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Antarctica has captured the imagination of explorers and travellers for over 200 years and an expedition to the 'seventh continent' will be completely unlike any other voyage you have taken before. The first time you set foot on the land of ice, you experience an overwhelming sense of awe that is very difficult to put into words.
Since 1991, Quark Expeditions have been blazing trails in polar adventure travel, and their Antarctic Explorer expedition is an unforgettable journey through the spectacular wilderness of the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula, and the perfect introduction to Antarctica.
Whilst cruising around the White Continent, you will be accompanied by a team of experts who will ensure there are regular landings on the ice or explorations of local bays on Zodiac boats. Onboard you will enjoy a lecture programme by the Expedition Team to learn more about the destination and enrich what you have been witnessing onshore. You will enjoy Antarctic highlights, exhilarating adventures and be rewarded with memories that last a lifetime.
Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina
Day 2: Embarkation Day
Days 3 & 4: Cross the Drake Passage
Days 5 - 8: The South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula
Days 9 & 10: Crossing the Drake Passage
Day 11: Disembarkation in Ushuaia
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Begin your journey in Ushuaia, the most southerly city in the world. This small, but bustling port town has an eclectic history and some incredible wildlife and an ideal gateway for you to explore southern Patagonia before your journey to Antarctica. Be sure to visit the Magellanic Penguins at penguin beach, as this is a South American species of Penguin not found any further south than Patagonia.
You will embark in the late afternoon and sail through the Beagle channel which traverses the Tierra del Fuego archipelago. From here, the next time you see land you will be in the world's most southern continent!
The next couple of days will be spent crossing the Drake Passage, with an air of anticipation as Antarctica draws ever nearer.
Enjoy insightful lectures onboard from the Expedition Team who will prepare you for the wildlife, glaciology and history as you cross the Antarctic convergence and enter the Southern Ocean.
As you get your first glimpse of the White Continent you will begin to appreciate why this region has long captivated the attention of explorers and travellers alike.
Each day you will take Zodiac excursions from the ship to explore local bays, channels and landing sites on the Antarctic Peninsula, enjoying an array of activities such as hiking, visiting research stations or visiting penguin colonies. Adelie, Chinstrap and Gentoo can all be found here.
As you bid farewell to the Antarctic Peninsula, your journey back across the Drake Passage provides final opportunities to enjoy the crisp Antarctic air. Spend some time on deck watching for seabirds and whales, and enjoy presentations by your Expedition Team.
You will arrive back in Ushuaia in the morning, from here you will able to either continue your adventure onward or catch your flights home.
The 12-day version of this cruise includes an extra day in Antarctica
The Ocean Adventurer has been a very popular Antarctic exploration ship for many years and is perfectly designed for exploring the region. Carrying just 128 passengers ensures there is a high focus on exploration, and the ship boasts an expert team of expedition staff alongside a varied programme of landings, a fleet of zodiacs and a series of lectures.
The Ocean Diamond is a modern, stable super-yacht designed for exploring the remote waters of Antarctica. She carries a maximum of 189 passengers, and cruises are run with a focus on exploration. On-board you will find expansive common spaces, a club lounge and an elegant restaurant serving a variety of delicious cuisine.
Ultramarine is a purpose-built ship carefully designed to optimise your polar expedition experience so that you can discover some of the most mesmerising places on Earth and immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring landscapes of the polar regions. Equipped with two helicopters, she also brings you access to new places accessible only by air, pushing the opportunities for polar exploration even further and bringing you more options for adventure than ever before.
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