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Emperor Penguin

South Georgia and Antarctic: Penguin Safari

Embark on an adventure and discover incredible wildlife sightings aboard the Ocean Diamond Antarctic Cruise

Length

16 Days

Ship category

Premium

Ship type

Small Ship

Capacity

189 Passengers

South Georgia and Antarctic: Penguin Safari

5 Reviews

Trip highlights

Experience amazing wildlife sightings

Follow the footprint of explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton

Step foot on the 7th continent

Cross the drake passage

The Polartours experience

Hike up a sparkling glacier

Discover the peninsula from a sea kayak

Your trip is 100% carbon offset

Learn from Polar experts

Discover the incredible polar wildlife as we set sail on the comfortable and spacious Ocean Diamond to venture south of South Georgia Island and the Antarctic Peninsula. Set foot on the 7th continent and photograph the massive albatrosses and mischievous pintado petrels, which will guide us to South Georgia. See beaches filled with adorable elephant seals and king penguins before heading further south to the Antarctic Sea. Make the most of your time in the Circle by sea kayaking, climbing a glistening glacier and playing with gentoo, chinstrap and Adelie penguins!

Your ship: Ocean Diamond

Ocean Diamond Exterior
Ocean diamond deck plan
Ocean Diamond

The Ocean Diamond is a luxurious vessel with spacious cabins. All cabins have private bathroom facilities and exterior views. Please feel free to enjoy the flat-screen TV and DVD player in your cabin. The Ocean Diamond is a modern, stable super-yacht. Carrying a maximum of 189 passengers, this outstanding vessel features numerous adventure options plus onboard amenities for you to enjoy such as a well-stocked polar library.

What is life like on an expedition? During days at sea, you’ll enjoy lectures and workshops presented by our Expedition Team and spend time on deck looking for seabirds an … Read more about Ocean Diamond

Cabins

Ocean Diamond twin window
Twin Window Cabin

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

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ocean diamond twin obstructed
Twin Cabin- Obstructed View

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

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ocean diamond balcony suite
Balcony Suite

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

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Ocean Diamond single porthole
Single Porthole

Type:

Matrimonial

Max. occupancy:

1

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ocean diamond single obstructed
Single Cabin-Obstructed View

Type:

Matrimonial

Max. occupancy:

1

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Ocean diamond triple
Triple Cabin

Type:

Triple

Max. occupancy:

3

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ocean diamond suite
Suite

Type:

Quadrupel

Max. occupancy:

4

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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.

Paddling Excursion

0 Days

Paddling Excursion

Please note that depending on the ship, length of your cruise, and the itinerary, this price may vary. Inquire with your Polar Specialist. Enjoy being out on Polar waters on a two-person inflatable kayak, which enables you to enjoy a more intimate sailing experience in an unforgettable location. The kayaks are stable and comfortable, the perfect vehicle to see the Polar regions from a different perspective. This is a one-time activity, and no prior experience is necessary. IMPORTANT: This activity is dependent on weather conditions and logistics.

Price on request

Sea-Kayaking-What-To-Wear-In-Antarctica

0 Days

Sea Kayaking

Embark on an exhilarating sea kayaking adventure in some of the world's most magnificent and biodiverse wilderness areas, including Antarctica and the Arctic. Take in the breathtaking scenery as you navigate through ice and icebergs of all shapes and sizes. In Antarctica, spend unforgettable moments with penguins, seals and whales, and keep an eye out for the occasional encounter with leopard seals or killer whales. In the Arctic, paddle through bird colonies, past massive glaciers and around huge icebergs. Led by experienced guides, you will join a small group of like-minded adventurers to explore the picturesque coastlines of these wild and remote destinations. Paddling offers an intimate and unique way to experience the beauty of these regions and make the most of your time there. Important: This activity is subject to weather conditions and logistics.

Price on request

Stand Up Paddleboarding

0 Days

Stand Up Paddleboarding

Please note that depending on the ship, length of your cruise, and the itinerary, this price may vary. Inquire with your Polar Specialist. Combine surfing and kayaking into one fun and unique Antarctic experience. Stand-up paddle boarding is conducted in small adventurous groups, accompanied by a safety Zodiac boat. You’ll paddle around in calm bays and harbors, in good weather conditions only. IMPORTANT: This activity is dependent on weather conditions and logistics.

Price on request

Arrival to Ushuaia
Arrival to Ushuaia
Laguna Esmeralda

Arrival at Ushuaia

Ushuaia, located in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, serves as the southernmost city in the world and the starting point for many Antarctic expedition cruises.

The city offers a range of options, from small-ship expeditions to larger vessel tours, providing travelers with an unforgettable experience in the remote and beautiful Antarctic. Many cruises visit the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia, and the Falkland Islands, allowing visitors to see diverse wildlife and stunning landscapes.

In addition to the natural beauty, Ushuaia also boasts a rich history and a stunning national park, making it a unique destination worth exploring. Overall, Ushuaia is the perfect base for those seeking adventure and a once-in-a-lifetime experience in the Antarctic.

Arrival to Ushuaia
Arrival to Ushuaia
Laguna Esmeralda

Beagle Channel

Embark in Ushuaia

Morning in Ushuaia

Ushuaia, located in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, serves as the southernmost city in the world and the starting point for many Antarctic expedition cruises.

The city offers a range of options, from small-ship expeditions to larger vessel tours, providing travelers with an unforgettable experience in the remote and beautiful Antarctic. Many cruises visit the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia, and the Falkland Islands, allowing visitors to see diverse wildlife and stunning landscapes.

In addition to the natural beauty, Ushuaia also boasts a rich history and a stunning national park, making it a unique destination worth exploring. Overall, Ushuaia is the perfect base for those seeking adventure and a once-in-a-lifetime experience in the Antarctic.

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

Elsehul Bay

St. Andrew's Bay

Grytviken, Fortuna Bay

Snow Hill Hut

Ocean Harbour

Cooper 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.

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

There are many activities to keep you engaged while you are at sea. Learn to identify seabirds that glide alongside the ship, or attend dynamic presentations by your Expedition Team. You will be prepped on safety procedures for Zodiac cruises and shore landings, and also be given instructions for getting the most out of your optional sea kayaking adventures (extra cost), a truly intimate way to experience Antarctica.

Antarctic Peninsula
Before and After Antarctic Peninsula
South Georgia

Cuverville Island

Georges Point, Rongé Island

Yankee Harbour

Pleneau Island

Neko Harbour

Port Charcot, Booth Island

Goudier Island

Danco Island, Errera Channel

Damoy Point

Jougla Point

Yalour Islands

Orne Harbour

D’Hainaut & Trinity Island

Orne Islands

Portal Point

Petermann Island

Wordie House, Winter Island

The North-West portion of the Antarctic Peninsula is the most frequently visited by expedition cruises and is home to many of the most popular landing sites. The Gerlache Strait is renowned for the stunning scenery with the snow covered mountains, as if covered in icing sugar, with numerous glaciers tumbling down to the sea.

Being the most northerly part of the whole continent, the Peninsula enjoys the mildest Antarctic condition, with temperatures in winter averaging a balmy -20 degrees C (-4 degrees F)! In the summer, things warm up to an average of just above freezing. Large areas of this part of the peninsula are ice-free in the early season, being important breeding and feeding grounds for many iconic Antarctic species.

It's here that many of the historic Antarctic expeditions began, and where early military and scientific bases were first established, some of which you will be able to visit if conditions allow. These remarkable artefacts have been left as time capsules, their contents showing remarkable levels of preservation thanks to the dry and cold climate.

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

You will arrive in Ushuaia in the morning, which allows for you to continue your adventure onward or catch your flights home.

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

Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader, including shore landings and other activities

All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program

All shore landings per the daily program

Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping

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.)

Beer and wine during dinner; and coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock

Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled

A photographic journal documenting the expedition

A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings

An official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep

Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin

All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program

All luggage handling aboard ship

Emergency Evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person

Group arrival transfer in Ushuaia from airport to pre-expedition hotel on Day 1

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 transfer from hotel to ship on embarkation day

Group departure transfer upon disembarkation in Ushuaia from ship to local airport or to luggage storage facility

What's not included

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 cruising, or any other gear not mentioned

Laundry, bar, massage services and other personal charges, unless specified

Phone and Internet charges

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

Reviews

Ocean Diamond

Veronika

Ocean Diamond Antarctic Cruises

Premium

The whole trip was simply incredible. Everything was perfect- everyone in the crew is not "only" the professional in his/her field but an amazing human being. All of them take their job as a mission and make a trip the most wonderful and unforgettable holiday of your lifetime. Special thanks to Dr.Paul for saving my partner from the acute sea sickness :) Beside that the food is equal to the dishes served in the best fine dining restaurants. Cabins are cozy and clean. Whole voyage is well thought and planned to the last detail- you do not waste a minute, the trip is worth every single penny. On the top of that you meet wonderful people from all over the world with whom you can party until the break of dawn - it was as if we knew them for years. Flawless! (Copied from Trip Advisor)

Quark Expeditions - Antarctic Peninsula

Lindsey W.

Ocean Diamond Antarctic Cruises

Premium

I recently spent 12 nights on the Ocean Diamond for an Antarctica trip. The trip itself was in my lifetime top 3, right up there with the Galapagos Islands and a South African safari. In fact, I've explained the trip to many people as a polar safari. Quark was very helpful and showed their expertise in polar cruising in the booking process, pre-departure and throughout the trip. I can't say enough wonderful things about both the hotel staff and the expedition team on the ship. I came in with high expectations and they were all exceeded. I felt like the expedition team spent the whole trip showing us their favorite place...probably because they were. Even late in the season, their passion was contagious. we knew the excursions would be amazing, but the onboard lecture series let us take so much more home from the experience. The Ocean Diamond itself is not the newest, shiniest ship in Quark's fleet, but the trade is for a cozy, lived-in ship with a lot of character. The ship is very comfortable, well maintained with plenty of comfortable common space and more spacious cabins than I had anticipated. We were in a triple cabin and had plenty of room to unpack all of our suitcases and stash them under the beds and each carve out our own bit of space in the cabin. We never felt like we were packed in, either in our cabin in particular or on the ship in general. The food was both plentiful and tasty, although an Antarctic cruise is obviously not a foodie destination. (Copied from Trip Advisor)

Quark Expeditions - Adelie Penguin

Sainere

Ocean Diamond Antarctic Cruises

Premium

Quark Expeditions came recommended by a popular travel blogger, so I started following them as we wanted to save up to take a trip to Antarctica and South Georgia. Originally we had hoped to travel on their World Explorer ship, but because of a special offer we ended up on the Ocean Diamond. The ship itself is a little outdated and could use some maintenance, but overall it's very clean and comfortable. I have no complaints about Quark Expeditions. It's a very planned, safe, and well thought out experience. The rooms were comfortable, and the food was top notch. They have a shop on board, so if you are missing anything you may have forgotten or need. The entire staff is also amazing. You will love every minute of the trip. I guess the only negative is, the TV on board is so so (you have to rely on them to change the movies every so often), and you have to fork over like 100 bucks to use internet on your devices. Otherwise, you just have WhatsApp wifi access for free. (Copied from Trip Advisor)

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
South Georgia and Antarctic: Penguin Safari

4.8

(5)

Premium

Price

Upon Request



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