Quark Expeditions

Quark Expeditions logo with orange Q.

Quark Expeditions is recognized as the world leader in polar cruising, offering the widest array of Arctic and Antarctic expedition tours on the planet. Quark’s polar travelers enjoy unparalleled technical expertise, leadership and passion for expedition trips to the Arctic and Antarctica.

Quark Expeditions History

In 1991, Lars Wikander and Mike McDowell were two adventurers hankering to visit the North Pole. After visiting that year, awestruck by the beauty and majesty of this unspoiled place, they were inspired to make polar travel the focus of their business. They resolved to build a company committed to environmentally responsible travel, and a community of guests who would become advocates and ambassadors for the polar regions. From this foundation rose Quark Expeditions, now recognized as the world’s leading polar expedition cruise company.

Among Quark’s many firsts and accomplishments are: the first circumnavigation of Antarctica for commercial passengers in 1997, breaking Roald Amundsen’s record set nearly 100 years prior of attaining the most southerly latitude of any surface vehicle in 2006, launching its first carbon-neutral voyages in 2011 and launching the first hot-air balloon at the North Pole in 2012.

Quark Polar Cruises

Quark has the largest and most diverse fleet of adventure ships in the Antarctic and Arctic. Within the fleet is the only nuclear-powered icebreaker, 50 Years of Victory, sailing to the North Pole.

Quark Expeditions prides itself upon its highly qualified and rigorously trained expedition team, some experts in their field of polar history, marine biology or glaciology. When you travel with Quark, you’ll be taken care of by the best navigation, hospitality and expedition crews in the world. In addition, Quark offers one of the highest staff-to-guest ratios in the expedition world, offering guests the very best of polar travel experiences.

As a founding member of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) and an active member of the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO), Quark adheres to stringent guidelines designed to ensure that the polar regions will remain pristine for generations to come. Quark was the first operator to offer inclusive carbon-neutral voyages on the Ocean Diamond, and carbon offsets all of Quark Expeditions’ team and staff air travel.  In December 2012, Quark became the first (and only) expedition cruise company in the world to complete a third party health and safety assessment. Quark successfully demonstrated conformity to the highly respected British Standard BS 8848, in an evaluation undertaken by the Young Explorers’ Trust, an independent third party assessor.

Why Choose Quark Expeditions

When you cruise with Quark Expeditions, you can rest assured that you are traveling with one of the most conscientious companies in the polar expeditions industry, from safety standards to customer service to sustainability. View all our Antarctic cruises, Arctic cruises, Canada small ship cruises and our full list of the best Antarctica cruise lines.

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