During the Heroic Age of Exploration, a visit to the 7th continent was a major operation that cost a fortune and could take months or even years to complete. Now, thanks to improvements in transportation and communications technology, you can explore the last pristine wilderness in the world while on an Antarctic cruise in as little as 7 or 8 days.
Imagine cruising in a Zodiac with minke and humpback whales or climbing to the top of a promontory to view a vista so beautiful it takes your breath away – all in about the same time you’d spend on a quick Caribbean getaway. Convenient flights to Antarctica mean that without even using up your annual vacation allotment, you could visit a penguin colony numbering in the tens of thousands.
Any time in the austral summer is a good time to visit Antarctica, but December cruises offer unexpected benefits: it’s penguin mating season, glaciers begin to calve as the weather warms, and saltwater and rising temperatures haven’t yet begun to erode and mar the icebergs. At this time of year, few people have set foot on the pristine winter snow, so you may feel like you’re the first person to visit the 7th continent.
For a very limited time – this week only – you can take a whopping 50 percent off the price of select Antarctic cruises in December (including the 3 below!), with our flash sale!
Antarctic Express: Fly South, Cruise North
Your 10-day Antarctic cruise starts in Punta Arenas, Chile, a former penal colony transformed into a vibrant international community. Located on the Strait of Magellan, Punta Arenas is an ideal spot to view penguins and whales. You can also visit many historical sites and museums or enjoy hiking, skiing or fine dining.
It’s a comfortable 4-hour flight over the Drake Passage to King George Island, where you’ll join the ice-strengthened small cruise ship Sea Adventurer. Your adventure begins immediately, as you watch for whales and other Antarctic wildlife while cruising the Antarctic Peninsula. Check out this 360° Virtual Reality video to see just what to expect:
Daily Zodiac excursions bring you up close and personal with Antarctica: experience the region’s spectacular sea ice and delight in shore landings that include visits to penguin colonies and hikes to magnificent vistas.
Your return journey is a rite of passage for Antarctic explorers: crossing the legendary Drake Passage. Educational talks by our on-board experts and opportunities to spot wildlife fill the 2-day journey to Ushuaia, Argentina. If you have a little extra time, the southernmost city in the world has plenty to offer, including excellent hiking and the chance to view wildlife.
Learn more about Antarctic Express: Fly South, Cruise North here.
Antarctic Express: Cruise South, Fly North
The Drake Passage is well known for having uncertain weather, but with luck it will cooperate when you depart from Ushuaia on 6 Dec 2016 on your 10-day Antarctic journey. Meet fellow passengers, attend lectures given by our on-board experts or relax and marvel at the stunning view. The 2-day crossing will be over before you know it, and you’ll be in the last unspoiled wilderness on earth.
Antarctica is the perfect place to unplug and relax as you immerse yourself in its rugged beauty. While you walk along pebbled beaches, you may wonder whether any living thing has stood there before – until you arrive at a nearby penguin colony and meet tens of thousands of local residents.
Antarctica may be isolated, but it is never lonely.
As the ship that’s been your home for an incredible week turns north toward the Drake, you’ll say “until the next time” to the white continent and all of the friends you’ve made along the way, before boarding your return flight to Punta Arenas.
Learn more about Antarctic Express: Cruise South, Fly North here.
Antarctic Explorer: Discovering the 7th Continent
Explore the wilds and wonders of the South Shetland Islands and the holy grail for centuries of explorers, the Antarctic Peninsula. Antarctic Explorer: Discovering the 7th Continent is a popular and versatile expedition, with departures from both Ushuaia and Buenos Aires, Argentina, and 10-, 11- or 12-day itineraries.
By the time you take your first Zodiac cruise, you’ll be well prepared by lectures and time spent with our on-board experts crossing the Drake Passage. Depending on the weather, it could be a meandering trip amongst the impressive icebergs of the 7th continent, an excursion to look for minke and humpback whales, or a shore landing followed by a hike to view the most spectacular scenery you’ll ever see.
If you want even more added adventure, an option on this trip (if the weather cooperates) is kayaking, an intimate and inspiring way to experience the wildlife and scenery of one of the most awe-inspiring places on the planet. Other Adventure Options include snowshoeing and hiking.
Flash Sale – 50% Off Antarctic Expeditions
Now, experiencing one of these small cruise expedition is easier than ever. Beginning today for just 5 days – until Friday, September 23, 2016, only – you can save an incredible 50 percent off select December cruises with the Quark Expeditions Antarctica Flash Sale. Click through to learn how!