The Polar Regions are among the last wildernesses on earth and command a level of preparation, flexibility and respect not encountered elsewhere.
Client comment from an Expedition Voyage in 2010
'I can't put into words what a wonderful time I had… The ship, the staff, the passengers, the scenery, the wildlife has all just added up to the most unimaginably brilliant holiday. It was worth every penny. It really was a different world, the whole experience almost surreal now I am home, and a location I'd go back to, given half a chance.'
An Introduction to Expedition Voyages
The programme of itineraries and activities is designed to maximise your time with an adaptable approach. No two voyages are the same. Wildlife, weather and ice play their part, adding immense interest to the expedition. We also like to pioneer new landings whenever possible. Your days will be busy but will also provide time for quiet reflection.
For those who are on their first voyage, rest assured, your staff and crew have racked up hundreds of expeditions and thousands of sea days between them in these fabled waters.
Wildlife watching - be it birds, Bowheads or bears - is the core of many of the activities. Zodiacs allow incredibly close encounters with wildlife that has little reason to fear Polar adventurers. You will be heading out in the company of ornithologists, geologists, historians, marine biologists and botanists so your enjoyment and excitement will be augmented by a wealth of shared knowledge.
Presentations on Board
Be it photography, whale recognition, penguin behaviour, the hunting tactics of the polar bear, the explanation of glaciers or the history of polar exploration - we pride ourselves on having not only the finest experts but also the most. Expect talks that set out to educate, inform and entertain. Like everything else on board they do not run to stringent timetables.
Included in the price on Expedition Voyages
• Ice-rated expedition ships • All meals on board • Free Quark Expeditions parka (excluding Exodus Photographic Charters) • Outside-view cabins • Expert guides and naturalists • All shore excursions • Bridge access • Sundeck, sauna, plunge pool and gym • Well-stocked library • On-board doctor • Daily cabin service • Laundry service (small fee) • Guidelines on sensitive, low-impact travel • Complimentary expedition photo CD/DVD • Helicopter sightseeing (on Icebreakers)
Optional activities - Many voyages offer the following:
• Sea kayaking • Cross-country skiing • Camping • Mountaineering
Optional Activities explained on the Expedition Ships
Kayaking is available on the Expedition Ships in the Arctic and Antarctic. Camping, cross-country skiing and mountaineering are available in Antarctica. Please request your activities from a member of our Polar sales team or add your request to the 'additional comments' online at the time of booking.
Although tents are provided, many spend the hours of darkness in silence gazing up at a starscape beyond description. It is not just the bragging rites that follow a night on the ice, it is the ethereal dawn, the distant song of a humpback and the groan of a Weddell seal. Even if sleep is in short supply the wake up call of gentoos or adelies is a far cry from an alarm clock or police sirens. Not to be missed, although obviously weather dependent.
This increasingly popular Nordic sport is rewarding from the Alps to the Pyrenees, however putting a long turn on the trail in the Antarctic Peninsula takes this thrill to another level. Slaloming sensitively through seals and penguins and then stopping to admire spectacular mountains and bergs before a big re-fuelling session back on board. Only a handful of people have done this before, why not join this chosen few.
Waiting for your turn on a well-hewn rock face in Europe is very far removed from climbing virginal ascents to views unparalleled anywhere in the world. Ice, scree and of course playful glissades are part of climbing, Peninsula style.
People can enjoy the Polar Regions from a brochure, a website and of course properly from a ship. But it is not until you have scythed through an inch of crystalline sea ice in a polycarbonate rapier with a nearby Minke whale keeping an inquisitive eye on you that you can really appreciate the true vastness and wildness of the regions. To have a kayaking backyard, especially down south with blocks of blue ice the size of housing estates as your companions is adventure from the very top drawer. You are an insignificant dot of Gore-tex flotsam against the most magnificent Polar canvas - unforgettable.