Crossing the Circle: Southern Expedition Cruise

Quark Expeditions
Curious penguins approach during an Antarctic shore excursion
Sea and sand
Beth Conway
Kayaking in antarctica
Quark Expeditions
Wander vast ice fields on your polar expedition cruise
Kassi Magruder
Kayaking in Antarctica.
Sun deck
Sea Adventurer's Dining Room.


  • Travel to 66 degrees and 33.7 minutes south!
  • Visit historic research stations in Marguerite Bay
  • Witness abundant Antarctic wildlife, including penguins, seals, & whales
  • Learn about Antarctica’s geology and wildlife from onboard lecturers

Not only does this expedition include the most in-depth exploration of the Antarctic Peninsula, it also offers the opportunity to venture further south across the Antarctic Circle. As you head towards a milestone few travelers reach, you’ll feel you are in a world without borders, sailing through an endless stretch of sea, snow and ice.
Dramatic ice formations will ignite your imagination as you search the landscape for the wildlife that calls it home. Whether it’s humpback whales alongside the ship, a leopard seal diving beneath your Zodiac, penguins sliding into crystal waters from an iceberg, or a giant petrel soaring above cracking sea-ice, you’ll experience a sensory overload in Antarctica like you’ve never felt before.

Day 1

    Ushuaia, Argentina

    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

    • Ship
    • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners

    Crossing the Drake Passage

    The waters of the Drake Passage are unpredictable, so hope for clear skies and a calm ocean. Time over these two days will be spent preparing for the exciting days ahead, with numerous educational and informative lectures from your Expedition Team. Learn about everything from safety procedures to the history of whaling in Antarctica.

    Days 5-7

    • Ship
    • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners

    The Antarctic Peninsula|South Shetland Islands

    With the Drake Passage left in your wake, make a final approach to Antarctica. Get your camera ready, as the continent’s coastline will make its first appearance, signaling the start of your adventure in the realm of the Antarctic. 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, including Neko Harbor, Orne Harbor or Paradise Bay. While weather dictates which specific landing sites you will visit, 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. Watch penguins waddling on the beach and listen to the crackling and crumbling sounds of icebergs and glaciers, while kayaking with whales and camping in Antarctica are a couple of optional activities available on selected voyages.

    Days 8-9

    • Ship
    • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners

    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 10-11

    • Ship
    • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners

    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 12-13

    • Ship
    • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners

    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 visited over the course of your voyage.

    Day 14

    • Breakfast

    Disembark in Ushuaia, Argentina

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

     TripleLower Deck TwinMain Deck Twin with PortholeMain Deck Twin with WindowSuperiorDeluxeSuite
    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 minimum of US$100,000 per person required. Contact us for details on arranging 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.

    -Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
    -All breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks on board
    -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
    -Photographic journal documenting the expedition
    -Waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
    -An official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep
    -Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
    -Hair dryer and bathrobe 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 ship
    -Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of US$100,000 per person
    -Group transfer in Ushuaia from airport to preexpedition hotel on Day 1
    -One night pre-expedition hotel accommodation in Ushuaia with breakfast
    -Group transfer from hotel to ship on embarkation day
    -Group transfer upon disembarkation in Ushuaia from the ship to the local airport

    Not Included:
    -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
    -Excess baggage charges
    -Waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned
    -Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified
    -Phone and internet charges
    -Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew
    -Additional overnight accommodation
    -Optional kayaking activities