It’s all about perspective: Polar adventures with Quark Expeditions
Credit Nicky Souness

It’s all about perspective: Polar adventures with Quark Expeditions

Adventures on the high seas? Helicopter rides above a glacier? Hot air ballooning in the North Pole? Sign us up! Quark Expeditions, a leader in polar adventures, offers all this and more, giving travellers the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore the far reaches of the Arctic and Antarctic. In this week’s Take 5, we asked Quark Expeditions’ senior leadership team about what cruisers can expect while sailing in such remote waters and the many new offerings for the upcoming season.

 It’s all about perspective: Polar adventures with Quark Expeditions

Credut David Merron

1.What should a first-time polar cruiser know about sailing in the Arctic and Antarctic?

“We always encourage first-time guests to travel with an open mind and embrace whatever new experiences present themselves as sea, ice, wildlife and weather influence our ultimate route and itinerary. Much like early polar explorers who explored the unknown Polar Regions, our seasoned expedition team draws on their polar expertise – whether it’s reading ice conditions or prevailing weather patterns or wildlife knowledge – to ensure our guests have the expedition of a lifetime,” says Cara Matthew, Regional Sales Manager, Canada.

“Our first-time guests should take heart that our expedition team will do whatever is possible throughout the voyage to get guests off the ship as often as possible to enjoy truly immersive and authentic polar experiences, rather than observe the polar landscape through the window or deck of a ship only,” she adds.


2. You just launched your 2024-25 interactive Antarctic brochure. How does this brochure differ from previous ones, and how many offerings does it feature?

“Our goal in this state-of-the art interactive brochure is to inspire guests through videos, recorded guest testimonials and other features that bring to life the staggering beauty of the Antarctic,” says Andrew White, President of Quark Expeditions.

“The new brochure will allow guests to:

  • Instantly click through to videos featuring immersive off-ship adventures such as kayaking, hiking and Zodiac cruising
  • Watch video guest reviews from past guests
  • View video previews of specific Antarctic voyages
  • Enjoy virtual tours of cabins and suites
  • Watch video footage of penguins, whales, and other Antarctic wildlife
  • Request a quote directly from the brochure

“The 30 departures (ranging from 8 to 23 days) featured in this interactive brochure include voyages to the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia Island, the Falkland Islands and Patagonia.”


3. Heli experiences figure prominently in your new season brochure. For the uninitiated, can you tell us how Ultramarines two twin-engine helicopters amplify the guest experience on a polar voyage?

Felix Christians, Director of Helicopter Operations, sums it up best when asked: Why embrace helicopter adventures in the Polar Regions? 

“Perspective,” says Christians. “If I had to give one reason why it’s worth seeing the Polar Regions from above, it would be perspective. Ground-based experiences give guests a small glimpse of the Arctic and Antarctic. Heli adventures enable you to see for yourself just how far inland a glacier actually reaches—while landing and walking around on one completely immerses you in the experience.

“Our two H145 Airbus twin engine helicopters on Ultramarine, the latest addition to our fleet, enable us to offer guests the industry’s biggest portfolio of off-ship adventurers, and it means we can take our guests to parts of the Antarctic and the Arctic that no one else can.

It’s all about perspective: Polar adventures with Quark Expeditions

Faksevagen, Svalbard, Arctic-Credit Acacia Johnson


4. Can you tell us about your range of off-ship excursions and what kinds of unique activities guests can book for their polar voyage?

Says Matthew: “We have the largest portfolio of off-ship excursions in the polar industry. Since the early 1990s, when we introduced hot air ballooning at the North Pole, we’ve focused on innovation. That drive to innovate led us to introduce a range of helicopter-supported activities such as heli hiking, alpine heli trekking, flightseeing, exclusive heli landings on the Greenland Ice Sheet, overnight camping along the Tasermiut fjord, and more. These additional off-ship adventures should be reserved at time of booking as they book up fast.

“Of course, we  also offer Zodiac cruising, paddling, on-shore walks and wildlife photography outings.” 


5. What are you most excited about in terms of new offerings? 

“We’re most excited about our guests’ ability to customize their voyage – to truly enjoy a polar expedition that suits their travel tastes and goals – and the chance to have a truly authentic immersive experience. Guests can choose to be as physically active as they choose or they can opt to focus on learning and education through our highly-respected program of onboard presentations by polar guests,” says Matthew.

“We’re really excited about another of our fairly new offerings in the Arctic – our ‘Tundra to Table: Inuit Culinary Experience.’ This groundbreaking, one-of-a-kind adventure into the culinary traditions of the Inuit in Greenland and Nunavut enables guests to enjoy dishes from these Arctic regions prepared by Inuit chefs, and learn about local Inuit culture and culinary traditions. This program was developed in full partnership with local Inuit chefs who wish to share their culinary traditions and way of life in the most authentic way possible,” she adds.

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