Set foot on the seventh continent!

Antarctic Cruise: Ocean Diamond

Antarctic Peninsula

This Antarctica cruise expedition offers the perfect chance to discover the best of the Antarctic Peninsula. You’ll be delighted by penguins, seals and seabirds as they accompany you on your voyage with Ocean Diamond along the Antarctic coastline. Landing on the continent itself will be a memorable highlight, where you’ll explore the iconic sights that make Antarctica one of the world’s most pristine, exotic and unforgettable natural environments

  • An Antarctica cruise that is perfect for first time visitors.
  • Witness and explore the highlights of the Antarctic Peninsula
  • Be aboard Ocean Diamond - a luxurious and specially-designed ice strengthened vessel
  • Learn about the environment and wildlife from onboard lecturers and specialists
  • Witness the abundant wildlife - penguins, elephant seals, whales and more!
  • One has to ask how it is possible for every voyage to delight beyond expectations. But that is Antarctica. If you have never explored the most untouched continent on our planet then you have never experienced the true wonder of nature. Unpredictable, exquisite, immense in its magnitude, strength and determination. It will never be mastered and you always leave feeling humble and privileged to have touched the moment.

    Simon Bottomley, Photography Guide on board Ocean Diamond

    Early Booking Offers

    BOOK EARLY FOR 2019/20 SEASON: Book before 31 January 2019 and applicable to the following selected departures:

    08 Dec 2019 - Standard cabins* 20%, Premium cabins** 25%
    07 Feb 2020 - Standard cabins* 20%, Premium cabins** 20%

    Use Promocodes XXQ20, XXQ25 during the booking process.

    Terms and Conditions:
    *Standard cabins: Twin Obstructed, Twin Window, Single Obstructed & Single Porthole **Premium cabins: Suites and Balcony Suites Valid on new bookings, applicable to above departure dates and selected categories only. Excludes triple cabins. Must quote the Promocodes above and provide full names at time of booking. Not combinable with any other promotion and applies to voyage only - not applicable for transfer packages, land-based programs, Adventure Options, additional hotel accommodation, pre/post tours, insurance, or flights. The right is reserved to limit, change or discontinue promotion at any time without notice. No cash value.

    Stewart's Take

    An extremely well-appointed expedition ship so you will want for nothing during your polar adventure!

    Overview

    This expedition offers the perfect chance to discover the best of the Antarctic Peninsula, the last continent’s most northern region. You’ll be delighted by penguins, seals and seabirds as they accompany you on your journey along the Antarctic coastline. Landing on the continent itself is a memorable highlight, where you’ll explore the iconic sights that make this one of the world’s most pristine, exotic and unforgettable natural environments.
    Day 1 — Ushuaia, Argentina With a population of more than 63,000 people, Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world. The city has grown over the past few years, yet it has retained an easy going and accessible feel. With the sea to the south and mountains to the north, Ushuaia is a spectacular departure point for your Antarctic cruise. If you arrive early, you can spend some time in the nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park, enjoy some Argentinean wines and barbeques in the city, or visit the many boutique shops and cafés before you leave for your expedition to Antarctica. Day 2 — Embarkation Day Embarkation will occur in the late afternoon, after which your vessel will sail down the historic Beagle Channel. This historic channel transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Expect an air of excitement as you depart—the next time you see land you’ll be in the world’s most southern continent! Days 3 and 4 — Crossing the Drake Passage Prepare yourself for potentially rough water, but hope for a smooth sailing as the Drake is unpredictable and always changing. You’ll spend these first days getting to know your shipmates, while we’ll provide safety briefings and insights into what excitement lies ahead. Days 5 to 8 — South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula When the Antarctic Convergence is left in our wake, you will truly begin your Antarctic adventure. It is perhaps the first sight of land itself that is embraced as the true beginning of any Antarctic expedition. You can begin to appreciate why this region has long captivated the attention of explorers and travelers alike. Every time we visit Antarctica we witness something new or unexpected, meaning your expedition will be unlike any other—creating a unique, personal experience. We will take Zodiac excursions from the ship to explore bays, channels and landing sites each day. With wildlife always at the forefront of our minds you will visit penguin rookeries, scout for humpback and Minke whales and search for a number of the southern seal species, including the cunning leopard seal. The majesty of the Peninsula’s mountains will enchant you as you scramble up snowy pathways to vantage points offering you 360° views of your surroundings. One of these in particular, in Orne Harbour, gives the opportunity to visit a chinstrap penguin colony high up on a ridge. Here you’ll have the choice between going for a mountain hike or spending time sitting quietly on a pebbled beach to enjoy the antics of curious penguins. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, participating in the Polar Plunge swim is about as crazy as it gets! Amidst the serene silence of Antarctica, noisy interludes now become indelible memories, such as penguins squabbling over prized pebbles, or the boom and crack of a calving glacier in Neko Harbour. Every day will be different, having been carefully crafted by your Expedition Team so as to entertain and educate you about this wonderful part of the world. Days 9 and 10 — Drake Passage to Ushuaia The journey back across the Drake Passage provides you with some final opportunities to enjoy the crisp Antarctic air. Spend time on the deck watching for seabirds and scouting for whales, enjoy a few final presentations by your Expedition Team or simply relax and reminisce about your experiences. Day 11 — Disembarkation in Ushuaia You will arrive in Ushuaia in the morning allowing for you to continue your adventure on land or catch your flights home. Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that we can achieve everything we set out to accomplish. A measure of flexibility is something all of us must bring to a voyage. There are nearly 200 recognized sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned above may be changed to others equally as interesting. POSSIBLE LANDINGS AND WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS Stepping foot on Antarctica is a moment of pleasure that affects each traveler differently. Your possible landing in Antarctica will take place on the Peninsula, which is an extension of the Transantarctic Mountains chain and is the most northern stretch of Antarctic land. Formed by uplifted submarine troughs that were filled with sediment about 220 million years ago, this is a dynamic land of both desolation and diversity. To the east is the frozen, wild Weddell Sea. To the west, howling winds and warming seas from the Southern Ocean create perfect conditions for whale sightings. CUVERVILLE ISLAND A gentoo penguin rookery is situated on a rocky beach at the north end of the island. Depending on when in the season you arrive, you may see the penguins building nests or attending to their chicks. Giant petrels and kelp gulls breed on the island. DAMOY POINT If you are lucky enough to mail a postcard in Antarctica, you’ll likely pass through Damoy Point, the northern entrance to the harbor where Port Lockroy is located. DANCO ISLAND Home to gentoo penguins, this small island is easy to explore, at only one mile (1.6 km) long. You can visit the marker of a former British Antarctic Survey hut, where you can watch for a variety of seabirds, such as snowy sheathbills, kelp gulls and blue-eyed shags. ENTERPRISE ISLAND Located in Wilhelmina Bay, this island was once used by whalers. A Zodiac cruise around the island passes a wrecked whaling ship. LEMAIRE CHANNEL You’ll see firsthand why this strait, which runs between Booth Island and the Antarctic Peninsula, is one of the most scenic locations on the peninsula’s west coast, especially during sunrise and sunset. The channel may become impassable when ice fills the narrow 6.8-mile (11 km) long passageway, so we’ll hope for clear waters. MELCHIOR ISLANDS This group of low islands in Dallmann Bay is where you may see hauled-out male fur seals as they recuperate from their battles for supremacy at the end of their breeding season. NEKO HARBOUR Little evidence remains that this bay was once used by the floating whale factory ship Neko. You might see whale vertebrae being used by resident gentoo penguins as shelter from the wind. Climb up a steep slope for spectacular views of the glacier-rimmed harbor. PETERMANN ISLAND Here, near the Lemaire Channel, you can stand ashore and see the southernmost breeding colony of gentoo penguins. The dome of the island rises 650 feet (200 meters) above the sea, offering a challenging hike for panoramic views. Adélie penguins, shags and south polar skuas also inhabit the island. PORT LOCKROY As part of Operation Tabarin during the Second World War, a secret British base was built in this sheltered harbor, located on the west side of Wiencke Island. Now a designated historic site, the base is a museum and post office. Proceeds from your purchases in Port Lockroy support the British Antarctic Heritage trust, which preserves historic sites from the Heroic Age of Exploration. A large gentoo penguin population resides here and is observed for any effects of tourism. WATERBOAT POINT You may venture to this unique point, which at low tide is connected to the Antarctic mainland. Zodiacs are used to explore the historic area when the tide is in. Two scientists studying penguin behavior lived in a water boat on the point from 1921 to 22. The remains of their camp have been designated an Antarctic historic site. SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS The Bransfield Strait separates this archipelago from the Antarctic Peninsula. The South Shetland Islands stretch for 335 miles (540 km) from northeast to southwest. In the 1820s, sealers swept the islands’ beaches of seals. When the seal market collapsed, the sealers retreated. Over the course of time, seals have returned to the islands. AITCHO ISLANDS This group of small islands, some still unnamed, is situated in the northern entrance of the English Strait. You can often spot a great mix of wildlife in the area, with gentoo and chinstrap penguins having established rookeries on the islands. Southern elephant and fur seals frequently haul out here, too. BAILY HEAD Also known as Rancho Point, Bailey Head is a rocky headland on the southeastern shore of Deception Island. Chinstrap penguins build nests on slopes leading to a high ridge that dominates the natural amphitheater and provides a superb setting for landscape photography. HALF MOON ISLAND This crescent-shaped island was known to sealers as early as 1821. Unlike sealers, who tried to keep their best locations secret, we’re happy to bring you ashore on this impressive island. Many Antarctic birds breed here, including chinstrap penguins, shags, Wilson’s storm petrels, kelp gulls, snowy sheathbills, Antarctic terns and skua. HANNAH POINT Macaroni, chinstrap and gentoo penguin rookeries are located on this point, which is on the south coast of Livingston Island. Due to the rather congested area available to the nesting penguins, you can only visit here from January 10 onward. PENDULUM COVE Geothermal waters are found along the shoreline of this cove, named for observations made in 1829 by a British expedition. You may see yellow algae and boiled krill floating on the surface because of the scalding water! PENGUIN ISLAND Antarctica has two flowering plants, both of which you can find on Penguin Island: Deschampsia antarctica and Colobanthus quitensis. Chinstrap penguins, fur seals and southern elephant seals use the island for breeding purposes. ROBERT POINT A nice spot for Zodiac cruising, this point was known to sealers as early as 1820. Chinstrap penguins, kelp gulls and pintado petrels breed here, and whales may be seen in the surrounding waters. TELEFON BAY Your Expedition Team will be happy to point out that this is where the most recent evidence of volcanic eruption on Deception Island can be seen. TURRET POINT Chinstrap and Adélie penguin rookeries are found on this point, situated on the south coast of King George Island. The beaches here are often crowded with southern elephant, fur and Weddell seals hauling out on the rocks. WHALER’S BAY To reach Whaler’s Bay, it is necessary to sail through a narrow passage called Neptune’s Bellows. The bay was used by whalers from 1906 to 1931 and is part of a protected harbor created by the formation of the circular flooded caldera known as Deception Island. Along with waddling penguins and lounging seals, you’ll see the rusting remains of whaling operations on the beach. Watch for steam that may rise from geothermally heated springs along the shoreline. YANKEE HARBOUR Gentoo penguins have established a rookery on this harbor, situated on the southwest side of Greenwich Island. Here, you can see an abandoned Argentine refuge hut and a large glacier that stretches along the east and north sides of the bay. An abandoned sealing try pot is all that remains of the activity that brought men thousands of miles in tall ships to seek their fortune.

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    Luxury Expedition Ship M/V Ocean Diamond

    Luxury Expedition Ship M/V Ocean Diamond

    Sail aboard the Ocean Diamond, a modern, stable super-yacht and experience Antarctica. Carrying a maximum of 189 passengers, this outstanding vessel features numerous adventure options plus onboard amenities such as a massage and wellness program and a well-stocked polar library.

    For full information about this vessel click here...

    Included
    • One night pre-expedition hotel accommodation with breakfast.
    • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping.
    • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage.
    • All shore landings per the daily program. Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader.
    • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program. Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled.
    • Photographic Journal on DVD, documenting the voyage. A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings. An official Quark Expeditions parka to keep. Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock.
    • Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin. Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Antarctic Reader.
    • A group transfer upon disembarkation in Ushuaia from the ship to the local airport.
    • 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 $100,000 per person.
    Excluded
    • Any airfare unless otherwise specified in the itinerary.
    • Passport and visa expenses.
    • Government arrival and departure taxes.
    • Any meals ashore with the exception of breakfast at the host hotel before embarkation
    • Baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance.
    • Excess baggage charges.
    • Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified.
    • Telecommunications charges.
    • The voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew.
    Rates and Share Bookings Prices shown are per person in US Dollars on a shared basis. If you are travelling alone and wish to share, you will be matched with someone of the same gender and pay only the share rate. If desired, Single occupancy is available at 1.7 times the twin share rate. Deposits Reservations require a deposit of 20% (minimum $1000 per person) at the time you receive a booking confirmation from Expeditions Online. A payment link will be sent to you and this may be paid by major credit card. Bookings within 120 days of departure require full payment. Final Payments Balances are due 120 days prior to departure and may be paid by bank transfer. Cancellations All requests for cancellation must be received in writing to Expeditions Online. Cancellations received 180 days or more prior to departure, are refunded less a fee of $1000 per person. If cancellation is received between 179 days and 120 days, the full deposit is forfeited. If cancellation occurs less than 120 days prior to departure, all payments are forfeited. If full payment has not yet been received, the full penalty will still apply and any unpaid balance is due immediately. We strongly recommend that you obtain adequate trip cancellation insurance. Booking Terms Please read carefully the Terms and Conditions for Expeditions Online (link at the bottom of this page). This voyage is operated by Quark Expeditions and you additionally travel under their terms and conditions as the operator as well as of the Shipping Company/transport carrier. Details will be forwarded to you at the time of booking.
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