island sky luxury marine mammals antarctica cruise

Marine Mammals - Whale Science Voyage

  • Overview

    EXCITING NEWS: This voyage will now operate with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and their team made up of a team of four scientists, Daniel Zitterbart, Kylie Owen, Alessandro Bocconcelli, and Joseph Warren. The voyage will conduct research on the feeding habits of Baleen whales, as very little is known about how these whales find the krill that they consume, and gaining an understanding is very important as global warming continues to impact the distribution and volume of krill in our oceans. All guests on this voyage will have an opportunity to participate as the scientists track whales, and there will be ongoing briefings on the data gathered as the study progresses. 

     

    A unique 14-day expedition focusing on Marine Mammals. As the Antarctic summer comes to a close in March, migratory whale species like the Humpback are very active, socializing and feeding in preparation for the long journey ahead. Resident whale species like the Minke and Orca are abundant, and we stand a good chance of encountering Southern Right whales and some of the larger pelagic species. Leopard seals are also very busy in March, hunting naïve penguin chicks as they mature, develop their waterproof feathers, and make their first journeys to the sea. We’ll see all this action close-up; from Zodiacs, on shore landings, and from the deck and observation platform of Island Sky. Photographers and videographers will have ample opportunities to capture stunning images, and those of us with scientific interests will be thrilled to work with the Citizen Science team, contributing data and images to a variety of active marine mammal research projects.

    Duration: 14 days
    Passengers: 114 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Ushuaia, Argentina
    Disembarkation Point: Ushuaia, Argentina
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: 1.7x - 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Ushuaia

      Arrive in Ushuaia anytime today. Enjoy a complimentary stay at the beautiful Arakur Hotel & Resort. Explore the trails, take a spa, head into town, or relax and soak in the surroundings. Our optional evening briefing is a great opportunity for you to ask questions and to meet some of your fellow travelers. Enjoy a complimentary buffet breakfast in the morning.

    • Day 2 - Embarkation

      Today is the first day of our adventure. As we board the Hebridean Sky in Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city at the tip of Argentina, and start to become familiar with ‘our home’ for the next 13 days we cannot help but wonder about the exciting journey ahead of us. In the early evening, we set sail and begin our voyage leaving behind Ushuaia and charting a course through the Beagle Channel.

    • Day 3/4 - Drake Passage

      Crossing the Drake Passage, there is so much excitement in the air as we make our way ever closer to the white continent. Guests eagerly soak up the friendly atmosphere onboard as our numerous Polar experts prepare us for our adventures with presentations on everything Antarctic, from wildlife to history. Eventually, we will cross the Antarctic Convergence where we will notice a distinct drop in temperature as we enter the waters of the Antarctic Ocean. Those keen in Citizen Science can take part in collecting salinity samples, wind and temperature readings along the way. On our sea crossing we will witness many spectacular sights from icebergs to an array of seabirds and even several whale species, some of which are known on occasion to fully breach from the sea.

    • Day 5/7 - Antarctica

      Exploring the South Shetland Islands, we may visit Half Moon Island with its stunning backdrop of mountainous and glaciated Livingston Island.  Or perhaps we will sail the ship into an active volcano with an opportunity to take a dip in the relatively balmy waters that surround Deception Island.  Bransfield Strait, once the site of an abandoned whaling station, gives us an excellent chance to see whales, who often return to its rich waters.

      In the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula, our Expedition Leader, Captain, and Marine Mammal experts will create a flexible itinerary based on weather, ice, and previous sightings to maximize our whale watching opportunities, while also exploring some of the lesser travelled areas of the Peninsula.  We will aim for the most scenic bays and channels, with stops at penguin rookeries, seal wallows, bird colonies and whale feeding areas, as well as sites of historic and scientific interest.

    • Day 8/11 - Antarctica - The Future of the Antarctic Ecosystem

      Heading further South, we will be sure to explore the Gerlache Strait and its surrounding channels and islands. This may include trips to picturesque Neko Harbor, sheltered Paradise Harbor, the humpback favored Wilhelmina Bay, the striking Lemaire Channel, the wildlife-filled Penola Strait, or the majestic Neumayer Channel. We may stop at an active scientific base such as Poland’s Arctowksi or Ukraine’s Vernadsky as well as a historic base such as U.K.’s Port Lockroy or Wordie House.

      At this time of year, most areas have amazing marine mammal viewing opportunities with weddell and crabeater seals often found hauled out to rest along with predatory leopard seals and the assertive Antarctic fur seal. Minke and humpback whales are frequent visitors during this season and orca sightings are also common.

      All of our on-board experts will take part in a panel discussion on The Future of the Antarctic Ecosystem.

    • Day 12/13 - Drake Passage

      As we leave this magical place and make our way north, heading again across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage we have no doubt that time will be spent sharing and reflecting on the wonderful experiences of the last few days. Sailing down the Beagle Channel, we celebrate the conclusion of our Polar expedition at a special slideshow and dinner.

    • Day 14 - Ushuaia disembarkation

      As we arrive back in Ushuaia, it is time to say farewell to your crew and fellow travelers. Morning disembarkation lets you catch a flight to Buenos Aires or stay in Ushuaia for more sights and adventure. Please Note: Kayaking & Camping are available as Adventure Options on this voyage. Space for these activities is limited.

    Please consider that our voyages are expeditionary in nature. This means, that there are no concrete itineraries, your Captain and Expedition Leader will utilise their vast experience to chart the best course for your expedition depending on the climatic and environmental conditions. Mentioned highlights and wildlife cannot be guaranteed.

  • Highlights & Activities

    Kayaking

    Paddling in and among the icebergs. Getting up close to nature. Silently gliding along at the water level. We want as many passengers as possible to experience these very moving and personal moments. Our kayak adventure option offers an opportunity to participate in this most intimate Antarctic encounter on all Polar Latitudes voyages.

    USD 695 per person

    Camping

    After a delicious dinner onboard, jump back in the Zodiacs and head ashore for a night of camping in Antarctica! Help to set up camp, and then enjoy the sounds of the waves, the creaking of the glaciers, perhaps even the blow of a passing whale. Warm and cozy in your sleeping bag under the midnight sun, you will be breathing the cleanest air in the most beautiful place on the planet. Get a taste of Antarctica as it was experienced by the early explorers, while knowing that in the morning you’ll enjoy a hot shower and a hearty breakfast back on board your luxurious vessel.

    USD 125 per person

    Whales

    Whale numbers swell in Antarctica over the southern summer. Arriving in Antarctica from November onwards, whale numbers reach their peak around December and January. Sightings and particularly breachings reach a pinnacle in February and March, when the Krill is closer to the surface. Some 10 species of whales are found in Antarctic water each summer, with the most abundant species being the Humpack.

    Lemaire Channel – get your camera ready!

    In a continent of stunning views, Lemaire Channel has been called the Kodak Gap. Locked between the rocky vertical cliffs of Booth Island and the continent this one kilometer wide passage is one of the most photographed attractions of Antarctica. You will be glad your camera is digital.

  • Inclusions

    Expedition Gear

    The ship will provide you with expedition boots (on loan) and a specially designed expedition jacket, which is yours to keep at the end of your voyage.

    Wifi

    100 minutes of Wifi access is provided for use on your personal devices free of charge.

    Premium Suite Extras

    The Promenade, Deluxe, Penthouse and Owner Suites all receive champagne and chocolates on arrival and a complimentary mini-bar.

    Accommodation & Transfers

    Transfers are provided pre and post-cruise by the expedition team and one-night accommodation is provided on Day 1 of your itinerary at a Ushuaia hotel.

    Complimentary Pre-Arrival Day:
    Don’t sweat flight delays or missed connections when you begin your adventure a day early by taking advantage of our optional free pre-arrival night at the beautiful Arakur Hotel & Resort, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World. Enjoy the spa, wander the trails, or unwind and soak in the surroundings.

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - All port & landing fees
    - House wine / beer or soft drink with dinner
    - Welcome & Farewell cocktail
    - All excursions and lectures
    - Digital voyage log
    - Hot beverages
    - All accommodation and meals on board

    Not included in your Expedition

    - arrival and departure taxes
    - Passport and Visa fees
    - Gratuities
    - Laundry costs
    - Communication costs
    - Accommodation / meals / excursions & transfers as explicitly outlined in the itinerary
    - Mandatory waterproof gear not provided
    - Baggage / cancellation / interruption and medical travel insurance
    - Beverages purchased at the ship’s bar
    - International & internal airfares
  • Map
    Screen shot 2017 07 04 at 5.28.51 pm
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    ISLAND SKY

    The Island Sky is an all suites, all inclusive small expedition vessel with touches of elegance throughout. Quark Expeditions’ only all-suite ship, it carries a maximum of 108 passengers and provides an abundance of public space for wildlife viewing, relaxation and taking in lectures and briefings. Every suite has private bathroom facilities and an exterior view, while some suites include a private balcony. All suites have flat screen televisions and DVD players.

    Features & Facilities
    • Luxury accommodation
    • Observation lounge
    • Observation Bar
    • Library
    • Lecture theatre
    • Large observation deck
    • Internet/Wifi
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 4
    Guests #: 114
    Crew #: 72
    Ice Class: 1C
    Speed:
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built:
    Length: 90m
    Width: 15
    Draft:
    Tonnage: 4200
    Registry: Bahamas
    Elec Outlets:
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
All available dates

Triple Suite

02 Mar 2019 - 15 Mar 2019
A generous suite with twin beds and a sofa bed
USD 9,995pp
USD 7,995pp

Porthole Suite

02 Mar 2019 - 15 Mar 2019
A generous Suite with twin or king bedding and private facilties
USD 12,495pp
USD 9,996pp

Window Suite

02 Mar 2019 - 15 Mar 2019
A generous Suite with twin or king bedding and private facilties
USD 14,595pp
USD 11,676pp

Promenade Suite

02 Mar 2019 - 15 Mar 2019
A generous Suite with twin or king bedding and private facilties
USD 14,995pp
USD 11,996pp

Deluxe Suite

02 Mar 2019 - 15 Mar 2019
Corner Suites with twin or king bedding and private facilities
USD 15,395pp
USD 12,316pp

Veranda Suite with Balcony

02 Mar 2019 - 15 Mar 2019
An extremely comfortable Suite with twin or king bedding, private facilities and a balcony
USD 16,495pp
USD 13,196pp

Penthouse Suite with Balcony

02 Mar 2019 - 15 Mar 2019
An extremely comfortable Suite with twin or king bedding, private facilities and a balcony
USD 18,995pp
USD 15,596pp

Owner's Suite

02 Mar 2019 - 15 Mar 2019
The Owner's Suite features a separate sitting room, private bathroom and large balcony
USD 21,995pp
USD 17,596pp