This is a truly epic adventure through the remote Falkland Islands, the wildlife paradise of South Georgia and the extraordinary landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula. You’ll enjoy unforgettable encounters with untamed wildlife in a vast, dramatic and spectacular setting; you’ll take a step back in time at historically significant sites and you’ll be mesmerized by the rich diversity and contrasts that make these regions so captivating and unique.
Watch a wild, isolated and extreme world come to life as scores of penguins dive for food, herds of elephant seals bathe in the sun, and pods of orcas pass you by. You’ll be transported to your own wildlife documentary, staged in a magnificent setting of mountains, sea and ice.
Day 1 — Arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina
Your gateway for this expedition is Ushuaia, Argentina. Nestled within the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, Ushuaia has a small-town feel yet boasts many shops, museums, cafés and restaurants that you can enjoy before your voyage. If you’re feeling adventurous, the nearby national park and Martial Glacier offer plenty of outdoor activities, such as hiking.
Day 2 — Embarkation Day
As you embark, the anticipation grows. Trade your land legs for sea legs, meet and greet your fellow travelers and get acquainted with your ship. Since every Antarctic adventure presents new opportunities and experiences, embarkation day is just as exciting for your Expedition Team as it is for you. On board to ensure your comfort and safety, your team will also help make your wildlife dreams come true.
Day 3 — At Sea
Your days at sea are filled with presentations and lectures led by your Expedition Team, who will prepare you for the wildlife that will greet you upon your arrival. In between presentations, spend time chatting with your shipmates over a drink at the bar, or enjoy the fresh air and views on the outer decks.
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 numerous churches and museums.
In terms of wildlife, the archipelago is 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 team of lecturers and specialists will be sure to educate you on the local flora and fauna, making the most out 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 and mingle with the warmer waters of the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, helps create the abundance of krill that attracts whales and seals to this part of the world. Your Expedition Team will notify you when you cross this invisible yet important line, and also look out for the seabirds and marine life that frequent the 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.
One significant and historic site 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, its incredible densities of wildlife make it truly memorable. 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 a beach, and the next, you may visit another beach blanketed with thousands 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. This fragile and interwoven relationship is something your Expedition Team will explain to you during your time here.
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, lectures and workshops led by your Expedition Team, who will prepare you for the wildlife that will greet you upon your arrival.
If conditions allow, we may attempt landfall on the South Orkney Islands, our first official stop in Antarctica.
Days 14 to 17 — South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula
The most common reaction upon reaching the White Continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is beyond words, since few places are as untouched and enduring as Antarctica.
You will discover that Antarctica is a land of extremes. At one moment you’ll be overcome with a feeling of complete isolation and silence, and at the next moment you’ll be inspired by nature as a calving glacier crashes into brilliant blue sea or a penguin waddles by to inspect your footwear.
Your Expedition Team will take care of you at each excursion, whether you are Zodiac cruising, visiting a historical site or consorting with penguin colonies. Chinstrap, Adélie and gentoo penguins are found here, along with Weddell, fur, crabeater and leopard seals. During Zodiac cruises, keep an eye out for Antarctic whales such as minkes, which may give you a chance for an intimate experience with these majestic animals. Each day and each excursion will present a new collection of creatures to entertain you and keep your camera busy.
As exciting as the Zodiac excursions and landings are, perhaps you’ll treat yourself to an extra-special Antarctic experience by partaking in an optional paddling excursion (at an extra cost) or cast reason aside and jump into Antarctic waters for the polar plunge!
Days 18 and 19 — Crossing the Drake Passage
After more than two weeks of endless wildlife encounters, your journey home begins. Crossing the Drake is your unofficial rite of passage, completing your Antarctic adventure.
Enjoy your final moments celebrating with your fellow shipmates. The busy, populated world awaits your return, so savor the silence of the sea as long as you can.
Day 20 — Disembarkation in Ushuaia
After breakfast aboard the ship, it is time to part ways and say goodbye to your Expedition Team. Airport transfers will be provided for those departing on the first homeward flights. Other guests will be transferred to town.
Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that we can achieve everything we set out to accomplish. A measure of flexibility is something all of us 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.
Located on Decks 5 and 6 of Quarks new ‘World Explorer Vessel, your double berth Veranda suite is approximately 215 sq. ft. (20 sq. m) in size, these cabins have one double or two single beds, and a 55 sq. ft. (5 sq. m) walk-out balcony. A sitting area with sofa, refrigerator, TV, state of the art “infotainment” system, and a private bathroom with shower is also featured in each cabin.
Distinct and comfortable, refined and roomy—these attributes and more describe World Explorer. Not only is it among our fastest ships, but it is also one of our finest, with six tiers of deluxe accommodation.
The personal space is exceptional. Every suite has either a private walk-out or French 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 for quiet contemplation and full skyline views, the Explorer Lounge for a drink and a chat, and the library for more intimate relaxing and reading. Presentations and discussions are facilitated in a dedicated lecture theatre.
Health and wellness facilities feature an outdoor track, a small gym and a sauna, plus a spa with change rooms, showers and lockers. For the active adventurers, add-ons include kayaking, camping and stand-up paddleboarding.
- All cabins have exterior views and private bathroom facilities
- TV and safe in every cabin
- Individual temperature controls
- Electrical supply: 220v
- Chef-prepared meals (all meals and daily snack included)
- One dining room with unreserved seating
- Bar staffed by a professional bartender serving a selection of soft drinks, juices, liquors, spirits, beer and wine, which can be charged to your shipboard account
- Comfortable lounge area for reading or relaxing with a cup of coffee
- Observation decks for spotting wildlife and enjoying the ever-changing polar landscape
- Polar library stocked with a large collection of polar books, and games
- Pool & sauna
- Spa facilities and wellness program
- Lecture theatre
- Polar Boutique
- Ship-to-shore satellite communications with email and wireless Internet access
- Zodiac Cruising (included)
- Kayaking (additional charge)
- Camping (additional charge)
- Standup Paddleboarding (additional charge)
- Staff and Crew130
- Guests172 (140 on Antarctic Express programs)
- Length126 meters
- Breadth (Beam)19 meters
- Draft4.7 meters
- Propulsion2 x Rolls Royce 9,000 kw hybrid diesel/electric
- Ice Class1B
- Cruising Speed16 knots, in open water
- Lifeboats2, fully-enclosed