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Emperor Penguin Quest Snow Hill  Quark Expeditions

Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica

Meet countless species on this expedition cruise aboard the Ocean Explorer

Length

20 Days

Ship category

Premium

Ship type

Mid-Sized Ship

Capacity

138 Passengers

Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica

12 Reviews

Trip highlights

Discover King Penguin breeding beaches

Wander the sandy dunes of the Falklands

Explore the icy Antarctic Peninsula

Birdwatch on rugged seabird cliffs

The Polartours experience

Stroll through charming Stanley Village

Learn from industry experts

Your booking contributes to our Conservation Project

Immerse yourself in South Georgia's history

Embark on this once-in-a-lifetime expedition aboard the Ocean Explorer to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic Peninsula – the fastest way to reach these rarely visited gems before stepping foot on the 7th Continent. This journey is an animal-lover’s dream come true, exploring one of the last untamed areas on Earth, with ruggedly beautiful landscapes and a staggering variety of wildlife.

Discover the charming English village of Stanley in the Falklands, wander the islands’ sandy dunes, and birdwatch at rugged seabird cliffs. In South Georgia, experience the beaches where king penguins breed – home to one of the highest densities of animal life on Earth – and immerse yourself in the rich historical legacy of the region. Both islands are renowned as wildlife meccas, offering epic displays of animals congregating by the thousands.

Continue to the stunning Antarctic Peninsula and enter a world of ice, snow, and natural wonders. This expedition cruise will introduce you to at least six species of penguin and numerous Antarctic fur seals. Pursue your personal passions with a choice of rewarding activities and our extensive educational program. Benefit from the expertise of our dedicated expedition guide, who will help you identify and photograph bird species, and provide in-depth on-board lectures and daily recaps, enriching your understanding of the unique wildlife and environment of Antarctica.

Join us aboard the Ocean Explorer for this extraordinary journey and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Your ship: Ocean Explorer

Ocean Explorer Deckplan
Sauna
Jacuzzi

Our Polartours team is very proud to introduce the wonderful Ocean Explorer, the latest addition to the fleet, purpose-built for polar expeditions.

With a capacity for 138 passengers, this modern vessel boasts cutting-edge expedition ship technology, including the renowned ULSTEIN X-BOW®, ensures a smooth and comfortable sailing experience.

We have been enchanted by the light-filled two-story library located at the bow, offering a welcoming ambiance for guests to unwind. The Scandinavian-designed cabins, most with verandas, providing luxurious accommodations, exceeded our expectations.

We, … Read more about Ocean Explorer

Cabins

Studio double
Studio Double

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

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Studio single oe
Studio Single

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

1

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Deluxe veranda forward oe
Deluxe Veranda Forward Stateroom

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

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Deluxe veranda oe
Deluxe Veranda Stateroom

Type:

Double/Matrimionial + Sofabed

Max. occupancy:

2

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Deluxe veranda middle
Deluxe Veranda Middle Stateroom

Type:

Double/Matrimionial + Sofabed

Max. occupancy:

2

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Studio Veranda Stateroom Ocean Explorer
Studio Veranda Stateroom

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

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Explorer suite oe
Explorer Suite

Type:

Double/Matrimionial + Sofabed

Max. occupancy:

2

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Owners Suite Ocean Explorer
Owners Suite

Type:

Double/Matrimionial + Sofabed

Max. occupancy:

2

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studio veranda singleOE
Studio Veranda Single

Type:

Single

Max. occupancy:

1

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Junior Suite Ocean Explorer
Junior Suite

Type:

Double/Matrimionial + Sofabed

Max. occupancy:

2

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Grand Veranda Stateroom Ocean Explorer
Grand Veranda Stateroom

Type:

Double/Matrimionial + Sofabed

Max. occupancy:

2

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Royal Veranda Stateroom
Royal Veranda Stateroom

Type:

Double/Matrimionial + Sofabed

Max. occupancy:

2

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Map

Itinerary

Keep in mind this is an expedition cruise, so your itinerary will depend greatly on the weather, amount of ice and wildlife breeding behavior.

Arrival to Ushuaia
Arrival to Ushuaia
Laguna Esmeralda

Dinner in a refuge

Arrival at Ushuaia

Beagle Channel

Your voyage begins where the world drops off. Ushuaia, Argentina, reputed to be the southernmost city on the planet, is located on the far southern tip of South America. Starting in the afternoon, you embark from this small resort town on Tierra del Fuego, nicknamed “The End of the World,” and sail the mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the remainder of the evening.

Exterior
Oceanwide Wandering Albatross
Exterior OE

Morning in Ushuaia

Ushuaia - PN Tierra del Fuego

Embark in Ushuaia

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 your team will be there both to ensure your comfort and safety as well as help make your wildlife dreams come true.

Ocean Explorer
Arrival to Ushuaia
Arrival to Ushuaia

We begin this exciting journey by heading to the Falkland Islands. Your days at sea are filled with presentations led by your Expedition Team on photography, wildlife, glaciology, and history. In between presentations, spend time on deck looking for wildlife or chatting with your shipmates over a drink at the bar.

Falkland Islands
Albatros Expeditions Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Antarctica
Albatros Expeditions Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Antarctica

Carcass Island

Stanley

Saunders Island

The Falkland Sound

The Falklands Passage is the name given to the stretch of the Southern Ocean between mainland South America and the Falkland Islands. This is usually a 2-day sailing.

During this time, your naturalist guides will hold a series of informative and exciting talks and lectures about the wildlife and the geology that makes the Falklands and the Southern Ocean so remarkable.

Your guides will also be available to help you spot the various species of seabirds you will encounter, as well as using their expert eye to spot whales and other cetaceans in the water as you make your way to your next destination.

Oceanwide expeditions South Georgia Special
Albatros Expeditions Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Antarctica
Albatros Expeditions Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Antarctica

The passage to South Georgia to or from the Falklands or South America is usually a 2-day sailing. On your way to the magnificent yet remote South Georgia, your expert guides will enthrall you with a range of talks and lectures all about the remarkable concentrations of Antarctic wildlife that can be found on the island.

As well as the huge numbers of breeding birds and sea mammals, you'll also learn about the geology and human history of the island, and its importance in the exploration (and exploitation) of the Southern Ocean.

On deck, your guides will help you to identify the bird species that frequently follow the ships, as well as spotting cetaceans and other marine life you can spot en route.

Albatros Expeditions Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Antarctica
Oceanwide Expeditions Falklands, South Georgia, Antarctica
Oceanwide Expeditions Falklands, South Georgia, Antarctica

Grytviken, Fortuna Bay

St. Andrew's Bay

Salisbury Plain

Prion Island

Gold Harbour

This remote and mountainous island might seem to be barren at first, given that it has no trees and is snow-covered for much of the year. However, appearances can be deceptive, and South Georgia is teeming with life!

Not only is it home to important breeding grounds for fur seals, elephant seals, and king penguins, it is also the only known habitat of the South Georgia Pipit - the Antarctic's only songbird - and the South Georgia Pintail duck.

High, rugged mountains and stunning coastal fjords make cruising the coast of South Georgia a spectacle you will remember.

Used as a base for early-20th century sealers, there are relics of this industry at various places around the island - a reminder of the human history of exploitation of Antarctica and its natural resources.

South Shetland Islands
South Shetland Islands
South Shetland Islands

This is a 2-day passage through the Southern Ocean and the edge of the Weddell Sea. During the passage, your expert naturalist guides will entertain and enthrall you with a series of talks and lectures about the geology and wildlife of the Antarctic, and in particular what you will be able to discover on South Georgia and on the South Shetland Islands.

As well as learning more about the remarkable Antarctic bird and sea life, you'll also learn about the fascinating human history of your destinations, including their roles in whaling and sealing, as well as scientific exploration and discovery.

Scotia Sea
South Orkney
South Orkney

Shingle Cove

The South Orkney islands are located in the Scotia Sea at the North-Eastern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. They consist of 4 main islands that are mountainous and sometimes have a rich green color. However, the South Orkney Islands are rarely visited on Antarctic cruises because of their remote location.

South Shetland Islands
South Shetland Islands
South Shetland Islands

Enormous icebergs and a fair chance of fin whale sightings ensure there’s never a dull moment on this last sea voyage south. Also, your best chance to spot Antarctic petrels is here. Depending on conditions, we aim to begin activities the afternoon of day 14.

Antarctica Peninsula East-side
Antarctica Peninsula East-side
Antarctica Peninsula East-side

Paulet Island

Devil Island, Vega Island

Astrolabe Island

Brown Bluff

South Shetland Islands
South Shetland Islands
South Shetland Islands

Paulet Island

Elephant Island

South Shetland Islands

Brown Bluff

Antarctic Sound

If the ice conditions permit, you now sail into the Weddell Sea. Here colossal tabular icebergs herald your arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Paulet Island, with its large population of Adélie penguins, is a possible stop. You might also visit Brown Bluff, located in the ice-clogged Antarctic Sound, where you could get the chance to set foot on the Antarctic Continent itself.

If conditions aren’t favorable to enter the Weddell Sea from the east, the ship will set course for Elephant Island and head into the Bransfield Strait, between the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. Here you can attempt to access the Antarctic Sound from the northwest.

Drake Passage
Crossing the Drake Passage
Beagle Channel

The Drake Passage is the name given to the infamous stretch of open ocean between the tip of South America and the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula.

It usually takes 2 or 3 days to cross the Drake Passage, and this is a great time to learn from your expert Antarctic naturalist guides. Through a series of fascinating talks and lectures, you'll begin to learn more about the remarkable wildlife and awe-inspiring geology of the Antarctic continent.

Your guides are always on hand to help you identify the sea bird species that always follow the ships, as well as spotting whales and other cetaceans that can be seen en route to the Antarctic Peninsula or the South Shetland Islands.

Arrival to Ushuaia
Arrival to Ushuaia
Laguna Esmeralda

Arrival at Ushuaia

Ushuaia is often called the "Gateway to Antarctica". Thanks to its position on the shores of the Beagle Channel at the southern tip of Argentina, Ushuaia's harbor is equally popular with luxury cruise vessels and huge, rugged ice breakers. A vital port for the resupply of many of the Antarctic research bases, Ushuaia is also a beautiful city that really does feel like it's at the edge of the world.

From the rugged peaks that soar high about the town to the aptly named "Train and the End of the World" steam railway; from fascinating museums and cultural centers to boat trips along the Beagle Channel to get up close and personal with penguins and seals, Ushuaia is a remarkable destination in its own right, as well as a wonderful place to start or finish your Antarctic cruise.

Dates & Prices

From

Until

Info

Availability

Price

4

Nov

2024

23

Nov

2024

Available

From

USD 24,796

4

Nov

2024

23

Nov

2024

Available

From

USD 24,796

19

Dec

2024

7

Jan

2025

Available

From

USD 30,596

19

Dec

2024

7

Jan

2025

Available

From

USD 30,596

13

Nov

2025

2

Dec

2025

Available

From

USD 21,461

13

Nov

2025

2

Dec

2025

Available

From

USD 21,461

Preferred date unavailable? Contact us

Info

Single Cabin Supplement

When booking online, you can choose the option to "Upgrade to single occupancy". This will guarantee you the whole cabin to yourself, for an additional fee. If you don't select this option, then another traveler of the same sex might be placed into the same cabin with you.

What's included

Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary

All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.

All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.

Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.

Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.

Luggage transfer from pick-up point to the vessel on the day of embarkation, in Ushuaia.

Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation).

All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.

Comprehensive pre-departure material.

What's not included

Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights.

Pre- and post- land arrangements.

Passport and visa expenses.

Government arrival and departure taxes.

Meals ashore.

Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended).

Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.

The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).

Credit Card charges may apply

A fuel surcharge may apply at a later stage. More info

Reviews

Marilyn G.

Ocean Explorer Arctic and Antarctic Cruises

Premium

The trip to Svalbard lives up to all my expectations. Animals, accommodations, activities and meals all lived up to my expectations.

Rose C.

Ocean Explorer Arctic and Antarctic Cruises

Premium

Fabulous: guides, food and staff excellent

Mengqi Z.

Ocean Explorer Arctic and Antarctic Cruises

Premium

Excellent experience

FAQ

When it comes to traveling to Antarctica, one of the first questions that often arises is, "Can I fly to Antarctica?". The answer is: Yes, you can. Most trips start in Patagonia (Ushuaia and Punta Arenas) and cross the Drake Passage by ship, but there are also trips that use planes to cross that infamous sea passage. Here are the Pros and Cons for each method:

Flying to Antarctica:

  • Pros: Flying to Antarctica is the quickest way to reach the continent. It offers convenience and is often the choice for those with very limited time.

  • Cons: There are limited commercial flights to Antarctica, and these are primarily reserved for research and expedition purposes. Tourist accessibility is limited, and it can be costly. Also, as not many trips include flights, you'll be limiting your choice a lot if you decide to only look for such trips.

Crossing the Drake Passage by ship:

  • Pros: If you choose to cross the Drake Passage by ship, you embark on an incredible adventure. This journey is not just a means of transportation; it's an expedition in itself. The crossing takes 1.5 - 2 days, which are filled with scientific lectures that prepare you for the experience. You'll witness diverse wildlife, including penguins and whales, as your anticipation starts building up. To us, the crossing is a quintessential experience of a true Antarctic explorer.

  • Cons: Crossing the Drake Passage takes some time, and the seas can be rough. It's not the quickest way to reach the continent, and you need to allocate more time for your expedition.

In conclusion, when it comes to traveling to Antarctica, you have these two choices. Flying offers efficiency and direct access, perfect for specific purposes. Crossing the Drake Passage by ship provides an unmatched adventure and connection with Antarctica's unique environment. Consider what truly matters to you, and you'll find the Antarctic transportation choice that suits your goals and spirit of exploration.

All cruises in the polar regions operate to itineraries that are more-or-less fixed. We say "more or less", because wildlife (breeding, seasonality) and weather always play an important role in routing. Most cruises will offer a range of land-based and water-based activities that you will enjoy at various points in your cruise, including:

  • Land excursions (including hiking trails, visitor centers, time relaxing on beaches, observing animals, etc.)
  • Bird Watching
  • Snorkeling (from ship or beaches)
  • Dinghy rides
  • Kayaking
  • Diving (on ships with diving itineraries)
  • Naturalist presentations. These usually take place every evening - on board the bigger ships also with help of projectors, microscopes etc.

All boats carry English speaking, scientifically trained guides. They will lead you on your excursions, allowing you to learn as much as possible about the unique wildlife and habitats of the Polar Regions.

Choosing the right ship for a cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic seems difficult, but it doesn't have to be. Our fleet is over 30 vessels, we are sure that there is the perfect one for you. Please, follow these simple steps, and you will be able to find your ideal ship:

  • Determine your budget and desired level of comfort: Are you looking for luxury or more budget-friendly options? On our website you can set the price range.
  • Consider ship size: Large ships offer more amenities and facilities, but they can also feel crowded and impersonal. Smaller ships offer a more personal experience, but may not have as many amenities.
  • Look at the cabins: Although you probably won’t spend much time in your cabin, look at the photos and read the descriptions to make sure you're happy with the one you choose.
  • Consider the activities on board: Are you interested in kayaking, camping, diving or a photography workshop? Or maybe you want to take part in a Citizen Science Program? These activities can enhance your overall experience. See what our ships have to offer.
  • Read customer reviews: Learn about other travelers' experiences by reading reviews.
  • Ask your Polar Specialist: Feel free to contact your Polar Specialist. They are happy to share their knowledge and are always ready to help.

In addition: We work with responsible partners who provide a great experience for their passengers. All of our providers are committed to sustainability and to preserving the beauty of the polar regions. You don’t need to worry about the impact of your cruise, because we’ve already taken care of it.

We love to help people find their dream vacation to the Arctic and Antarctic. Whether you give us a call, contact us via email, or use our website inquiry form, one of our Polar travel experts will be more than happy to answer any questions, recommend ships and itineraries, and walk you through the whole process!

Step 1: Find your perfect trip. If you have already started looking for Polar Cruises, you will have quickly noticed that the sheer amount of options can be quite overwhelming. To help you navigate the countless departures and itineraries that our fleet offers, we have put together a great filter page for Antarctic and Arctic Expedition Cruises. Use this page to filter all trips by price, date, ship category, and even destinations you wish to visit. We update all dates, prices, and availabilities daily, and are proud to host what is doubtlessly the world's most complete collection of information.

Step 2: Found something you love? We'll hold your spaces, free of charge! If you find a cruise you like, you can either inquire directly with us or make an unbinding booking online. We will then reach out to the shipowners to put a hold on your spaces for a limited time, free of charge. Once we have confirmed your block with the ship, we will send you a written confirmation of your reservation and include full payment details in an invoice. Typically, we are able to hold unpaid reservations for up to 1 week*. This gives us time to clarify all your remaining questions, and also ensures that no other passengers can book your spaces, while we continue our conversation.

Step 3: Confirm your booking. In order to confirm your booking, we ask for a deposit payment. You can pay via bank transfer or credit card. Keep in mind, that we can only hold your spaces for a limited amount of time. If we don't receive your payment after this time, we can no longer guarantee that the places will be available or that the price won't increase. To prevent disappointment, we will automatically cancel your reservation if we don't receive your deposit by the due date stated on your booking reservation.

Step 4: Booking confirmation & Payment. As soon as we have received your deposit and a completed passenger information form, we will be pleased to send your booking confirmation and updated invoice, along with your trip itinerary, important information, and other great tips for your cruise.

Step 5: Final payment. In your initial invoice, we will define a final payment date by when you need to pay us the remaining amount of your trip. Once we have received your final payment we'll send you your cruise documents and voucher. As your trip approaches, we make sure to pass along all necessary information, so you feel super prepared and stress-free.

*For last-minute bookings, we might not be able to hold your spaces for so long. We will also require the full payment of your cruise upon booking.

An expedition cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic is a big deal! Most people plan for this type of trip at least 8 months in advance. This means the earlier you book, the better chance you'll have to reserve your prefered cabins. Early bird discounts are also popular and a great way to get 10-30% off your cruise.

Most expedition cruises offer optional activities like camping and kayaking, but the spaces are limited. A cruise with 120 passengers can have only 10-15 spaces for kayaking. These are reserved on a first come first served basis. The earlier you book, the higher your chance of grabbing a spot.

Even though last minute deals do occur, keep in mind that the airline prices will be much higher if you purchase them last minute. You may save a few hundred on your cruise, but you may end up paying the most for airfare.

If you are prone to motion sickness then here are a few hints to help you.

Firstly, book a cabin in the middle of the ship. The middle of the ship will move less, both in roll and in pitch. Secondly, chose a larger ship. Bigger vessels typically are more stable, and some of them are even equipped with "stabilizers", fins under water that remove the rolling in the swells. Thirdly, take medical advice on anti-seasickness medication. Some traditional remedies are said to be very effective, such as taking ginger or using commercially-available acupressure wristbands.

Watch this informative video about life onboard an expedition ship and seasickness from our expert guide and Polartours Brand Ambassador, Kevin.

Life Onboard & Seasickness
Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica

4.9

(12)

Premium

From

USD 21,461



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