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Arctic Quest: Colin Stump recounts his thrilling Arctic adventure

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Written by Colin Stump.

Social media has drowned us in superlatives. Amazing, OMG, fantastic, awesome, etc etc. So, how can I possibly recount a recent adventure in the Arctic without recourse to the same?

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Spotlight on Port Lockroy: A Living Museum & Haven for Gentoo Penguins

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Tucked away in a natural harbour on Goudier Island, on the western shores of Wiencke Island, Port Lockroy is a popular stop on our Antarctic Explorer voyages as well as Antarctic Express: Cruise South, Fly North and other Antarctic expeditions.

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I left my heart in Uummannaq: Greenland with Acacia Johnson

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By: Acacia Johnson

I first watched Uummannaq appear from the sea. In the golden haze of morning light, a single spire loomed silhouetted on the horizon; icebergs filling the ocean ahead. Mountains lined both side of the ship, purple in the glow of dawn, glaciers zigzagging their way towards the sea. As the sun’s rays began to pour over the land, the colorful houses of Uummannaq came into view, perched upon the red stone of the town’s heart-shaped mountain.

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Dreaming in Disko Bay

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I was out on deck early the morning we entered Disko Bay. Fog surrounded the ship, hazy blue-grey into infinity, light rain and calm seas. As I watched, a giant iceberg appeared through the mist, looming ominously before it faded away into oblivion. Another appeared, then yet another. Soon the ship wove carefully through a landscape of ice, each piece as unique as an individual person. “It was as if they had been borne down from a world of myth, some Gotterdammerung of noise and catastrophe”, Barry Lopez had written. “Fallen pieces of the moon”. I stared out in wonder at their silence and their magnitude.

 

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Antarctica bound: Books for the passionate polar buff

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One of the most frequently asked questions we get here at Quark Expeditions (aside from "What do I pack? and "Any tips for handling the Drake Passage?") is what our recommended reading for Antarctica is. When preparing for their journey south, excited history-buffs often want to read all about past explorers and get into the polar mindset.

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A Leap of Faith: The Murres of Cape Walstenholme

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Written by Acacia Johnson

After sailing east from Churchill, the Sea Explorer was promptly met with a gale warning. High winds, swell, and poor visibility kept us on the ship for a day and a half, and with white caps ripping across the sea’s surface outside the window, we instead turned our attention to lectures and presentations. Fortunately, clear skies soon appeared on the weather forecast, and when opportunity struck, we were prepared to seize the day.

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How To Pack For The Polar Regions

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What to Pack

Consider the Weather
You will be traveling to the coastal regions of Antarctica during the southern summer, when conditions are mild, and changeable. Enjoyable sunny days can swiftly change to cold, windy storms with snow flurries and rolling seas.

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White Whale Wonderland: Cruising with Belugas in Churchill

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Written by Acacia Johnson

On a beautifully warm day in Churchill, Manitoba, the Sea Explorer welcomed a new group of passengers aboard. After a long day of travel and sightseeing for our guests, we had initially planned a restful evening for their first hours aboard the ship – but nature had other plans. In the true spirit of an expedition, we decided to seize the opportunities that presented themselves, because outside, something amazing was happening.

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A Monumental Experience: Bears, Bergs, and Brilliant Weather

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By Acacia Johnson

Having spent a day crossing Davis Strait from the foggy, ice-filled wonderland that was Greenland, it was with much anticipation that we approached the Canadian Arctic. Our first stop would be Monumental Island, an uninhabited island where we hoped to spot some Arctic wildlife. Almost magically, the sea stood perfectly still, flat and calm far into the open ocean towards Greenland. With bright sun gleaming through a hazy sky, it was a perfect day to be out on the water.

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Sunshine in Sisimiut

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Written by Acacia Johnson

Early morning on the Sea Explorer dawned calm and hazy, the low sun sparkling off the sea in a golden haze. In the distance, mountains lined the horizon, growing slowly larger as we made our way towards shore. Coffee in hand, I joined a group of passengers on the deck, watching seabirds and waiting with anticipation as the colorful houses of Sisimiut grew nearer. Good morning, Greenland.

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