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Ultramarine - 199 Guests

EPIC ANTARCTICA

23 Day Buenos Aires/Ushuaia to Ushuaia/Buenos Aires


Crossing the Circle via Falklands and South Georgia

Our Epic Antarctica voyage is called so for a reason—it includes all of the major Antarctic highlights you can imagine. From the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) to South Georgia to the Antarctic Peninsula, you will have countless unforgettable moments on this adventure-packed, 23-day voyage. Start with the Falklands, reminiscent of both sandy Cape Cod and the English moors, home to albatross, dolphins, and five species of penguins. From there, venture to South Georgia where you’ll enter the home of 300,000 breeding king penguins, 50 million other seabirds and 5 million seals. Then, explore the stunning Antarctic Peninsula, and finally cross the Antarctic Circle—a significant milestone for any world traveler.

Starting in 2021, this itinerary allows you to the opportunity to experience our pioneering new vessel, Ultramarine. This purpose-built vessel is designed to extend the boundaries of polar exploration and offer an unmatched Antarctic experience, including a flightseeing tour you’ll never forget and a range of adventure options more extensive than any other ship in its class.



 

 

HIGHLIGHTS


  • Enjoy presentations on wildlife, history, glaciology & geology by our onboard polar experts
  • Explore the quaint British town of Stanley in the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
  • See incredible wildlife—more than 30 species of breeding birds, including seven species of penguin
  • Follow in the wake of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s perilous voyage to South Georgia and visit his grave site
  • Cross the Antarctic Circle and celebrate with a toast
  • Immerse yourself in the icy realm of the Antarctic, with an optional paddling excursion

DATES / RATES

Rates are listed per person
Start DateEnd DateFrom EURFrom USD
Dec 16, 2024Jan 07, 202530,376 32,560
Jan 18, 2026Feb 09, 202625,179 26,989
Rates are listed per person
Start DateEnd DateFrom EURFrom USD
Dec 16, 2024Jan 07, 202530,376 32,560
Jan 18, 2026Feb 09, 202625,179 26,989


ITINERARY


Day 1  Arrive in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Upon arriving in this splendid city, known for its architecture and rich European heritage, you will independently transfer to your group hotel (pre-expedition hotel night included in mandatory transfer package).

Day 2  Fly to Ushuaia and Embark
After an early breakfast at the hotel, the group will transfer to the airport and board our private charter flight to Ushuaia, Argentina.

Upon arrival, you will be transferred from the airport to a central downtown location to have some time on your own to explore this quaint port town before making your way to the pier.

After a late afternoon embarkation, you will sail along 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 a wildlife wonderland!

Day 3  At Sea
Your days at sea are filled with presentations led by your Expedition Team photography, wildlife, glaciology, and history. In between presentations, spend time on deck looking for wildlife or chatting with your shipmates over a drink at the bar.

Days 4 and 5  Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
Upon your arrival in the Falklands (Malvinas), your camera will get its first real workout capturing the abundant wildlife and rugged feel of this sub- Antarctic region. The archipelago contains two main islands, East Falkland and West Falkland, which you will explore during daily Zodiac excursions and landings.

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

The archipelago is rich in wildlife, especially birds, and home to Magellanic, gentoo and southern rockhopper penguins. If you’re lucky, you may even spot king penguins here as well! You can expect to see black-browed albatross, plus two endemic bird species—the flightless Falkland steamer duck, and possibly, the elusive Cobb’s wren.

Your expert education team will enrich your understanding of the local flora and fauna, helping you make the most of your time in the Falklands.

Days 6 and 7  At Sea
Sailing southeast to South Georgia, you’ll officially enter Antarctic waters once you cross the Antarctic Convergence, an invisible biological boundary encircling the continent. This meeting of oceans, where the cold Antarctic waters mix with the warmer waters of the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, helps nourish the abundance of krill that attracts whales, seals, and birdlife to this part of the world. Your Expedition Team will notify you when you cross this invisible yet important line, and will also help you look out for the seabirds and marine life that frequent this nutrient- rich area.

Days 8 to 11  South Georgia
This remote, mountainous island was a popular stop for many historic Antarctic expeditions and was once a haven for hunting whales and seals. Today, island wildlife populations are rebounding, but you’ll still see remnants of old whaling stations and other abandoned outposts.

Among the most significant and moving sites on South Georgia 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, plus a museum, gift shop, church and small research station.

Although South Georgia’s history is an important attraction to the island, it is the tremendous abundance of wildlife that you and your shipmates will surely find most captivating. Each landing you make on South Georgia, often referred to as the Galapagos of the Poles, will open your eyes to the wondrous lives of new, enthralling creatures.

One day you may see rookeries with hundreds of thousands of pairs of king penguins waddling on shore, and the next, you may visit another beach blanketed with hundreds 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 species on the island. Your Expedition Leaders will help you understand and appreciate the delicate balance among these fragile and interwoven relationships.

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 presentations, workshops, and social activities led by your Expedition Team.

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. You will discover that Antarctica is a land of extremes: at one moment you’ll be overcome with a feeling of complete silence and solitude; the next, you’ll be laughing at the comical antics of a curious penguin.

Zodiac cruising, visits to historical sites 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 an Antarctic minke whale while you cruise in a Zodiac. Each day, and each excursion, will present a new collection of creatures to delight you and keep your camera busy.

If you find yourself wanting more, treat yourself to an optional kayaking adventure (reserve in advance when booking your trip), or cast reason aside and join in the Polar Plunge— it’s something you’ll never forget!

Days 17 and 18  Antarctic Circle
Crossing the Antarctic Circle is both a memorable experience and impressive achievement, as few travelers reach so far south. If conditions allow us to cross this famed latitude of 66°33`S, we’ll toast the first explorers who ventured here, and you can raise a glass 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, Weddell seals, and your best chances of encountering sea ice – the foundation of the Antarctic marine ecosystem.

Days 19 and 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 make excursions by Zodiac as you travel north along the western Antarctic Peninsula.

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

Days 21 and 22  Crossing the Drake Passage
After more than three weeks of unique wildlife encounters and remarkable landscapes, your journey home begins. The unpredictable and exciting Drake Passage is an adventure unto itself. While being well taken care of by our expert onboard staff, you’ll have plenty of time to gaze out at the ocean, take pictures of seabirds swooping around the ship, and reflect on your remarkable Antarctic adventure.

Day 23  Disembark in Ushuaia and Fly to Buenos Aires
You will arrive in Ushuaia in the morning and disembark after breakfast. The mandatory transfer package includes a little taste of Patagonia with a Tierra del Fuego National Park tour before transferring to the airport for the return group charter flight to Buenos Aires.

Ultramarine (Luxury Expedition, 199-guests)

Ultramarine is designed to go beyond the familiar in polar exploration, to discover new places, and immerse you in the best the region has to offer. Equipped with two twin-engine helicopters, Ultramarine offers the most robust portfolio of adventure activities in the industry, the most spacious suites in its category, breathtaking public spaces, and more outdoor wildlife viewing spaces than other expedition ships its size. It also features a best-in-class 70-day operational range and an innovative mix of sustainability features that exceed all industry standards.

(Click image to view Ship details)

WHAT'S INCLUDED


  • Leadership throughout your voyage by our experienced Expedition Leaders, including shore landings and other activities
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising as per the daily program
  • All shore landings as per the daily program
  • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
  • All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board throughout your voyage (Please inform us of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals.)
  • Select beer and wine during dinner; and coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
  • Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled
  • A photographic journal documenting the expedition
  • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for landings and Zodiac cruising excursions
  • An official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep
  • Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • All luggage handling aboard the ship
  • Emergency Evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person
  • One 10- to 15-minute helicopter flightseeing excursion (weather and logistics permitting)
Rates do not include the following:
  • International airfare
  • Passport and applicable visa expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned
  • Meals ashore unless otherwise specified
  • Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance—strongly recommended
  • Excess-baggage fees on international and domestic flights
  • Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac landing and cruising excursions, or any other gear not mentioned
  • Laundry, bar, spa services and other personal charges, unless specified
  • Phone and Internet charges (connectivity may vary by location)
  • Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for expedition staff and shipboard crew
  • Additional overnight accommodation
  • Arrival and departure transfers, except where explicitly stated
  • Adventure Options not listed in Included Activities


Flightseeing aboard Ultramarine

While polar landscapes are spectacular from the sea, they’re even more stunning from the air, a view you can enjoy while seated in one of the two twin-engine helicopters stationed on Ultramarine. Typically in groups of 7 to 9, you will experience an unforgettable aerial tour of the Antarctic during a 10- to 15-minute flightseeing excursion that’s included in the cost of the voyage. Additional helicopter activities may also be available for purchase onboard. Please note: all helicopter operations are weather- and logistics-dependent.

Hiking

Hiking in the polar regions differs from your typical trail experience. Here, in a tree-less terrain, you are the tallest figure on the landscape as you walk over spongy tundra, crusty snow or sandy beaches in remotes parts of the Arctic and Antarctica. Stepping ashore anywhere in the polar regions means you’re not a distant observer.

Our organized hikes range from short jaunts to the top of lookouts or visits to see wildlife or longer walks of several kilometers over ice and rock and snow. Hiking excursions may last from two to three hours with plenty of time for photographs of wildlife, learning moments from your experienced guides, or just time to stand back and admire the incredible polar surroundings.

No experience is necessary but participants should be able to get in and out of a Zodiac and walk on uneven terrain. Hiking options are tailored to all interests and abilities, from those who want to contemplate the landscape in silence to photographers who want that perfect image to energetic travelers who want to summit a peak in the hopes of seeing wildlife in their natural habitat.

Polar Plunge

The Polar Plunge is scheduled once during each voyage. Throughout the journey, the Expedition Leader and Captain constantly monitor conditions in order to choose the optimal time and location. The Polar Plunge sometimes takes place onshore or, in many cases, from the gangway or Zodiac. All participants wear a tethered harness and plunge into the polar waters from the side of Zodiac or safety of the gangplank cheered on, of course, by fellow passengers and Expedition Team.

Safety is paramount—the onboard physician always attends the Polar Plunge. Guides in survival gear circle the area in Zodiacs as guests take their turn jumping or cannon-balling into the polar waters.

Zodiac Cruising

Zodiacs are used for transferring you ashore, transporting your luggage when necessary and for taking you ocean-level cruising among icebergs, whales and seabirds. During the expedition, you will visit remote and isolated sites that are accessible only by Zodiac.

These large, heavy-duty inflatable vessels are extremely safe and were specially designed for expedition work. Zodiacs are the workhorses of Polar expeditions. Separate air compartments retain a large reserve of buoyancy even if these sturdy boats are damaged. Their flat bottom design permits the craft to land directly onto the cobble and ice-strewn beaches that you will encounter on your Polar expedition.

 

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DISCLAIMER: Rates are per person, subject to availability and can change at any time