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It’s Getting Hot Up Here: Arctic Circle Destinations On Holiday Hotspots Lists

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Written by Quark's extraordinary president, Hans Lagerweij.

Even as frigid temperatures grip typically mild areas this winter, travelers are gearing up for Arctic expeditions this summer. In fact, 2014 is shaping up to be a banner year for travel in and around the Arctic Circle, as travelers and mainstream media alike are eager to explore and share their adventures at the top of the world.

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Ocean Diamond: Aerial view from the Drone

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Wanna see something cool?

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Fluffy flowers

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The Arctic cottongrass is the most widespread flowering plant found in the northern hemisphere and Arctic tundra regions. Cotton grass is not actually a type of grass, but rather a plant that flourishes in areas that are too cold for trees.

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2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games

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Quark looks forward to Sochi opening ceremonies and wishes all the Olympic athletes the best of luck!

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Crossing the Circle: voyage update

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Below is an insightful update from Expedition Leader David "Woody" Wood. David is leading Quark's Crossing the Circle, Southern Expedition:

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Wow moment: Quark passengers encounter humpback whales

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Expedition Leader, Shane Evoy, and the passengers aboard Quark's Antarctic Peninsula East & West Voyage, shared a once in a life time experience; being surrounded by humpback and orca whales. For close to three hours, a group of 50 whales were breaching, tail slapping and flaking around the zodiacs that were cruising in Wilhelmina Bay.

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Best Job In The World

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Expedition Leader, Shane Evoy, who is leading Quark's Antarctic Peninsula East & West Voyage, has experienced what most people can only dream of; a once in a life-time encounter with Humpback and Orca whales. Below is Shane's description of this phenomenal event:

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Arctic flowers: the beautiful Purple Saxifrage

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Former Canadian Museum of Nature botanist, Nicholas Polunin, wrote in 1940 that this plant "must be reckoned among the world's greatest beauties, especially as it stands out in its unusually bleak and desolate surroundings." Purple saxifrage is an edible plant that is seen all over the high Arctic. Purple saxifrage is the first plant to flower in the Arctic spring, and stays in bloom for 10 to 14 days. Fun fact: Inuit have been known to eat the sweet blossoms of the purple saxifrage which contain vitamin C.

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Introduction to Spitsbergen: Polar Bear Safari

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Spitsbergen is the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago, located halfway between Norway and the North Pole. This voyage provides the opportunity to experience everything Spitsbergen has to offer, from polar bears and walrus to spectacular scenery. Aboard the luxurious Sea Spirit, you’ll be treated to daily presentations by your Expedition Team onboard the ship and daily wildlife sightings on land. Hike, explore and enjoy the beauty of the Arctic on your visit to Spitsbergen.
Visit Introduction to Spitsbergen to read more about this spectacular voyage!

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Crossing the Arctic Circle: Southern Expedition

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Each January, the travel editors from the New York Times Magazine feature their top places to visit for the year ahead. Not surprising, the Arctic Circle was listed in the top 52 Places to Go in 2014. Interested? Quark’s award-winning Three Arctic Islands expedition packs more wildlife and dramatic Arctic coastlines into 14 days than you can imagine. Visiting Iceland, Greenland and Spitsbergen, you’ll have great chances to see bearded seals as well as walrus, whales, seabirds and, of course, polar bears.

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