Adventure travel is becoming more and more about experiences rather than ticking off destinations. And Quark Expeditions, the leader in polar travel, has taken experiential travel to a new level.
The standard way to explore the polar regions is through Zodiac cruises, landings and hikes. Quark's new purpose-built polar exploration vessel, Ultramarine, is designed to go beyond the familiar in polar exploration. They want you to discover new places, and to immerse yourself in the best the polar regions have to offer.
In addition to zodiacs and panoramic observation decks, Ultramarine is equipped with two twin-engine helicopters, allowing them to open up places that have recently be impossible to reach. Think travelling to a glacier in the interior, journeying into the mountains of Greenland for a camping experience, or landing near a remote lake to go kayaking or engage in a hiking or biking adventure.
And did we mention the Tundra to Table experience? At the heart of this experience is the purity of the ingredients, such as seafood caught fresh from the Arctic waters, and free-roaming game that consume naturally-organic grass and vegetation. The dishes you will eat during this experience reflect the culinary traditions of the region they are traveling, whether it’s muskoxen in Greenland or Arctic char in Nunavut. Local chefs take this opportunity to share the story of their people through food.
Here are four expedition cruises in Greenland and the Canadian Arctic which use the Ultramarine as the expedition ship.
9 days from US$7195
This expedition is not about ticking off sights, but it is all about experiencing the amazing things Greenland has to offer. From the comfort of your specially designed expedition cruise vessel you will use zodiacs and helicopters to make landings in remote fjords, on glaciers, near alpine lakes and in out-of-the-way mountainous areas. Here you get to hike, kayak, mountain bike and explore: Greenland’s southern tip is an adventure seeker’s paradise, suitable for all skill levels.
All the while you get to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of craggy peaks, rocky coastline, crystal-clear waterfalls, and lush, verdant valleys covered in wildflowers.
This trip, developed in cooperation with local communities, is a gamechanger in the world of polar exploration.
20 days from US$15745
Discover the spectacular scenery of the Canadian Arctic's Baffin Island and Western Greenland with their enormous glaciers, deep iceberg-studded fjords and snow-capped mountains. See the Northern Lights, visit remote communities, enter Ilulissat Icefjord, spot whales, muskox and polar bear and take a zodiac cruise or a helicopter ride to remote landing spots where you can take hikes to stunning viewpoints and historic outposts.
17 days from US$13945
This adventurous expedition cruise will give you a great mix of all the Arctic has to offer - the history of Franklin's expedition in Canada's Northwest Passage, including Beechey island, incredible wildlife such as walrus haul-outs, polar bear, whale and birdcliffs and the beautiful glaciers, fjords and mountains of Western Greenland. Top it off with visits to Inuit communities and you have a very well-rounded Arctic cruise.
15 days from US$9895
Discover the best of Greenland as you sail from Reykjavik in Iceland to Greenland, home to vast calving glaciers, steep mountains and breathtaking fjords. Kayak past icebergs, hike through lush and varied flora and discover its rich history and culture. Visit small settlements, both ancient and modern, abandoned and alive, including Gardar cathedral and Hvalsey, the site of Greenland’s largest and best-preserved Norse ruins. Cruusing up the west coast you explore numerous fjords by zodiac, visit the charming Greenlandic capital of Nuuk, the town of Sisimiut and of course Ilulissat Icefjord.