Crossing the Circle: Southern Expedition Cruise

Beth Conway
Kayaking in antarctica
An ocean of icebergs.
Albatross cruising the Drake Passage to Antarctica
Quark Expeditions
Curious penguins approach during an Antarctic shore excursion
Quark Expeditions
Wander vast ice fields on your polar expedition cruise
Ocean Diamond's dining room.
Enjoy a book in the library aboard the Ocean Diamond.
This Antarctic expedition offers you the most in-depth exploration of the Antarctic Peninsula. Extended time in the region allows you to go beyond the Antarctic Peninsula and venture south of the Antarctic Circle, home to fantastic ice formations and wildlife including the Weddell seal. You’ll enjoy more time communing with penguins and visits to less-frequented landing sites.

Day 1

    Ushuaia, Argentina

    You will begin your journey in Ushuaia, a small, but bustling port town at the tip of South America. This Argentinean 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 some hand crafted chocolate at a café in town.

    Day 2

      Embarkation Day

      The Beagle Channel sets you on your way as the ship sails in the late afternoon. The channel opens up to the vastness of the Southern Ocean, where your next land sighting will be along the Antarctic Peninsula. Named after the famed ship in which Charles Darwin voyaged, the channel presents many great photo opportunities to capture sea birds hovering overhead.

      Days 3-4

        Crossing the Drake Passage

        You’ll have plenty of time to stare out at the sea, get to know your fellow shipmates and chat with your Expedition Team. Time over these two days will be spent preparing for the exciting days ahead, with numerous educational and informative lectures from your Expedition Team. You’ll learn about everything from safety procedures to the history of whaling in Antarctica.

        Days 5-8

          The Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands

          With the Drake Passage left in your wake, make a final approach to Antarctica. Get your cameras ready, as the continent’s coastline will make its first appearance, signaling the start of your adventure in the realm of the Antarctic. You’ll see plentiful icebergs floating by and be fixated on the surface of the ocean as curious whales spout and breach before your eyes.

          As exciting as it can be from onboard the ship, your true exploration occurs when you disembark and set foot on the great continent. There are several potential landing sites you may visit, including Neko Harbor, Orne Harbor or Paradise Bay. While weather dictates which specific landing sites visited, each one presents a new collection of wildlife and natural attractions.

          Your days will be busy spotting wildlife and being mesmerized by the beauty of Antarctica. Watching penguins waddling on the beach and listening to the crackling and crumbling sounds of icebergs and glaciers will become your daily entertainment, while kayaking with whales and camping in Antarctica are a couple of optional activities available on selected voyages.

          Days 9-10

            Antarctic Circle

            Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an impressive achievement, as most expeditions to the Peninsula do not reach this far south, which is officially noted at 66° 33’ S. You and your shipmates will celebrate in style with a well-earned glass of champagne!

            Make a toast and take pride in knowing you’ve made it to a part of the world still visited by very few people.

            Days 11-12

              Northbound along the Peninsula

              By now, your knowledge of Adelie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins will be matched by your ability to differentiate between a leopard, fur or Weddell seal. Terms like ‘bergy bits’ and pancake ice will seem normal too, yet there are still many tales to be told. As you head back towards the Drake, Zodiac excursions will continue to fill your days, while the Expedition Team will help fill in any blanks that remain in your newly acquired knowledge of the Antarctic.

              Days 13-14

                Drake Passage to Ushuaia

                Re-crossing the Drake, Antarctica fades away and you’ll be left with a collection of memories to last a lifetime. Excited conversations with your newfound friends will make the time passing the Drake Passage fly by, independent of weather and sea conditions. Your Expedition Team will round up their series of lectures as well, perhaps with a slideshow of some of the great landing sites and wildlife you’ve visited over the course of your voyage.

                Day 15

                  Disembark in Ushuaia, Argentina

                  Today you’ll say goodbye to your Expedition Team and your fellow travelers. You’ll disembark in the morning so that you may catch your homeward bound flights.

                   TripleTwin Obstructed ViewTwin WindowSingle with PortholeSingle Obstructed ViewSuiteBalcony Suite
                  Kayaking Option: $950
                  - Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double occupancy. Request the Twin Share Program where you are matched with a cabin mate of the same gender. Even if a cabin mate is not found for you, no single supplement will be charged.
                  -Cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.7 times the double occupancy rate. The supplement for a suite is 2 times the shared rate.
                  -Emergency medical evacuation coverage for a maximum benefit of US$100,000 per person is included. Contact us for details on arranging additional travel insurance.

                  Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that everything can be accomplished. A measure of flexibility is something all 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.

                  Rates include:
                  - One night pre-expedition hotel accommodation with breakfast in Ushuaia as indicated in the itinerary.
                  - Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping.
                  - All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage.
                  - All shore landings per the daily program.
                  - Leadership throughout the voyage by your experienced Expedition Leader, including shore landings and other activities.
                  - All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program.
                  - Formal and informal presentations by your Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled.
                  - Photographic Journal on DVD, documenting the voyage.
                  - A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings.
                  - An official parka to keep.
                  - Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock.
                  - Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin.
                  - Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Antarctic Reader.
                  - A group transfer upon disembarkation in Ushuaia from the ship to the local airport.
                  - All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
                  - All luggage handling aboard ship.
                  - Emergency Evacuation Insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $100,000 per person.