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Quark Expeditions

Quark Expeditions is a worldwide leader in polar exploration with a fleet of 4 small and intimate ships sailing in the icy waters of Antarctica between Nov and Mar and in the Polar North between May and Sep. Lars Wikander and Mike McDowell, the cofounders of Quark Expeditions, took the first group of commercial travellers to the North Pole In 1991. That inaugural, game-changing expedition—the first-ever tourism transit of the Northeast Passage—set Quark Expeditions on a course that would put Quark at the forefront of polar exploration. 

Onboard a Quark Expedition cruise, you will interact with a professional and passionate team of Expedition Leaders who bring a wide range of experience to every adventure. Some have degrees in marine biology, political science, others have trained as medics, biologists, park rangers, outdoor educators and even lawyers!

Quark Expeditions - Destinations

  • Arctic Region :
  1. Canadian High Arctic - Navigating the icy channels of the High Arctic, follow in the footsteps of legendary explorers who braved the unknown to seek the fabled sea route to Asia. Revel at vast, untouched nature stunning in its minimalist splendor along the way.
  2. Greenland - The world's largest island teems with life, welcoming you with its breath taking scenery. East Greenland is vast, sparsely inhabited, and stunning in its austere beauty, while West Greenland has more Indigenous communities and varied wildlife.
  3. North Pole - For the handful of individuals who experience it, reaching the North Pole aboard nuclear icebreaker 50 Years of Victory is the absolute zenith of polar exploration and the most exclusive voyage in the world, today.
  4. Russian High Arctic - Steeped in polar history, the Russian High Arctic offers the rare opportunity to travel to remote archipelagos, including Severnaya Zemlya. Be among the first to explore the last Arctic islands to be discovered on Earth.
  5. Svalbard - Spitsbergen, the Realm of the Polar Bear, is the largest island in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago. Experience some of the Arctic’s best adventure, learn about a rich history and culture and witness 24-hour daylight under the midnight sun.
  • Antarctica Region
  1. Antarctic PeninsulaThe Antarctic Peninsula is an environment of exquisite isolation, rich wildlife, stimulating history and majestic landscapes. Your journey to the 7th Continent will take you to the end of the world, where adventure begins.
  2. Falkland Islands - EnRoute to Antarctica, take the opportunity to encounter iconic wildlife and immerse yourself in early Antarctic exploration on these sub-Antarctic islands of the South Atlantic Ocean.
  3. Patagonia - Patagonia is a sparsely-populated, wildlife-rich region in the southern part South America. The Andes Mountains form the natural divide between Argentine Patagonia and Chilean Patagonia, where Quark Expeditions focuses its explorations.
  4. South Georgia - En route to Antarctica, take the opportunity to encounter iconic wildlife and immerse yourself in early Antarctic exploration on these sub-Antarctic islands of the South Atlantic Ocean.
  5. Snow Hill Island - Ice-choked and impassible for most of the year, Snow Hill Island is only accessible for a few weeks of the season. Guests fly in via helicopter, then walk across the sea ice to commune with thousands of Emperor penguins and their chicks.

Our Ships

Not simply an ice-reinforced ship, the Kaptian Khlebnikov is a powerful working icebreaker designed for the challenging conditions of frozen polar seas that has been refurbished to accommodate passengers with en suite facilities.


50 Years of Victory is the first Arktika-class icebreaker to have a spoon-shaped bow, covered in a skirt of stainless steel, meaning she can crush through sea ice up to 9.2 feet (2.5 meters) thick en route to its destination of 90°N.75,000 horsepower generated by nuclear reactors makes 50 Years of Victory the one of the world's most powerful icebreakers.


World Explorer features two state-of-the-art Rolls Royce hybrid-electric engines, significantly reducing its environmental impact on the Polar Regions.Micro Auto Gasification System (MAGS) is the industry-leading system that converts waste into energy at the site that it's generated. MAGs eliminates the environmental impact of waste transportation, offering an innovative sustainability feature that exceed all industry standards.​


Equipped with two twin-engine helicopters, Ultramarine offers the most robust portfolio of adventure activities in the industry, the most spacious suites in its category, breath taking public spaces, and more outdoor wildlife viewing spaces than other expedition ships its size. It also features an innovative mix of sustainability features that exceed all industry standards.


Ocean Diamond is one of the largest vessels in our small expedition ship fleet and one of the fastest ships in Antarctica, it is also one of the most comfortable. Two stabilizers and an ice-strengthened hull make this vessel ideal for polar expedition.