About Quark Expeditions

  • Registered in Seattle, USA
  • Operated in Antarctica since 1992
  • One of the most longstanding and respected polar operators in the business
  • Number of ships: 3
  • Length of partnership with Swoop: Since 2015
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What our customers think about Quark Expeditions

No matter how bad the weather is, the staff of Quark Adventures still do their best to create conditions to take everyone to travel and explore under the premise of ensuring safety! Read the full review

Travelled: November 2023

Liu Haibin - China

I can’t say enough about this crew. They were all amazing. This trip couldn’t have happened for me without all of their hard work and dedication. Read the full review

Travelled: November 2023

Beth Collins - USA

The professionalism of the entire Quark team is evident as well as their effort to ensure that everyone has a wonderful experience. Read the full review

Travelled: January 2023

Virginia De Francesco - Argentina

Review:

What makes Quark Expeditions special?

  • Quark are the market-leading polar operator. In Antarctica’s challenging environment, destination knowledge counts for everything and they’ve been setting the standard for the rest of the industry for over 30 years
  • They remain true to their pioneering roots by continuing to specialise in delivering exceptional expeditionary-style voyages, enabling guests to experience Antarctica up close and personal, optimising their time off ship
  • Committed to ensuring the highest standards of guiding to enrich every guest’s experience, Quark was the first polar company to establish their own guiding school. Their expedition staff to guest ratio remains the lowest in the business
  • They offer a wider choice of optional adventure activities than almost any other Antarctic operator, making them a great choice for active travellers. They introduced stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) in Antarctic waters
  • Like Swoop, Quark takes their responsibility for helping to protect Antarctica’s fragile environment seriously and are committed to environmentally responsible tourism
  • Over the years we’ve received literally hundreds of glowing reviews from Swoop customers who have travelled with Quark, giving us full confidence that you're in the very best hands
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Alex says

The strength of the Swoop-Quark partnership pivots around our shared values, mutual respect and deep trust after many years working together, with Quark always delivering the best possible Antarctic experience for our guests.

Alex Mudd Head of Swoop Antarctica

Fun facts about Quark Expeditions

  • Quark cemented their pioneering roots in 1991 by taking the first group of guests to the North Pole
  • Alex, our Head of Swoop Antarctica, has partnered with Quark since 2004 when their small 50-passenger ex-Russian working ships were the modus operandi
  • If you happen to pass through Quark’s main Toronto office on a Friday afternoon, you might be lucky enough to be invited to their Happy Hour

Quark Expeditions' ships

World Explorer Ship

World Explorer

This ship sets the bar high with a sleek design, fast average cruising speed of 16 knots, spacious cabins and a unique glass-domed observation lounge. 

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Ultramarine Antarctic vessel in Antarctica

Ultramarine

Ultra by name, ultra by nature. With elegant lines, onboard helicopters and the widest range of adventure activities, this ship is designed to impress.

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The Antarctic ship the Ocean Explorer and two large icebergs

Ocean Explorer

Custom-engineered for polar voyages, this sleek 138 passenger ship benefits from cutting edge design and advanced nautical technology. 

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Swoop says

Swoop’s collective knowledge and experience of working closely with Quark extends back to 2004. As such, there are very few agents who know the company and their trips and ships better and in more detail than we do.

Why Swoop

Expert Impartial Advice At No Extra Cost

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Antarctic travel options are complicated. We help you choose the right ship, the right cabin, and at the right point in the season.

A Depth Of Knowledge On Board

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As a team of ex-guides, tour leaders, & polar adventurers our Antarctic knowledge is leagues ahead of the rest.

For The Ends Of The Earth

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Swoop is proud to be B Corp Certified as we know sustainability is more than our carbon footprint (but we’re reducing that too).

We’re With You At Every Step

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We’ll make sure you have the adventure of a lifetime.

Meet Quark's Expedition Team

Quark staff

The calibre of Quark's onboard expedition staff remains one of their superpowers. They have an outstanding stable of loyal expedition team members, as well as:

  • A Quark Academy dedicated to training their guides to the highest standards
  • An expedition staff to guest ratio of 1:6 – the lowest among their competitors, leading the market in this respect
  • An international mix of nationalities, bringing a vibrant melting pot of perspectives and experience

Introducing a few key members you may meet on your voyage:

Fabrice Genevois

  • Expedition Guide & Biologist
  • An ornithology expert with a particular interest in the wildlife of the polar regions 
  • Has worked as a field guide and lecturer for Quark since the early '90s
  • Led trips to the Antarctic Peninsula, the Weddell Sea and the Ross Sea in Antarctica
  • Wrote “The Wildlife of the Polar Regions” and has published two illustrated books on Seabird Biology and Ecology 
Quark Expedition Guide Fabrice Genevois

Torre Stockard

  • Marine Biologist
  • Earned her PhD in Marine Biology from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography
  • Spent six seasons studying emperor penguins in a camp known as “Penguin Ranch”
  • Has worked as a naturalist on Antarctic cruises since 2007
  • Met her husband in Antarctica and now lives with him in Washington State
Quark Expedition Guide Torre Stockard

Bob Headland

  • Historian
  • Educates travellers on the history of polar exploration in the Arctic and Antarctica
  • A senior associate of the University of Cambridge's Scott Polar Research Institute 
  • Acts as an advisor to expeditionary organisations and government departments
  • Presented with the Polar Medal in 1984 
  • Has worked on conserving historical huts and related sites in both polar regions
Quark guide Bob Headland
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What our customers think about Quark's guides

I can't say enough good things about the team!! I think they all took "happy pills" -- always so upbeat. Their knowledge of the Antarctic/polar regions is impressive. The lectures they provided were informative and not boring! This just isn't a job for them, this is their LIFE! Read the full review

Travelled: December 2023

Juanita Chase - USA

The Quark expedition team was fabulous. They were energetic, friendly and helpful. Enjoyed having dinner with a number of team members and it was fascinating to hear of the adventures that led them to being expedition team members. Read the full review

Travelled: December 2023

Scott Burbank - USA

All were knowledgeable and friendly. I'm amazed at these people who are so educated in a specific area (ornithology, history, geology, etc.) but also people who enjoy doing expeditions. You can tell they really enjoy what they do. Read the full review

Travelled: December 2023

Janalee Burbank - USA

10/10 - Expedition team and entire staff and crew made me feel so welcome and excited. They exceeded my expectations for what to anticipate on this trip, especially because I went solo. Read the full review

Travelled: December 2023

Dianne Salcedo - USA

No matter how bad the weather is, the staff of Quark Adventures still do their best to create conditions to take everyone to travel and explore under the premise of ensuring safety! Read the full review

Travelled: November 2023

Liu Haibin - China

They had a lot of knowledge and worked to get to know people, and to help people see the most animals and have the best experience. Read the full review

Travelled: November 2023

Stephanie Curtis - USA

I can’t say enough about this crew. They were all amazing. This trip couldn’t have happened for me without all of their hard work and dedication. Read the full review

Travelled: November 2023

Beth Collins - USA

EXCEPTIONAL EXPEDITION LEADERS! The expedition leaders were kind, very knowledgeable, passionate, professional, fun, and always made safety a priority. For me, the expedition leaders are what made the voyage so enjoyable. They answered questions, offered assistance, gave presentations, and constantly exuded their passion for their work and Antarctica. They did everything in their power to make sure all excursions were memorable and always succeeded!

Travelled: February 2023

Linda Buckley - USA

The professionalism of the entire Quark team is evident as well as their effort to ensure that everyone has a wonderful experience. The zodiac drivers are very experienced and at all times they made us feel very safe. They are also good nature guides: very generous with their time and sharing their knowledge with the group. I am a naturalist guide myself and I know well the effort and commitment that this requires. The staff is very well balanced to meet the needs and expectations of a diverse group of people.

Travelled: January 2023

Virginia De Francesco - Argentina

The professionalism of the entire Quark team is evident as well as their effort to ensure that everyone has a wonderful experience. Read the full review

Travelled: January 2023

Virginia De Francesco - Argentina

10/10 - The advice to travel with Quark was perfect to meet my needs. Their boat and staff were wonderful, but their scientific and technical expedition teams were of the highest caliber. Everyone an expert in their field. Everyone was very clear their priorities were exclusively providing the guests the best experience ever. They delivered everything I hoped for and more. Top notch - clearly one of the best options due to their experience operating in the Arctic and Antarctic. Staff talked about how their goal as they developed their careers in expedition work was to get a position with Quark!

Travelled: January 2023

Karen Pearson - USA

Fantastic expedition team and tour guides. The team was incredibly knowledgeable and friendly. The tour guides were excellent and definitely worked to keep us safe while letting us see as much as possible. 10 - Wouldn't change a thing! Excellent trip.

Travelled: December 2022

Waverly Garnand - USA

The expedition team on the ship was excellent. They were all very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. Abby, the Expedition Lead, kept the passengers well-informed on daily expectations and landing instructions. Johann, Craig, and Santiago were very good guides with interesting and entertaining knowledge in each zodiac cruise. Daily briefings were a very good way to review all daily activities with entertainment and information. The Expedition Team makes this trip memorable!

Travelled: December 2022

Alex Chou - USA

Very friendly, approachable and knowledgeable. All the lectures were interesting, my particular favourites were about the Antarctic history. Read the full review

Travelled: December 2022

Victoria Overland - Switzerland

Review:

Swoop offer the following Quark trips

Special Offers:Swoop has access to the widest range of offers and can help you find the right trip, cabin, & price.

Antarctic Explorer

The great strength of this trip is choice – a wide selection of departure dates and optional adventure activities available on a sleek purpose-built 138 passenger expedition ship. Spend four full days exploring Antarctica. Enjoy daily shore landings and zodiac…

  • 11 Days
  • $13,995
Antarctic Explorer in Style

For those travellers prioritising real comfort and ease of travel logistics, this is a great option. Travel in style aboard a state-of-the-art expedition ship, with heli-sightseeing available on select departures for a unique bird's-eye view of Antarctica. Plus the comprehensive…

  • 11-12 Days
  • $16,390
Ultimate Antarctica: South Georgia & Antarctic Circle

An epic 23-day voyage which packs in an astonishing 7 days in Antarctica, 4 days in wildlife-rich South Georgia and the Antarctic Circle at 66 degrees south. It's very rare to find a trip combining all three places. Limited departure…

  • 23 Days
  • $39,490
Antarctic Circle Odyssey

Sail south to the iconic Polar Circle for 7 full days exploring the highlights of the Antarctic Peninsula as part of an epic 14-day adventure. Pre-voyage hotel night in Ushuaia and a 3-in-1 parka jacket are included. An optional one-off…

  • 14 Days
  • $18,995
Crossing the Circle in Style

Journey beyond the Antarctic Circle in real comfort aboard a state-of-the-art expedition ship. Spend an extended period of 7 action-packed days exploring the Antarctic Peninsula. Attractive comprehensive transfer package from Buenos Aires available on select departures. Wide choice of optional…

  • 14 Days
  • $20,490
Antarctica, South Georgia & Falklands In Style

Voyage south in Shackleton’s footsteps, exploring the Southern Ocean's highlights as part of this expansive 20-day adventure. A well-balanced itinerary gives plenty of time in each jaw-dropping location. Explore from the comfort of your sleek purpose-built expedition ship, accompanied by…

  • 20 Days
  • $25,495
Antarctic Fly & Cruise Safari

If you’re keen to fly to Antarctica instead of sailing, this 8-day trip is ideal, with a choice of dates in December and January. Travel on outstanding modern expedition ships with a maximum of 140 passengers. Active adventurers can enjoy…

  • 8 Days
  • $11,995
Fly & Cruise Polar Circle

This impressive voyage combines all the comfort and speed of flying in both directions with extended time in Antarctica (7 full days) allowing you to head south towards the remote Antarctic Circle. Explore from the comfort of your outstanding purpose-built…

  • 10 Days
  • $14,995