Have you ever wondered what life is like aboard a Quark Expeditions ship and during polar excursions, beyond what you see and read online and in the travel brochures?
Written by Quark President, Hans Lagerweij I'm writing this blog from the unique surroundings of the Arctic Watch Lodge at 74˚ Somerset Island, Nunavut, Canada. Quark Expeditions® has launched...Read more
Feature photo courtesy of Quark passenger Mitch. In Northern Europe, they call it Midsummer, or St. John's Day, after the early Christian martyr John the Baptist. The Japanese take to the streets to...Read more
Each person has their own unique and personal reasons for visiting Antarctica. For some, it's the culmination of a lifelong quest to visit one of the most remote, pristine destinations on the planet....Read more
Imagine vast expanses of sky, free from air and light pollution, with even low magnitude stars are visible to the naked eye and a dizzying array of lights dance overhead. The polar regions are home to some of the most fantastic and original photography opportunities on the planet. However, conditions can make these areas among the most challenging for photographers, as well.
Feature photo: Bettman/Corbis
After more than 160 years of searching, the Government of Canada announced this week that a Canadian team has located one of Sir John Franklin's ill-fated Arctic exploration ships, just off King William Island.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Artist and photographer Acacia Johnson is all set to join Quark Expeditions as a guide and photography lecturer in the Arctic this season. Even before she joins us, Johnson is looking towards the winter, when she'll stay on in the Arctic to work on Into Indigo, her exploration in images of the profound human connection to the mythic winter landscape of the Canadian Arctic.