ocean diamond antarctic circle cruise

Crossing the Circle: Southern Expedition

  • Overview
    Not only does this expedition include the most in-depth exploration of the Antarctic Peninsula, but it also offers the opportunity to venture farther south across the Antarctic Circle. As you head toward a milestone that few travelers reach, you’ll feel as if you’re in a world without borders, sailing across an endless stretch of sea dotted with ice. Dramatic ice formations will ignite your imagination as you search the landscape for the wildlife that calls it home. Whether it’s humpback whales alongside the ship, a leopard seal diving beneath your Zodiac, penguins sliding off an iceberg into crystal waters, or a giant petrel soaring above cracking sea ice, you’ll experience a sensory overload in Antarctica like you’ve never felt before.
    Duration: 14 days
    Passengers: 189 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Ushuaia, Argentina
    Disembarkation Point: Ushuaia, Argentina
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: 1.6x - 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina

      You will begin your journey in Ushuaia, a small but bustling port town at the tip of South America. This Argentine town is an ideal gateway for you to explore the southern extent of Patagonia while preparing for your adventure ahead. Get active in the mountains or enjoy handcrafted chocolate at a café in town.

    • Day 2 - Embark

      As the ship sets sail in the late afternoon, you will begin your Antarctic journey, passing through the Beagle Channel. Named after the famed ship on which Charles Darwin voyaged, the channel presents great photo opportunities of landscapes and seabirds. Eventually, the channel opens up to the Southern Ocean, and onwards to Antarctica.

    • Day 3/4 - Crossing the Drake Passage

      Your days at sea are filled with presentations led by your Expedition Team who will prepare you for the wildlife, glaciology and history that will greet you upon your arrival. In between presentations, spend time on deck looking for wildlife or chatting with your shipmates over a drink at the bar.

    • Day 5/7 - 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 begin to appreciate why this region has long captivated the attention of explorers and travelers alike. Every visit to Antarctica, we witness something new or unexpected, which means that your expedition will be unlike any other—creating a unique, personal experience. Each day, you will take Zodiac excursions from the ship to explore local bays, channels and landing sites. With wildlife always at the forefront of our minds, you will visit penguin rookeries, scout for humpback and minke whales, and search for a number of southern seal species, including the elusive leopard seal. Your Expedition Team will take care of you at each landing, whether you are exploring the Antarctic terrain, visiting a historic research base or consorting with penguin colonies. Chinstrap, Adélie and gentoo penguins are found here, along with five different species of seals. Zodiac and ship cruising can offer opportunities to view some of the larger local marine mammals more intimately, such as Antarctic minke and humpback whales. Each day and each excursion will present a new collection of creatures to delight you and keep your camera busy. Your days will be busy spotting wildlife and being mesmerized by the astounding beauty of Antarctica. Listening to the crackling and crumbling of icebergs and glaciers and watching penguins waddling on the beach will become your daily entertainment, while sea kayaking, paddle excursions, or camping are optional activities available on select voyages (at an extra cost).

    • Day 8/9 - Antarctic Circle

      Crossing the Antarctic Circle is both a memorable experience and impressive achievement, as few travelers reach so far south. If conditions allow us to cross this famed latitude of 66°33´ S, we’ll toast the first explorers who ventured here, and you can raise a glass and take pride in knowing you’ve made it to a part of the world visited by very few people. This is raw Antarctica, home of the midnight sun, Weddell seals, and your best chances of encountering sea ice – the foundation of the Antarctic marine ecosystem.

    • Day 10/11 - Along the Peninsula

      By now, your knowledge of Adélie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins will be matched by your ability to differentiate between a leopard, crabeater and Weddell seal. Terms like ‘bergy bits’ and ‘pancake ice’ will become part of your vocabulary, yet there are still many tales to be told. As you head north, Zodiac excursions will fill your days, and your Expedition Team will continue looking out for species of seabirds, seals and whales that may have eluded you on your journey south.

    • Day 12/13 - Crossing the Drake Passage

      As you recross the Drake, Antarctica fades away, leaving you with a collection of memories to last a lifetime. Excited conversations with your newfound friends will make the crossing fly by, regardless of weather and sea conditions. Your Expedition Team will round up its series of presentations as well, with a slideshow of the adventures you've shared and wildlife you’ve witnessed over the course of your voyage. Be sure to take some time to reflect on everything you’ve experienced so far.

    • Day 14 - Disembark in Ushuaia

      Today, you’ll say goodbye to your Expedition Team and fellow travelers, disembarking in the morning to catch your homeward flights or continue your travels on your own.

    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

    Kayaking is probably one of the most intimate and inspiring ways you can explore the rugged coastlines and calm bays of the Polar regions.

    Kayaking in the Polar Regions is highly weather-dependent, however we guarantee at least one outing throughout your voyage, but your kayak guides will take you out as many times as possible throughout your voyage.

    USD$ 1,135 per person

    Penguins

    Taking centre stage on your Antarctic Peninsula expedition, are the Brushtail penguin species. These photogenic and intriguing species include, Gentoo, Chinstrap and Adelie penguins. The species are in abundance across Peninsula and are always performing.

    On board voyages in our other details you may come across Rockhopper, Macaroni, Magellanic, King and Emperor penguins.

    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.

    Shoot to your shutter's content!

    For aspiring photographers, the best time to shoot the Antarctic landscape is definitely October, November and March. At these times the sun is much lower in the sky and thus creates beautiful twilight hues and shadows, which contrast the landscape magnificently.

    Of course, if it is wildlife and Antarctica’s babies you are hoping to shoot, then January and February are the best times. Alternatively, consider an early season South Georgia & Antarctica expedition for the best of wildlife and photo opportunities in Antarctica.

  • Inclusions
    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - One night’s pre-expedition hotel accommodation in Ushuaia with breakfast (Note: 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.)
    - A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for landings and Zodiac cruising excursions
    - All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices 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.)
    - Group arrival transfer in Ushuaia from airport to pre-expedition hotel on Day 1
    - Emergency Evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person
    - Group departure transfer upon disembarkation in Ushuaia from ship to local airport or to luggage storage facility
    - Group transfer from hotel to ship on embarkation day
    - All luggage handling aboard the ship
    - All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
    - Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin
    - An official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep
    - A photographic journal documenting the expedition
    - Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled
    - Select beer and wine during dinner; and coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
    - Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
    - All shore landings as per the daily program
    - All Zodiac transfers and cruising as per the daily program
    - Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leaders, including shore landings and other activities

    Not included in your Expedition

    - International airfare
    - Passport and applicable visa expenses
    - Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned
    - Meals unless otherwise specified
    - Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance—strongly recommended
    - Excess-baggage fees on international flights
    - Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac landing and cruising excursions, or any other gear not mentioned
    - Laundry, bar, spa services and other personal charges, unless specified
    - Phone and Internet charges (connectivity may vary by location)
    - Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for expedition staff and shipboard crew
    - Additional overnight accommodation
    - Arrival and departure transfers, except where explicitly stated
    - Adventure Options not listed in Included Activities
  • Map
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  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    OCEAN DIAMOND

    The Ocean Diamond is a modern, stable super-yacht, and one of the largest of our small expedition ships. Carrying a maximum of 189 passengers, and with two stabilizers and an ice-strengthened hull, this outstanding vessel is ideal for polar expeditions. As one of the fastest, and most eco-friendly ships in Antarctica, it is also one of the most comfortable. There are 101 elegantly designed cabins and suites, all with exterior views, and expansive common spaces, a club lounge, and a spacious restaurant. The ship offers numerous adventure options, plus on-board features such as interactions with photography instructors. After a full day of exploration, passengers can relax, browse books or DVDs in the well-stocked polar library, or enjoy stunning polar scenery from the sun-lit, panoramic observation lounge.

    Features & Facilities
    • Elegantly appointed
    • Eco-friendly ship
    • Lounge/ Dining Room
    • Theatre-style auditorium
    • Massage therapy
    • Library
    • Internet/Wifi
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 4
    Guests #: 189
    Crew #: 144
    Ice Class: 1D
    Speed: 15
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built:
    Length: 124m
    Width: 16
    Draft:
    Tonnage: 8282
    Registry: Bahamas
    Elec Outlets: 220V / 2 Round Pin
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
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Ready to book your expedition?

We understand that the trip of a lifetime takes planning, so we make the financial commitments easy to manage.

  • Confirm your booking today with just USD$ 1,000 per passenger.
  • Pay your 25% deposit 5 day later.
  • Final payment due 120 days prior to departure.

Triple

14 Feb 2023 - 27 Feb 2023
Triple berth cabin with shared facilities
USD$ 11,550pp
USD$ 11,550pp

Twin Obstructed View

14 Feb 2023 - 27 Feb 2023
Twin or double bedding, private facilities and a window
USD$ 16,698pp
USD$ 13,359pp
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ortelius twin window cabin

Twin Window

14 Feb 2023 - 27 Feb 2023
Twin private cabin with window.
USD$ 17,754pp
USD$ 14,204pp
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Suite

14 Feb 2023 - 27 Feb 2023
Suite with double bed, private facilities and panoramic windows
USD$ 19,800pp
USD$ 14,850pp

Single Obstructed View

14 Feb 2023 - 27 Feb 2023
1 double bed, private facilities and a window
USD$ 20,328pp
USD$ 20,328pp

Single Porthole

14 Feb 2023 - 27 Feb 2023
2 double bed, private facilities and a window
USD$ 20,328pp
USD$ 20,328pp
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Balcony Suite

14 Feb 2023 - 27 Feb 2023
Twin or double bed, private facilities, window and private balcony
USD$ 20,790pp
USD$ 15,593pp