica is a land of extremes: at one moment you’ll be overcome with a feeling of complete silence and loneliness, and the next moment you’ll be laughing at the comical antics of a curious penguin.

Glacier hikes, visits to research bases and, of course, communing with seals and penguins are sure to keep you smiling every day. Perhaps you’ll catch sight of the fearless penguin eater, the leopard seal, or maybe you’ll come eye to eye with a curious minke whale while you are cruising in a Zodiac. Each day and each landing will present a new collection of creatures to entertain you and keep your camera busy.

If you find yourself wanting more, then perhaps you’ll treat yourself by booking our kayaking Adventure Option (reserve in advance when booking your trip); if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, a little shock therapy courtesy of a Polar Plunge might be what you need!

Days 17 & 18: Antarctic Circle

Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an impressive achievement, as most expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula do not come close to reaching this far south.

If conditions allow us to cross this famed line, we’ll toast the first explorers who ventured here, and you can raise a glass of champagne and take pride in knowing you’ve made it to a part of the world visited by very few people. This is raw Antarctica, home of the midnight sun, where there is the potential for fantastic iceberg sightings.

Days 19 & 20: Northbound Along the Peninsula

If you haven’t had your fill of Antarctic wildlife and icebergs by now, you’ll surely be satisfied by the time you return to the Drake Passage. You will continue to journey onto land by Zodiac twice daily as you travel north along the western Antarctic Peninsula.

Your Expedition Team will always be on the lookout for species of penguins, seals and whales that may have eluded you on your journey south.

Days 21 & 22: Crossing the Drake Passage

After more than a dozen days of memorable wildlife encounters, your journey home begins. Crossing the Drake is your unofficial rite of passage, putting a final stamp of approval on your Antarctic adventure.

Day 23: Disembark in Ushuaia

Today you’ll say goodbye to your Expedition Team and fellow travellers, disembarking in the morning to catch your homeward flights.

*This trip also has an option of departing from/returning to Buenos Aires. 

Buenos Aires transfer package – US$950 per person, includes:

  • One night’s hotel accommodation in Buenos Aires, with breakfast
  • Group transfer from the hotel to the airport in Buenos Aires
  • Charter flight from the Buenos Aires international airport to Ushuaia, and return
  • Group transfer from the Ushuaia airport to the ship, and return
  • Combined airport transfer and express bus tour of Tierra del Fuego National Park after disembarkation
Included
  • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
  • All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board
  • Beer and wine during dinner
  • All shore landings per the daily program
  • Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
  • Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and special guests as scheduled
  • A photographic journal documenting the expedition
  • Photography guide on Expedition Team
  • Waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
  • An official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep
  • Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
  • A hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin
  • Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Antarctic Reader
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • All luggage handling aboard the ship
  • All gratuities
  • Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of US$500,000 per person
Not Included
  • Mandatory transfer package*
  • International airfare
  • Passport and visa expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above
  • Meals ashore unless otherwise specified
  • Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance—strongly recommended
  • Excess-baggage fees on international flights
  • Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned
  • Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified
  • Phone and Internet charges
  • Additional overnight accommodation
  • Optional adventure activities
  • Arrival transfer in Buenos Aires on Day 1
Tour Notes

Not sure what to pack? Watch this video on Packing for the Polar Regions to get an idea!

Important reminder: 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.

Ramp Up Your Expedition
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. We can provide more information about adventure options, including physical requirements.

  • Kayaking
  • Photography
  • Stand-Up Paddleboarding
  • Walking/Hiking

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. Pricing subject to change based on season. Please proceed to checkout or contact a Polar Travel Adviser for more details.

Help Inspire Change: Are you interested in environmentalism? Learning first-hand from scientists, researchers and special guests onboard is an eco-tourist’s dream come true. Having a chance to meet these experts is truly inspirational. Our partnerships with international charities make for very reward and educational expeditions. Penguin Watch identifies risk factors to the Antarctic penguin population, conducting long-term rookery monitoring, and genetic analysis to obtain information on how these populations are changing and declining. Their scientists will be participating in one Epic Antarctica voyage starting on December 18, 2018.

Disclaimer: We do our utmost to ensure that information posted on our website is correct at the time of publication, however trip details are subject to change without notice by the suppliers and operators involved. We update the information as soon as possible when changes are advised to us, however, we cannot assume responsibility for such changes made by the suppliers and operators.

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