November - December
Antarctica awaits, with its geographic contradictions and overwhelming enormity. Relax on a Zodiac ride, hike glistening glaciers, share comical moments with inquisitive penguins, or witness the rugged peninsula from a sea kayak. Antarctica will surprise and delight, and never disappoint.
At sea, photograph massive albatross and pintado petrel as they swoop and soar around the ship, guiding us toward South Georgia. Beaches teeming with king penguins and elephant seals greet us on this fabled island, where we’ll pay our respects to famed explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.
Experience the quintessential wildlife experience of the “Galapagos of the Poles”
• Visit South Georgia’s king penguin rookeries – the largest in the world
• Re ect at the resting place of the great explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton
• Visit abandoned whaling stations and learn stories of inhabitants who called this island home
• Enjoy on-board lecturers and educational presentations from polar specialists
• Arrive in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the tango capital of the world, and let us take care of the rest of the journey
Our ships will be your home away from home during your expedition. The passionate Expedition Team and crew aboard this ship can’t wait to show you around and take you to places most people only dream about. Every day presents a new adventure. An early wake-up call may signal the sighting of nearby whales, while an afternoon Zodiac cruise may present you with the intense blues of passing icebergs.
ABOUT THE WORLD EXPLORER
Distinct and comfortable, re ned and roomy—these attributes and more describe World Explorer. Every cabin has either a private walk-out or Juliet balcony for direct ocean views. World Explorer also delivers plenty of public areas to unwind in after a day outdoors, including the glass-domed Observation Lounge, the Explorer Lounge, the library, and a dedicated lecture theatre. Health and wellness facilities feature an outdoor running track, a small gym and a sauna, plus a spa with change rooms, showers and lockers.
ABOUT THE OCEAN DIAMOND
The Ocean Diamond is a luxurious vessel with spacious cabins. All cabins have private bathroom facilities and exterior views. Please feel free to enjoy the at screen TV and DVD player in your cabin. The Ocean Diamond is Quark Expeditions®’ modern, stable super-yacht. Carrying a maximum of 189 passengers, this outstanding vessel features numerous adventure options plus on board amenities for you to enjoy such as a well-stocked polar library.
POSSIBLE LANDINGS AND WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS
South Georgia is roughly 100 miles (160 km) by 20 miles (32 km) wide. When the legendary Captain James Cook published his account of the area, he created a rush of interest in whaling and sealing on South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands. Today, penguins and seals are abundant once again.
This is a photogenic and dramatic ord, with sharp and jagged peaks rising out of the sea. Glaciation never reached the peaks, giving the ord a unique landscape.
The backdrop to this harbor is the hanging Bertrab Glacier. King and gentoo penguins call Gold Harbour home, as do rowdy elephant and fur seals.
Only a handful of people live, albeit temporarily, on South Georgia, a United Kingdom overseas territory. Two of them are curators of the South Georgia Museum, located in the former villa of the whaling station manager. The church was built for the whaling community and is the only building in Grytviken that is still used for its original purpose.
One of the largest king penguin rookeries on South Georgia is located on Salisbury Plain. The Murphy and Lucas Glaciers ank the plain, creating a perfect backdrop for photos.
ST. ANDREW’S BAY
Thousands of breeding pairs of king penguins nest at St. Andrew’s Bay—the largest king penguin rookery on South Georgia, and a wildlife spectacle to behold.
This abandoned whaling station was in full operation the day that Sir Ernest Shackleton and his companions staggered into it after a 36-hour trek across the island. There is a small cemetery here, with the graves of 14 whalers.
POSSIBLE LANDINGS AND WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS
Stepping foot on Antarctica is a moment of pleasure that a ects each traveler di erently. Your possible landing in Antarctica will take place on the Peninsula, which is an extension of the Transantarctic Mountains chain and is the most northern stretch of Antarctic land. Formed by uplifted submarine troughs that were lled with sediment about 220 million years ago, this is a dynamic land of both desolation and diversity. To the east is the frozen, wild Weddell Sea. To the west, howling winds and warming seas from the Southern Ocean create perfect conditions for whale sightings.
A gentoo penguin rookery is situated on a rocky beach at the north end of the island. Depending on when in the season you arrive, you may see the penguins building nests or attending to their chicks. Giant petrels and kelp gulls breed on the island.
If you are lucky enough to mail a postcard in Antarctica, you’ll likely pass through Damoy Point, the northern entrance to the harbor where Port Lockroy is located.
Home to gentoo penguins, this small island is easy to explore, at only one mile (1.6 km) long. You can visit the marker of a former British Antarctic Survey hut, where you can watch for a variety of seabirds, such as snowy sheathbills, kelp gulls and blue-eyed shags.
Located in Wilhelmina Bay, this island was once used by whalers. A Zodiac cruise around the island passes a wrecked whaling ship.
You’ll see rsthand why this strait, which runs between Booth Island and the Antarctic Peninsula, is one of the most scenic locations on the peninsula’s west coast, especially during sunrise and sunset. The channel may become impassable when ice lls the narrow 6.8-mile (11 km) long passageway, so we’ll hope for clear waters.
This group of low islands in Dallmann Bay is where you may see hauled-out male fur seals as they recuperate from their battles for supremacy at the end of their breeding season.
Little evidence remains that this bay was once used by the oating whale factory ship Neko. You might see whale vertebrae being used by resident gentoo penguins as shelter from the wind. Climb up a steep slope for spectacular views of the glacier-rimmed harbor.
Here, near the Lemaire Channel, you can stand ashore and see the southernmost breeding colony of gentoo penguins. The dome of the island rises 650 feet (200 meters) above the sea, o ering a challenging hike for panoramic views. Adélie penguins, shags and south polar skuas also inhabit the island.
As part of Operation Tabarin during the Second World War, a secret British base was built in this sheltered
harbor, located on the west side of Wiencke Island. Now a designated historic site, the base is a museum and post o ce. Proceeds from your purchases in Port Lockroy support the British Antarctic Heritage trust, which preserves historic sites from the Heroic Age of Exploration. A large gentoo penguin population resides here and is observed for any e ects of tourism.
You may venture to this unique point, which at low tide is connected to the Antarctic mainland. Zodiacs are used to explore the historic area when the tide is in. Two scientists studying penguin behavior lived in a water boat on the point from 1921 to 22. The remains of their camp have been designated an Antarctic historic site.
South Shetland Islands
POSSIBLE LANDINGS AND WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS
The Brans eld Strait separates this archipelago from the Antarctic Peninsula. The South Shetland Islands stretch for 335 miles (540 km) from northeast to southwest. In the 1820s, sealers swept the islands’ beaches of seals. When the seal market collapsed, the sealers retreated. Over the course of time, seals have returned to the islands.
This group of small islands, some still unnamed, is situated in the northern entrance of the English Strait. You can often spot a great mix of wildlife in the area, with gentoo and chinstrap penguins having established rookeries on the islands. Southern elephant and fur seals frequently haul out here, too.
Also known as Rancho Point, Bailey Head is a rocky headland on the southeastern shore of Deception Island. Chinstrap penguins build nests on slopes leading to a high ridge that dominates the natural amphitheater and provides a superb setting for landscape photography.
HALF MOON ISLAND
This crescent-shaped island was known to sealers as early as 1821. Unlike sealers, who tried to keep their best locations secret, we’re happy to bring you ashore on this impressive island. Many Antarctic birds breed here, including chinstrap penguins, shags, Wilson’s storm petrels, kelp gulls, snowy sheathbills, Antarctic terns and skua.
Macaroni, chinstrap and gentoo penguin rookeries are located on this point, which is on the south coast of Livingston Island. Due to the rather congested area available to the nesting penguins, you can only visit here from January 10 onward.
Geothermal waters are found along the shoreline of this cove, named for observations made in 1829 by a British expedition. You may see yellow algae and boiled krill oating on the surface because of the scalding water!
Antarctica has two owering plants, both of which you can find on Penguin Island: Deschampsia antarctica andColobanthus quitensis. Chinstrap penguins, fur seals and southern elephant seals use the island for breeding purposes.
A nice spot for Zodiac cruising, this point was known to sealers as early as 1820. Chinstrap penguins, kelp gulls and pintado petrels breed here, and whales may be seen in the surrounding waters.
Your Expedition Team will be happy to point out that this is where the most recent evidence of volcanic eruption on Deception Island can be seen.
Chinstrap and Adélie penguin rookeries are found on this point, situated on the south coast of King George Island. The beaches here are often crowded with southern elephant, fur and Weddell seals hauling out on the rocks.
To reach Whaler’s Bay, it is necessary to sail through a narrow passage called Neptune’s Bellows. The bay was
used by whalers from 1906 to 1931 and is part of a protected harbor created by the formation of the circular ooded caldera known as Deception Island. Along with waddling penguins and lounging seals, you’ll see the rusting remains of whaling operations on the beach. Watch for steam that may rise from geothermally heated springs along the shoreline.
Gentoo penguins have established a rookery on this harbor, situated on the southwest side of Greenwich Island. Here, you can see an abandoned Argentine refuge hut and a large glacier that stretches along the east and north sides of the bay. An abandoned sealing try pot is all that remains of the activity that brought men thousands of miles in tall ships to seek their fortune.
Mandatory Transfer package 950 USD per person.
Payment Terms & Conditions
To guarantee your reservation we require an initial deposit. * Initial deposit NON-REFUNDABLE.
THIS EXPEDITION INCLUDES
- 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 ourexperienced Expedition Leader
- All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the dailyprogram
- Formal and informal presentations by ourExpedition Team and special guests as scheduled
- A photographic journal documenting theexpedition
- Photography guide on Expedition Team
- Waterproof expedition boots on loan for shorelandings
- An official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep
- Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
- A hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin
- Comprehensive predeparture materials,including a map and an informativeAntarctic Reader
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port chargesthroughout the program
- All luggage handling aboard the ship
- All gratuities
- Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of US$500,000 per person
THIS EXPEDITION EXCLUDES
• Mandatory transfer package*
• International airfare
• Passport and visa expenses
• Government arrival and departure taxes not
• 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
• Phone and Internet charges
• Additional overnight accommodation
• Optional adventure activities
• Arrival transfer in Buenos Aires on Day 1
*BUENOS AIRES TRANSFER PACKAGE 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 disembarkationPackage cost: $950 USD
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Ushuaia, Argentina and Embarkation