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Sea Spirit: The Ultimate in Comfort Expedition


Polar expeditions, by nature, are meant to be immersive, explorative adventures enabling passengers to truly get up close and personal with the wildlife and nature of these remote destinations. Some say that the key difference with expedition travel is that it’s all about the destination – not the ship. However, all Polar exploration ships are not created equal. True expedition should not come at the cost of personal comfort; the environment may be harsh and inhospitable, but your ship should be a welcome haven.

Sea Spirit

Although purpose-built for expedition cruising, Quark’s all-inclusive ship, Sea Spirit, is the epitome of comfort and class, carrying out the same expedition experience as those former Russian scientific vessels Quark once operated, however using significantly less fuel then we used to consume. Of course, less fuel means a lighter carbon footprint. Sea Spirit is also capable of carrying out all those hallmarks of expedition cruising such as flexibility of changing course or altering plans to take advantage of weather, sea conditions, wildlife sightings or any other serendipitous occasion.

Sea Spirit

No comfort is spared aboard this intimate but spacious luxury expedition ship, which carries just 114 passengers with an seasoned expedition team of historians, biologists and ornithologists. Your expedition will be led by two of the most seasoned Expedition Leaders, Cheli Larsen and Shane Evoy for the Antarctic 2013.14 season. The smaller number of passengers also means those interested in adventure options such as kayaking can enjoy the intimacy of smaller group outings.

Sea Spirit’s amenities do set it apart from the rest of Quark’s fleet. The all-inclusive beverages feature allows guests the freedom to enjoy their trip without being concerned about the final bill, and three categories of generously-sized cabins — are an absolute premium selling feature – especially for Quark’s longer itineraries.

Sea Spirit SuiteSea Spirit

Whatever your preferred travel style, Quark has a diverse fleet of modern ships to ensure every passenger experiences true expedition in comfort.


10 things you didn't know about the walrus!




1. A walrus can hold it's breathe under water for up to 30 minutes.

2. The adult male walrus can weigh from 900kg to 1400kg (2000 to 3000lbs) and can grow to 12ft in length.

3. Although the walruses body looks bald, it's actually covered with a thin layer of fur.

4. The tusks of the male walrus can weight over 3 pounds each.

5. The walruses scientific name, 'Odobenus rosmarus', is Latin for 'tooth-walking sea-horse'.

6. The walrus whiskers are not actually whiskers. They are extremely sensitive tactile organs which they use to hunt for food.

7. Every two to three years the female walrus gives birth to a single calf in May or June.

8. Walruses live on Arctic land and water (and the best way to see them is with Quark Expeditions!)

9. The walrus feeds on mussels, clams, fish, worms and sometimes will attack seals

10. The walrus can live up to 20 to 30 years old in the wild





North Pole Adventure with Chris



Chris McFarlane

Job title:

Assistant Manager, Operations

Trip Name: North Pole

Pre-post night city: Helsinki

Ship name: 50 Let Pobedy (50 Years of Victory)

Date of Travel:

July 1, 2013 to July 12, 2013

What word best describes your travel style & why? (Adventurer ,Check-lister, Learner , Escapist)

Adventurer. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a list of places that I’m interested in travelling to, and I certainly enjoy checking them off, but what drives me to travel is a sense of adventure and exploring foreign places and cultures. I’ve always been a very curious person.

Give a brief overview of your role at Quark and what you like most about it:

I work in the Operation department in Quark’s head office. My role revolves around ensuring the smooth and safe operations of our expeditions, including making sure we have the best ships, staff and equipment in the industry. I like that operations is really the front-line department of the company, and because of this we get the chance to work closely with all other departments (finance, marketing and sales) to get a very holistic view of our business. On top of this, we get the opportunity to experience a few voyages every year which is amazing!

Did anything interesting happen during your journey to the destination? (interesting seat mate, tips for smooth entry, Anything interesting in B.A./Ushuaia?)

I decided to spend a day in Reykjavik, Iceland on my way to meet the group in Helsinki. It was gorgeous, and I highly recommend breaking up a trans-Atlantic flight with a stopover in Iceland if you get the chance! I rented a car at the airport and clocked close to 500kms in 24hrs driving around this unique island. The highlight was definitely a late evening visit to the famous Blue Lagoon spa by the airport – so relaxing!


Photo courtesy of Blue Lagoon Spa

What were the weather conditions like during your trip?

This was my first North Pole trip so I wasn’t sure what to expect weather wise, but I’m told it was overall above average. We started with a record-breaking hot day in Murmansk that was a bit of a sweaty one, and aside from one day of thick fog on the sail to the Pole we had clear skies and sun. Our day at the Pole was slightly overcast and about -1 degrees Celsius, but the wind stayed down which allowed us to have fun all day on the ice! On our sail back to Murmansk we were blown out of one landing opportunity in Franz Josef Land, but we were able to get on the Zodiacs and in the Helicopter for two others so overall it was a success.

Best memory on the ship or your overall impression of the ship and/or staff:

My best memory on the ship was sailing North and encountering the sea ice for the first time. Watching our ship steam ahead and break through meter thick ice at full speed was truly amazing and really gave me a sense of how powerful these nuclear icebreakers really are. After the first hour or so of breaking through the ice we also encountered our first polar bear – what a day!


Top 3 things you did or experienced on your Polar expedition:

1) Watching the ship break through some seriously thick ice for the final 5 nautical miles to the 90 degrees North.

2) Seeing my first polar bear

3) Getting in the ship’s helicopter and seeing the vast expanse of sea ice from high above


Describe a wow moment or particularly special memory from your trip:

Maybe not a wow moment, but the traditional Russian parade music that blared as our ship casted her lines and left port was definitely very memorable!

Sum up your trip in 3 words:

Unlike any other.

What would you say to anyone who is considering travelling to the Polar Regions:

If you’re considering travelling to the Polar Regions you are probably an adventurous, curious and likely experienced traveler. If this is the case, it will be one of the best trips of your life!


Are there any other experiences, restaurants, food, people, places or sites you would like to highlight?

I will mention Reykjavik, Iceland again because I was truly surprised by the unique beauty and very friendly people I encountered there. A must visit!





Top 5 reasons to travel with Quark Expeditions



1. Polar travel is all we do:
we are the leaders in polar adventure and we have been doing it for over 20 years!


2. Our People:
You’d be hard-pressed to find a group of people more passionate about the Polar Regions than the staff at Quark. From our office support staff and Executive team, to our incredible Expedition Team members and leaders, we are delighted to share everything we know and love about these unique and beautiful regions. We operate our expeditions (no middle man!), hand-pick experienced Expedition Teams, and we provide expertise that only a polar specialist can.


alex Expedition Leader Alex on the job in Antarctica3.

3. Safety comes first:

When you're traveling with Quark, you can rest assured that you are traveling with one of the most responsible and safety-conscious companies in the Polar expeditions industry.


4. Choice of Destination: Our itineraries are designed by the leader in polar adventures.


  • In Antarctica: We have the largest and most diverse fleet of passenger ships in the Antarctic operated by one entity. We deliver more departures and a greater variety of itineraries than any other company.
  • In the Arctic: We go higher and farther than anyone else. Our nuclear-powered icebreaker crushes its way to the North Pole. Our Polar Adventure Ships let us explore Spitsbergen, Svalbard, add kayaking options, and to experience channels and bays through which our icebreakers cannot sail.




North Pole 2012 Quark Expeditions passengers form a circle at the North Pole


5. More activities to choose from:
From camping, kayaking through ice, snowshoeing across pristine snow, helicopter rides at the top of the world and more, we've got lots of adventure options that are sure to make your bucket-list the envy of everyone you know!



Camping in Antarctica Camping in Antarctica

Who is that handsome devil?


A polar bear admires his reflection in icy arctic waters - the perfect submission for #IcePhoto Wednesday!


Photo from the passenger slideshow on our Spitsbergen Explorer voyage, July 2010.


Got an ice photo of your own to share? Post it to twitter and tag with #IcePhoto! Follow Quark Expeditions on twitter @quarkexpedition where we share photos and videos and chat about all things polar!


Shackleton & Scott voyage to Antarctica with Quark


Jonathan Shackleton (cousin of Sir Ernest Shackleton) and Falcon Scott (grandson of Robert Falcon Scott) are currently on Quark’s 11-day Antarctic Explorer voyage, February 9, 2013, Ocean Diamond Voyage to Antarctica. Their first landing in Antarctica took place on Feb. 12th , 2013 and Scott and Shackleton were on the continent together for the first time. A film crew from NBC's Today Show caught them shaking hands and Scott said to Shackleton "Welcome to my continent", which got lots of laughs and set the tone for the landing.

Both are guest lecturers as part of Quark’s exclusive Experts in Residence Program. Their lectures will add an extra layer of interest and insight to the voyage and will afford passengers the opportunity to experience the expedition in an intimate and conversational environment.

Stay tuned for more photos & updates about the voyage and airing dates for the NBC program.






About Jonathan Shackleton: Jonathan Shackleton is a leading expert on the life and achievements of Ernest Shackleton and authored Shackleton: An Irishman in Antarctica and The Shackletons of Ballitore (1580-1987).

About Falcon Scott : Falcon Scott maintains a longtime interest in the Antarctic and his grandfather's expeditions, and recently spent more than one month in Antarctica working with New Zealand’s Antarctic Heritage Trust to weather-proof his grandfather’s famous expedition base hut.


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