ocean diamond epic antarctic cruise south georgia and antarctic circle

Epic Antarctica: Crossing the Circle via Falklands and South Georgia

  • Overview
    Explore Ushuaia before embarking on the cruise portion of your once in a lifetime adventure. In this diverse expedition, you’ll experience the spectacular flora and fauna of the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) before immersing yourself in the unique history and exquisite, rare wildlife of South Georgia. Whether you’re visiting Antarctic research stations, witnessing a sudden minke whale breach from your Zodiac, sharing a magical moment with king penguins, or celebrating crossing the Antarctic Circle with like-minded travelers and crew, you’ll know this experience will live on in you forever.
    Duration: 23 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

      Your gateway for this expedition is Ushuaia, Argentina. Nestled within the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, Ushuaia has a small-town feel yet boasts many shops, museums, cafés and restaurants that you can enjoy before your voyage. If you’re feeling adventurous, the nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park and Martial Glacier offer plenty of outdoor activities, such as hiking.

    • Day 2 - Embark

      As you embark, the anticipation grows. Trade your land legs for sea legs, meet and greet your fellow travelers and get acquainted with your ship. Since every Antarctic adventure presents new opportunities and experiences, embarkation day is just as exciting for your Expedition Team as it is for you. On board to ensure your comfort and safety, your team will also help make your wildlife dreams come true.

    • Day 3 - At Sea

      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 4/5 - Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

      Upon your arrival in the Falklands (Malvinas), your camera will get its first real workout capturing the abundant wildlife and rugged feel of this sub-Antarctic region. The archipelago contains two main islands, East Falkland and West Falkland, which you will explore during daily Zodiac excursions and landings. Stanley, also known as Port Stanley, is often a favored landing site, as the town offers a unique British outpost feel, complete with eclectic charm. You’ll be free to explore, grab a pint at the local pub or visit the cathedral and museum. The Archipelago is rich in wildlife, especially birds, and home to Magellanic, gentoo, and southern rockhopper penguins. If you’re lucky, you may even spot king penguins here as well! You can expect to see black-browed albatross, plus two endemic bird species—the flightless Falkland steamer duck and possibly the elusive Cobb’s wren. Your expert education team will be sure to enrich your understanding of the local flora and fauna, making the most out of your time in the Falklands.

    • Day 6/7 - At Sea

      Sailing southeast to South Georgia, you’ll officially enter Antarctic waters once you cross the Antarctic Convergence, an invisible biological boundary encircling the continent. This meeting of oceans, where the cold Antarctic waters mix and mingle with the warmer waters of the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, helps nourish the abundance of krill that attracts whales, seals, and birdlife to this part of the world. Your Expedition Team will notify you when you cross this invisible yet important line, and also look out for the seabirds and marine life that frequent the area.

    • Day 8/11 - South Georgia

      This remote, mountainous island was a popular stop for many historic Antarctic expeditions and was once a haven for hunting whales and seals. Today, island wildlife populations are rebounding, but you’ll still see remnants of old whaling stations and other abandoned outposts. One significant and historic site is the grave of the great explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. You can visit his grave at the settlement of Grytviken, which is also home to an old whaling station, plus a museum, gift shop, church and small research station. Although South Georgia’s history is an important attraction to the island, it is the tremendous abundance of wildlife that you and your shipmates will surely find most captivating. Each landing you make on South Georgia, often referred to as the Galapagos of the Poles, will open your eyes to the wondrous lives of new, enthralling creatures. One day you may see rookeries with hundreds of thousands of pairs of king penguins waddling on a beach, and the next, you may visit another beach blanketed with hundreds of fur or elephant seals. The grasses, mountains and beaches of South Georgia all play an important role in the breeding and survival of different species on the island. This fragile and interwoven relationship is something your Expedition Team will instill in you during your time here.

    • Day 12/13 - At Sea

      Say goodbye to the king penguins, as your next destination is Antarctica! Your days at sea are filled with presentations, workshops, and social activities led by your Expedition Team.

    • Day 14/16 - South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula

      The experience is hard to put into words, but the most common reaction upon reaching the White Continent is a sense of reverence and awe. You will discover that Antarctica is a land of extremes: at one moment you’ll be overcome with a feeling of complete silence and solitude; the next, you’ll be laughing at the comical antics of a curious penguin. Zodiac cruising, visits to historical sites and, of course, communing with seals and penguins are sure to keep you smiling every day. Perhaps you’ll catch sight of the fearless penguin eater, the leopard seal, or maybe you’ll come eye to eye with a humpback whale while you are cruising in a Zodiac. Each day and each excursion will present a new collection of creatures to delight you and keep your camera busy. If you find yourself wanting more, treat yourself to an optional kayaking adventure (reserve in advance when booking your trip) or a swim in Antarctic waters during the Polar Plunge!

    • Day 17/18 - 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 19/20 - Northbound Along the Peninsula

      If you haven’t had your fill of Antarctic wildlife and icebergs by now, you’ll surely be satisfied by the time you return to the Drake Passage. You will continue to make excursions by Zodiac as you travel north along the western Antarctic Peninsula. Your Expedition Team will always be on the lookout for species of seabirds, seals and whales that may have eluded you on your journey south.

    • Day 21/22 - Crossing the Drake Passage

      After more than three weeks of unique wildlife encounters and remarkable landscapes, your journey home begins. Crossing the Drake is your unofficial rite of passage, putting a final stamp of approval on your Antarctic adventure.

    • Day 23 - Disembark in Ushuaia

      After breakfast aboard the ship, it is time to part ways and say goodbye to your Expedition Team. Airport transfers will be provided for those departing on the first homeward flights. Other guests will be transferred to town.

    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

    Camping

    Not very many people have the opportunity to say they’ve camped on the 7th Continent. This is one of the best ways to experience Antarctica in a more intimate manner, and take your expedition to the next level.

    Camping is available on most Antarctic voyages and has a limited number of spots. All equipment, guides and instructions are provided.

    AUD$ 410 per person

    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.

    AUD$ 1,720 per person

    Wandering Albatross

    Spectacular in flight and on the ground, with the largest wingspan of any bird on the planet; gracefully and effortlessly glides for thousands of kilometres across the Southern Ocean to their nesting site on South Georgia.

    South Georgia; Wildlife Mecca

    Walk amidst tens of thousands of king penguins on a single beach. Hike in the footsteps of ‘the Boss’, Sir Ernest Shackleton and hear his tale of survival.

    The great Antarctic Safari

    No matter which itinerary you choose to undertake, you are destined to spot a wonderful array of wildlife, including sea elephants and sea lions, Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals, and Minke, killer and humpback whales and the magnificent wandering albatrosses.

  • Inclusions
    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - Group departure transfer upon disembarkation in Ushuaia from ship to local airport or to luggage storage facility
    - 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.)
    - All shore landings per the daily program
    - All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
    - Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leaders, including shore landings and other activities
    - 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.)
    - Group arrival transfer in Ushuaia from airport to pre-expedition hotel on Day 1
    - Group transfer from hotel to ship on embarkation day
    - Emergency Evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person
    - 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 pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for landings and Zodiac cruising excursions
    - 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

    Not included in your Expedition

    - International airfare
    - Passport and applicable visa expenses
    - Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned
    - Meals ashore 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
  • Map
    Open uri20221115 31258 jzpx7e?1668514103
  • 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
All available dates
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 AUD$ 1,000 per passenger.
  • Pay your 25% deposit 5 day later.
  • Final payment due 120 days prior to departure.

Triple

19 Dec 2022 - 10 Jan 2023
Triple berth cabin with shared facilities
AUD$ 33,800pp
AUD$ 33,800pp

Twin Obstructed View

19 Dec 2022 - 10 Jan 2023
Twin or double bedding, private facilities and a window
AUD$ 48,900pp
AUD$ 48,900pp
ortelius twin window cabin

Twin Window

19 Dec 2022 - 10 Jan 2023
Twin private cabin with window.
AUD$ 51,300pp
AUD$ 51,300pp

Suite

19 Dec 2022 - 10 Jan 2023
Suite with double bed, private facilities and panoramic windows
AUD$ 59,100pp
AUD$ 59,100pp

Single Obstructed View

19 Dec 2022 - 10 Jan 2023
1 double bed, private facilities and a window
AUD$ 59,800pp
AUD$ 59,800pp

Single Porthole

19 Dec 2022 - 10 Jan 2023
2 double bed, private facilities and a window
AUD$ 59,800pp
AUD$ 59,800pp

Balcony Suite

19 Dec 2022 - 10 Jan 2023
Twin or double bed, private facilities, window and private balcony
AUD$ 61,400pp
AUD$ 61,400pp