Diverse and mystifying, Antarctica is one of the last great frontiers on the planet, a place of stark contrast and indescribable beauty. The pristine glaciers, glistening icebergs, arresting inlets and beguiling wildlife are staggering. Ticking the 7th continent off your bucket list is an immersive experience you’ll savor for a lifetime.
Antarctica has been inspiring explorers for centuries. Now you can encounter a world where Mother Nature creates the rules – her unpredictable temperament making each journey to Antarctica unique, exciting and personal. Imagine cruising in a Zodiac through sea ice that crackles like shattered glass, witnessing penguins building their nests, or navigating through a maze of icebergs, each one uniquely shaped by its journey through the sea. Experience exhilarating adventures and be rewarded with memories that last a lifetime.
The main aspiration of all visitors to Antarctica is the Antarctic Peninsula, made up of bedrock islands spanning 800 miles, joined together by the grounded ice sheet that covers it. This is where people spend the bulk of their expedition time. And because the climate is milder here than further south, the highest density of research stations are located on the peninsula.
To get there, most Antarctic cruises begin and end with the crossing of the Drake Passage, a notoriously rough stretch of sea between South America and the seventh continent. For many people, it’s actually a rite of passage and contributes a great deal to the authentic expedition experience.
Discovering Antarctica, whether it’s from the deck of the ship or on Zodiac cruises, one may see orca, minke and humpback whales at close range. The landscape is on the Antarctic Peninsula is stunning, with snow and ice-covered mountain peaks up to 9,200 feet in height. Icebergs of every imaginable shape and size litter the bays and inlets.
Exploring landing sites with penguins at every turn or participating in optional paddling programs with an experienced guide promises a personalized adventure. Hiking trips are also offered and will always be an invigorating experience to explore the Antarctic Peninsula.
A popular pit stop en route to the seventh continent includes the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) and its capital Port Stanley. It was settled in the 1840’s, and was a busy ship repair port before the creation of the Panama Canal. The islands have 63 breeding species of birds, including five breeding penguin species – gentoo, king, rockhopper, macaroni and Magellenic – as well as whales, dolphins, sea lions, and elephant seals.
The island of South Georgia is steeped in history, its claim to fame being the final resting place of early Antarctic Explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. South Georgia is known as the Galapagos of the sub-Antarctic region, as this is where you can visit Salisbury Plain, home to half a million breeding king penguins! Its beaches are the playground of elephant seals and Antarctic fur seals, too.
Your unforgettable polar adventure awaits.
Book your Quark Expeditions voyage to Antarctica now and save 30% on selected departures with their Canada at Par promotion, plus receive a $250 USD onboard credit per person.