Crossing the Circle 2014-15

Animals that can survive in Antarctica are a specialised bunch. They're the Bear Grylls' of the animal kingdom.
South Shetland Islands
Touring icebergs by kayak
Antarctica’s seabirds
Cruise the Beagle Channel
Ice landing
The epic icebergs and landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula
  • Antarctica is bigger than Europe. It’s home to around 90% of the earth’s ice. In summer it’s light all day. Antarctic fish produce a natural anti-freeze chemical. Killer whales are actually a type of dolphin. Yeah it’s pretty out there, out there.


    Day 1 - Ushuaia

    You might think the southernmost town in the world would be some kind of wasteland. Wrong. It’s got casinos, restaurants and is a base for hiking, winter sports and Antarctic voyagers (that’s you). It can get a bit touristy but you’re not there for long.

    • Arrive in Ushuaia and spend a bit of time getting acquainted with the southernmost town in the world

    Day 2 - Ushuaia - Embarkation Day

    This is it: The real deal, the main event, the climax, the showstopper, the crème de la crème, the most life-affirming experience you might ever…experience. Before you board the boat, take a minute to think about what you’d be doing if you were at home today,then congratulate yourself for making the right decision.

    • Set sail across the Beagle Channel
    • Many great photo opportunities to capture sea birds hovering overhead
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 3-4 - Drake Passage

    Drake Passage is notorious for being a real pain in the butt, so pray (if you’re that way inclined) for clear skies, calm waters and nothing more than a slight breeze. If lady luck (or God) doesn’t make an appearance, just think of it as character building.

    • Navigate the notorious Drake Passage
    • Prepare for the days ahead by taking in numerous educational talks and presentations by the Expedition Team on wildlife and polar history and safety
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 5-8 - Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands

    You’re going to sight the Antarctic coastline for the first time. You’re going to see loads of icebergs. There might be whales. There will be penguins. Then you’re going to set foot on the ice. It’s going to be great. You might cry. We won’t judge.

    • Make a final approach to Antarctica
    •  Sight the Antarctic coastline for the first time
    • View plentiful icebergs floating by and see curious whales spout and breach around the boat
    • Set foot on the great continent at either Neko Harbor, Orne Harbor or Paradise Bay, depending on the weather
    • Spend days spotting wildlife and soaking in the Antarctic surrounds
    • Watch penguins waddling on the beach or listen to the crackling and crumbling sounds of icebergs and glaciers
    • Optional activities here include kayaking with whales and camping in Antarctica
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 9-10 - The Antarctic Circle

    Crossing the Antarctic Circle is probably one of the most incredible things you will ever do in your life. Not to say your life is rubbish – we couldn’t possibly make that presumption - we just mean that to this day, very few people have been here. Grab a bottle of champagne and celebrate in style. Singing “We Are The Champions” is optional.

    • Cross the Antarctic Circle - an impressive achievement
    • 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
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 11-12 - Northbound Along the Peninsula

    By now dry land will be a distant memory. If you begin to feel like you have more in common with the seals – eating fish at all hours, lazing around on the ice and clapping for no reason - it might be time to step outside the cabin and get a bit of fresh Antarctic air. Don’t stress, it’ll just be cabin fever setting in.

    • Head back towards Drake Passage
    • Continue to head out on numerous Zodiac excursions
    • Pick the Expedition Team's brains for more Antarctic knowledge
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 13-14 - Drake Passage to Ushuaia

    Leave Antarctica behind and re-navigate the Drake Passage. You’ll be chock full of memories, you’ll have made new friends (both human and penguin) and you should begin to feel an overwhelming sense of pride, exhilaration and a newfound sense of awesome. You might even cry again. Just roll with it, you did good.

    • Re-cross Drake Passage
    • Reminisce with travel companions about your adventure
    • Take in some final lectures by the Expedition Team a
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 15 - Disembark in Ushuaia, Argentina

    Time to get your “I heart Antarctica” hoodie and show all the “travellers” at home what a real adventurer looks like

    • Bid farewell to the Expedition Team and your fellow travelers, the trip ends on arrival back in Ushuaia
  • What's Included

      • One night pre-expedition hotel accommodation with breakfast in Ushuaia as indicated in the itinerary. (The number of guests per room is the same as cabin occupancy on the ship. Due to limited availability, travelers who reserve a suite on board are accommodated in standard rooms at the hotel. Triple rooms may not be available)
      • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping.
      • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage. (Please inform us of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals.)
      • All shore landings per the daily program.
      • Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader, including shore landings and other activities.
      • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program.
      • Formal and informal presentations by our 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 Quark Expeditions 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.
      • Group transfers in Ushuaia from the airport to any local hotel.
      • Group transfers from a designated location in Ushuaia to the ship on embarkation day.  
      • Snowshoes available on loan for shore excursions on designated voyages.
      • Headsets available on loan for listening to staff presentations and commentary.
      • Access the world’s largest floating collection of polar books and DVD’s in many languages.
      • A comprehensive photography program that includes the services of a resident photography instructor, a program of lectures on photography and digital image manipulation, photography focused excursions at landing sites.

    Not Included

      • Any airfare unless otherwise specified in the itinerary.
      • Passport and visa expenses.
      • Government arrival and departure taxes.
      • Any meals ashore with the exception of breakfast at the host hotel before embarkation and lunch on specified Fly and Cruise programs.
      • Baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance.
      • Excess baggage charges.
      • Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified.
      • Telecommunications charges.
      • The voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew.
      • Massage services are available for onboard purchase.

    Safety Information

    Safety is paramount on a Gecko's voyage. Due to International Security Regulations, you will not be able to approach the ship on your own. You will have to arrive with the rest of the group, accompanied by a Gecko's representative. Full details of embarkation/disembarkation procedures will be supplied with your final documentation. On board you will be asked to participate in the obligatory lifeboat drill. We will also conduct important briefings on landing procedures and Zodiac operations.

  • Trip Dates and Prices

    Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price
  • Our Ships

    Ocean Diamond

    Ocean Diamond

    Sail aboard the Ocean Diamond, a modern, stable super-yacht and experience Quark's Antarctica. Carrying a maximum of 189 passengers, this outstanding vessel features numerous adventure options plus onboard amenities such as a massage and wellness program and a well-stocked polar library. The Ocean Diamond is staffed with experienced captains, officers, expedition leaders, and guides.

15 days
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*Please note: To receive the discounted price for this departure, please enter the Promo Code at Step 4 of the booking form.

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13 nights Expedition Voyage, 1 night Comfortable hotel

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