Antarctic Explorer: Discovering the 7th Continent

CRUISE ID #ULT20221227

Ushuaia TO Ushuaia

If this is your first visit, our classic Antarctic Explorer voyage gives you the best of the stunning Antarctic Peninsula in 11 days.

Conquer the famed Drake Passage in your choice of four stabilized, polar-class vessels; explore majestic natural environments by zodiac and on foot; get up close and personal with penguins, whales, and other wildlife; and enjoy talks on history, biology, and glaciology by onboard polar experts.

You can personalize your adventure with options that suit your interests, and cross the 7th Continent off the list—your way.

Starting in 2021, this itinerary allows you the opportunity to experience our pioneering new vessel, Ultramarine. This purpose-built vessel is designed to extend the boundaries of polar exploration and offer an unmatched Antarctic experience, including a flightseeing tour you’ll never forget and a range of adventure options more extensive than any other ship in its class.  


Dec 27, 2022


Dec 28, 2022






Jan 7, 2023


11 Stops, 2 Countries






Quark Expeditions

FROM: $17,090



Suites & Fares


Step 1: Choose your preferred deal

Save 15% on Premium Cabins

Save 10% on Standard Cabins

Cruise Fare

Itinerary & Excursions

11 Ports 2 Countries




Dec 27, 2022


Pre-trip Hotel Night




Dec 28, 2022


Ushuaia, Argentina

After an early breakfast at the hotel, the group will transfer to the airport and board our private charter flight to Ushuaia, Argentina. Upon arrival, you will be transferred from the airport to a central downtown location to have some time on your own to explore this quaint port town before making your way to the pier. After a late afternoon embarkation, you will sail along the historic Beagle Channel, which transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Expect an air of anticipation as you depart—the next land you see will be the Antarctic!




Dec 29, 2022

International Waters

Day At Sea

The unpredictable and exciting Drake Passage is an adventure unto itself. While being well taken care of by our expert onboard staff and leaders, you’ll have plenty of time to gaze out at the ocean, take pictures of seabirds swooping around the ship, and get to know your Expedition Team and fellow travelers.

About the Ship




Quark Expeditions

The newest ship in our fleet, Ultramarine, is designed to go beyond the familiar in polar exploration, to discover new places, and to immerse you in the best the region has to offer.

Ship Facts



crew count



USD onboard

deck count




launch year



128 m


16 kts


We pride ourselves on the meals we serve aboard our ships. Our chefs are internationally trained. And our service style is too! The menu changes every day. Breakfast is buffet style. Lunch often features a buffet. Dinner is plated service, with a choice of 3 main dishes. A vegetarian choice is always offered. Desserts are fabulous! Afternoon tea, with pastries or cookies, is provided about 16:00 (4 PM) every day. Fresh pastries arrive warm from the oven for early birds about 06:00 (6 AM). 

Balena Restaurant

Featuring table tops that accommodate 2 to 10, guests can enjoy a quiet dinner with a loved one or join a larger table of new friends. Guests will also enjoy views from every seat in addition to direct access to the wraparound deck.

Bistro 487

Guests can enjoy a meal in the Bistro which offers an indoor/outdoor dining experience. Perfect for enjoying the polar landscapes.


Panorama Lounge and Bar

Enclosed in glass and featuring unobstructed views, the Panorama Lounge and Bar allows guests to relax indoors while staying connected to the awe-inspiring landscapes drifting by. ​It serves as a cozy gathering point where guests can sip a glass of wine, engage in great conversation, indulge in a board game, or socialize at the bar—and, later in the evening, bust a move on the dance floor.

Polar Boutique

Forgot something at home? Don’t worry. Our Polar Boutique is stocked with the industry’s top cold-weather expedition gear. ​


During your voyage you may be given access to the Bridge, where you can observe how the Captain and officers sail and navigate the ship.


The Reception can be found on Deck 3.


The Library can be found on Deck 7.

Health and Fitness

Tundra Spa

Offering a variety of treatments exclusively crafted for our guests, the spa and adjacent steam room allow passengers; to fully relax and unwind before their next off-ship adventure.

Tundra Sauna

Perfectly juxtaposed luxury: guests can rest and relax in the comfort and warmth of the sauna while enjoying the spectacular views outside.​

Fitness Center

In the fully-equipped fitness center, featuring a separate yoga space with views to the outside.


Every vessel in our fleet becomes an expedition base camp. Unpack once. Visit an exciting range of places, because the ship moves from place to place. The ships are equipped with inflatable landing crafts known as Zodiacs. They are used for shore landings and ocean-level cruising.

Activities off the ship are called shore landings or Zodiac cruising. These are daily activities. In the Arctic, you may visit Inuit in their home communities. In the Antarctic, you may visit research stations manned by scientists who brave the extreme environment to add to our knowledge of wildlife, climate and ice. You will hike carpeted tundra valleys or glistening ice fields. Optional activities∘ include kayaking, cross-country, camping, skiing and mountaineering.

The capacity of the vessel determines where you go ashore and how often in Antarctica.

In Antarctica, we operate under International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) guidelines that limit the number of travelers and Expedition Staff ashore during a landing. No more than 100 people can be ashore at any one time, and in some locations that number is 50. Quark operates small expedition vessels, and none of our Antarctic vessels carry more than 199 travelers.

Ambassador Theater

A state-of-the-art, high-resolution LED screen wall in the main theater ensures high-definition viewing of presentations from your Expedition Team from any angle. ​

Ready Room

Designed for efficiency—with wider hallways, plenty of seating, and conveniently located bathrooms—our two ready rooms allow guests to quickly change in and out of their expedition gear.​

Zodiac Cruising

Zodiacs are used for transferring you ashore, transporting your luggage when necessary and for taking you ocean-level cruising among icebergs, whales and seabirds. During the expedition, you will visit remote and isolated sites that are accessible only by Zodiac.

These large, heavy-duty inflatable vessels are extremely safe and were specially designed for expedition work. Zodiacs are the workhorses of Polar expeditions. Separate air compartments retain a large reserve of buoyancy even if these sturdy boats are damaged. Their flat bottom design permits the craft to land directly onto the cobble and ice-strewn beaches that you will encounter on your Polar expedition.

Expedition Team

The perfect polar expedition doesn't just happen. It takes a team of talented, knowledgeable and experienced professionals to bring it all together. Our Expedition Team is comprised of seasoned veterans with rich backgrounds in marine biology, history, glaciology, geology and more. With the highest staff-to-guest ratio in the industry, our Expedition Teams safely deliver your trip-of-a-lifetime to maximize your polar adventure every step of the way.

Twin Engine Helicopters

Two twin-engine helicopters operated from two helidecks allow more passengers to simultaneously experience new destinations accessible only by air, and to enjoy more unique aerial perspectives of the polar regions than on any other ship. ​

Flightseeing aboard Ultramarine

While polar landscapes are spectacular from the sea, they’re even more stunning from the air, a view you can enjoy while seated in one of the two twin-engine helicopters stationed on Ultramarine. Typically in groups of 7 to 9, you will experience an unforgettable aerial∘ tour of the Arctic during a 10- to 15-minute flightseeing excursion∘ that’s included in the cost of the voyage. Additional helicopter activities may also be available for purchase onboard. Please note: all helicopter operations are weather- and logistics-dependent.

Sea Kayaking

Sea kayaking is offered on all of our departures and you require no previous experience to enjoy this activity. Our sea kayaks are the ideal means by which to get some good exercise and explore the cliffs and shores of the various visitor sites around the archipelago. A typical cruise week offers great opportunities to go kayaking around secluded coves, shores, mangrove estuaries and beautiful beaches. Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorants, sea lions and many other animals can be seen up close on a kayak and even as they swim.

Polar Plunge

The Polar Plunge is scheduled once during each voyage. Throughout the journey, the Expedition Leader and Captain constantly monitor conditions in order to choose the optimal time and location. The Polar Plunge sometimes takes place onshore or, in many cases, from the gangway or Zodiac. All participants wear a tethered harness and plunge into the polar waters from the side of Zodiac or safety of the gangplank cheered on, of course, by fellow passengers and Expedition Team.

Safety is paramount—the onboard physician always attends the Polar Plunge. Guides in survival gear circle the area in Zodiacs as guests take their turn jumping or cannon-balling into the polar waters.

Paddling Excursion

Explore the ocean from a more intimate vantage point on a sit-on-top kayak. No experience is required to manoeuvre these very stable kayaks, allowing you to enjoy an unforgettable experience on the water, taking in breathtaking landscapes and wildlife. Whether it’s your first time in a kayak or you want greater flexibility to try other Adventure options, this shorter excursion is for you.

Paddling in the Polar Regions is highly weather-dependent and a one-time experience. Your kayak guides will attempt to take you out on the water for 1-1.5 hours of paddling. Offered on most voyages, spaces are limited. All equipment, guides and instructions are provided by Quark.

Pricing subject to change based on season. Please proceed to checkout or contact a Polar Travel Adviser for more details. 


Imagine for a moment, staring at the stars in the indigo glow of an Antarctic night as you bed down for the night outside in the elements. The buzz of your daily life becomes a distant memory as you listen to the bray of penguin, the ethereal calls of the Weddell sea – even the exhalation of a humpback whale. And then you fall asleep.

Antarctic Camping with Quark Expeditions is an unforgettable experience. After dinner onboard, you'll be escorted ashore by Zodiac to camp out on the snow for the night in your ready-to-roll bivy sack (tents can be used upon request). Once you decide on your spot, you set up camp and enjoy the peace as the Antarctic night unfolds.

Camping in Antarctica is limited to 50 participants, all of whom will be briefed beforehand on the principals of basic camping. Prior to you settling down for the night, Quark Expeditions staff will prepare the site, including setting up a perimeter in safe, flat to gently-sloping and beautiful site. You’re free to choose where (within the perimeters) you want to settle down for the night.  


Hiking in the polar regions differs from your typical trail experience. Here, in a tree-less terrain, you are the tallest figure on the landscape as you walk over spongy tundra, crusty snow or sandy beaches in remotes parts of the Arctic and Antarctica. Stepping ashore anywhere in the polar regions means you’re not a distant observer.

Our organized hikes range from short jaunts to the top of lookouts or visits to see wildlife or longer walks of several kilometers over ice and rock and snow. Hiking excursions may last from two to three hours with plenty of time for photographs of wildlife, learning moments from your experienced guides, or just time to stand back and admire the incredible polar surroundings.

No experience is necessary but participants should be able to get in and out of a Zodiac and walk on uneven terrain. Hiking options are tailored to all interests and abilities, from those who want to contemplate the landscape in silence to photographers who want that perfect image to energetic travelers who want to summit a peak in the hopes of seeing wildlife in their natural habitat.

Exclusive Heli-Landing

Imagine setting foot in an area of the Antarctic that can only be safely accessed by helicopter. With a small group of fellow passengers and expert guides, you’ll board one of Ultramarine’s two twin-engine helicopters to soar off to an exclusive polar site where no ships can navigate. Expect stunning bird’s-eye views during your flight, and then, upon arrival, simply sit back, relax and take in the splendor of the Antarctic from “the best seat in the house”: glacial amphitheaters, breath-taking summits, and more. Traveling in groups of 12 with no more than 4 groups (48 guests) at a time on each landing, you’ll have time to relax and quietly reflect on the beauty of your polar surroundings, after which you’ll be picked up by the helicopters in the same location and returned to Ultramarine.

Each heli-landing experience is uniquely curated by our expedition team, taking conditions and location capacity into consideration.

Alpine Heli-Trekking

Let us take you on an active adventure high up in the Antarctic Peninsula. You’ll be part of an intimate group of adventurers to board one of Ultramarine's two twin-engine helicopters for a trekking excursion in an area only safely accessed by air. The helicopter flight alone rewards guests with unforgettable views of the expansive polar landscape down below. On land, during an invigorating walk, hike or snowshoe trek (depending on conditions), you’ll be rewarded with equally stunning views of remote ridgelines, glaciated terrain, and snow-topped peaks. This once-in-a-lifetime heli-adventure will leave you marveling at the overwhelming beauty of the Antarctic.

Kids and Teens

There are no dedicated children's facilities onboard.

Unique Features

Micro Auto Gasification System (MAGS) is the industry-leading system that converts waste into energy at the site that it's generated. MAGs eliminates the environmental impact of waste transportation, offering an innovative sustainability feature that exceed all industry standards.​

Useful to know

Our Polar Promise: Polar Exploration and Sustainability

Quark Expeditions is profoundly committed to environmentally responsible tourism. Protecting the places we visit is necessary to ensure we can continue to introduce travelers to the spectacular beauty of the polar wilderness. Through Polar Promise, our comprehensive sustainability strategy framework, we’ve incorporated existing sustainability initiatives into a cohesive plan so we can identify where we can do better or do more.

“Quark Expeditions recognizes its responsibility to do more to protect these magnificent places,” says Andrew White, President of Quark Expeditions. “We want to go beyond reducing our footprint. We want to work with other leaders in the industry and with our guests to address the complex and challenging issues facing the polar regions.”

Our Polar Promise framework is made up of four pillars. Each addresses a different aspect of our business, our operations—and ultimately your journey.

Principles: Embedding Responsible Business Practices

Quark Expeditions aims to be the leader in responsible polar tourism, the ‘go-to’ operator for conscious travelers and the preferred partner of the world’s most responsible brands. As a polar-focused tourism operator, our sustainability principles are integral to every decision we make, whether it’s in the polar wilderness or in the places we work every day. We employ the best people in the industry and will lead the industry in the diversification of our workforce. We work to reduce our impact, catalyze change in the industry and help improve our suppliers’ operations.

We’re proud, long-time members in key industry organizations, such as the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) and the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO). We adhere to these organizations’ stringent guidelines, which are designed to ensure the Polar Regions are protected for future generations.

Planet: Reducing Our Footprint and Building Resilience

When it comes to our footprint, the most substantial impact we can have is how we get you, our guest, to the remote Polar environments and how we preserve those majestic environments once we get there.

Quark Expeditions aims to reduce our carbon emissions per passenger by 10% through fleet improvements and changes in order to reduce our impact. We’re working with our supply chain to measure, report and reduce their emissions, and our office and field operations aim to reuse or recycle 100% of waste on Quark Expeditions-owned vessels.

In 2019, an analysis of our historical ship fuel consumption showed that we decreased emissions by 13% from the 5-year average emissions per passenger per day. The purpose of this analysis was to establish a baseline and to further reduce our Scope 1 carbon emissions.

In terms of waste, Quark Expeditions has taken steps to reduce the amount of waste we are sending to landfills, including avoiding single-use plastics and partnering in the SeaGreen recycling initiative in Ushuaia. We’re working towards a zero-waste plan on Quark Expeditions-owned vessels.

Partnerships: Conservation and Impact in Polar Environments

Quark Expeditions aims to be the leading expedition investor in outreach projects within the polar regions, working with a wide circumpolar network of scientists, community leaders, and sustainable innovators. Our goal is to contribute a minimum of $500,000 USD each year through in-kind donations, Quark Expeditions funding, and funds from passenger auctions in support of key polar environmental research, community engagement and sustainable development projects.

Nalunaiqsijiit, the Inuit Cruise Training Initiative, is a program dedicated to providing Nunavummiut with the qualifications and certifications required to work onboard expedition cruise ships, through in situ training and experience onboard ships. Quark Expeditions is excited to have hosted two Nalunaiqsijiit interns onboard Ocean Adventurer during the 2019 Arctic season, and have invited an additional four during the 2019/20 Antarctic Season.

Thanks to our guests’ support, proceeds from Quark Expeditions’ onboard auctions have contributed an average of $200,000 each year to organizations dedicated to polar environmental research, community engagement, and sustainable development projects.

Some of the organizations we’re supporting this year include the South Georgia Heritage Trust, Penguin Watch, Seabird Watch, and Polar Bears International.

Age Restrictions

Quark Expeditions welcomes passengers age of 8 and above on all trips with a signed waiver by a parent prior to trip commencement. There are however some caveats and restrictions to be aware of:

Children on Ship-based trips
Quark Expeditions welcomes passengers∘ age of 8 and above and under the age of 16 at time of travel with a signed waiver by a parent prior to commencement on any Quark Expeditions trip, provided they meet height and weight requirements (weight of 64lbs or 29kg and 48" or 1.2 m. tall). Children under 8 years old at the time of travel are not allowed to participate in the trip.

Children Ship-based Adventure Options
Adventure Options on ships are available for all persons over the age of 16. Children under the age of 16 are not allowed to participate in Adventure Options. Parents must be with children under the age of 16 at all times, so the parent’s participation in Adventure Options may be limited.

Medical Facilities

Our Expedition Teams include a doctor, who is responsible for the health of our guests and our Expedition Team members. Some of our ships have clinics. Our clinics are equipped to handle minor emergencies. We carry emergency supplies of medication. It is important that you bring sufficient prescribed medicines with you.

Because you are traveling to a remote area without access to sophisticated medical facilities, you should not join the expedition∘ if you are suffering from a life threatening condition. Our expedition cruises require sufficient independent mobility to negotiate steep gangways. The terrain is rough in both polar regions. If you have difficulty walking or need an assistance device to move about, our trips may not be for you. Please call to discuss your situation with us.

Please note that we try to provide a range of activity levels to meet the needs of our guests when they go ashore.

Dress Code

Wearing the right clothes is essential. You may need to purchase additional outdoor clothing. That said, you will not have to buy a parka, as we include the official Quark parka in the cost of your expedition and we loan you waterproof boots.

Leave the jacket and tie behind if you prefer. Our expeditions are informal. However, the Captain and his officers will dress in uniforms∘ for the welcome and farewell cocktail parties on some of our ships. So, you may want to pack a dress shirt and a pair of casual slacks for the occasion.


To protect the health and safety of its guests, Quark Expeditions® maintains a no smoking policy in the interior of the ship including cabins, near Zodiacs and on landings. Smoking on the ship is permitted in the designated smoking area only, which your Expedition∘ Team members will be happy to point out for you. Always make sure to extinguish cigarettes properly and dispose of them in the proper receptacle. Please, never throw cigarettes overboard.

Special Dietary Requirements

Special dietary requests such as vegetarian, low salt and low cholesterol should be made with Quark Expeditions in advance. However, we recommend that you contact the Hotel Manager once on board to reconfirm such requests. We regret that∘ these, and any other special dietary needs, cannot be guaranteed. If you have any specific or special foods that you require we recommend that you take some with you. Kosher food cannot be prepared.


Laundry service is available on every ship. Costs are reasonable. Excess baggage charges will often exceed laundry charges, so we recommend that you pack fewer items and use the laundry service to refresh your wardrobe.


Deck 8

  • Helipad 

Deck 7

  • Panorama Bar & Lounge
  • Library
  • Sauna
  • Spa
  • Fitness Centre
  • Bistro
  • Penthouse Suite

Deck 6

  • Bridge
  • Deluxe Balcony Suite
  • Balcony Suite
  • Terrace Suite
  • Owner's Suite
  • Ultra Suite
  • Solo Panorama

Deck 5

  • Restaurant
  • Lecture Theatre  

Deck 4

  • Balcony Suite
  • Deluxe Balcony Suite

Deck 3

  • Explorer Suite
  • Explorer Triple
  • Reception
  • Polar Boutique
  • Expedition Desk
  • Clinic

Deck 2

  • Ready Room
  • Zodiacs