Travel — 04 May 2011
"Three Arctic Islands" from Quark Expeditions cruise one of 50 Tours of a Lifetime

"Three Arctic Islands" from Quark Expeditions cruise one of 50 Tours of a Lifetime

This is the third time that National Geographic has honored a Quark voyage, and on this occasion, National Geographic Traveler named “Three Arctic Islands: Triple the Adventure” as one of 2011’s 50 Tours of a Lifetime. To qualify for the honor, an expedition has to be one of the “most authentic, most innovative, most immersive, best-guided, and most sustainable tours.” This 13-day cruise is exclusive to Quark Expeditions, a Vermont-based, polar tour operator specializing in the polar regions since 1991.

The Three Arctic Islands: Iceland, Greenland, Spitsbergen

Sublimely exotic landscapes, glittering glaciers and the icons of the Arctic – polar bears and walrus – set Iceland, Greenland and Spitsbergen apart from traditional vacation destinations. Iceland’s hotsprings and smoking volcanoes contrast sharply with the red fjords of Greenland’s Scoresbysund – the largest fjord complex in the world. Spitsbergen is the Arctic in miniature, providing sightings of polar bears in their natural habitat, prowling, hunting, feeding and raising their young.

The Ship

Akademik Sergey Vavilov, designed for hydrographic research, is one of the most quiet expedition vessels sailing the Arctic. Quick and nimble, the ship is well-equipped for Zodiac cruising in ice-strewn waters. Vavilov carries a maximum of 107 guests in a variety of cabin categories.

Sea-kayaking is an optional adventure on two of three departures (August 21 and September 3) in 2012. Hiking, a polar plunge, presentations by naturalists and wildlife watching are every day activities available to all who sail.

The Itinerary

Two departures (August 9, September 4) begin in Longyearbyen, in Norway’s Arctic paradise, Svalbard. A third (August 22) embarks in the vibrant capital of Iceland, Reykjavik, and includes a complimentary hotel night in Reykjavik, August 21, 2012 . All sailings will experience extended daylight hours, as the ship cruises above the Arctic Circle for most of the itinerary.

Quark Expeditions, a polar specialist since 1991

Quark Expeditions operated its first Arctic trip in 1991. The voyage across the Arctic Ocean, via the North Pole, set the tone for the company’s subsequent adventures. Each voyage is led by Expedition Leaders with decades of experience in high almost inaccessible latitudes. Passionate about the Arctic and Antarctica, they share their knowledge with guests, encouraging them to extend their comfort zone for a rich life-enhancing journey. In October 2006 and 2007, Quark was named a recipient of National Geographic Traveler’s “50 Tours of a Lifetime” for the “Emperor Penguin Safari” and the “Far Side of Antarctica” cruises respectively.

Extended hours

Quark Expeditions has extended its hours to accommodate telephone enquiries and live chat requests: Monday through Thursday, 8:30 AM to 8 PM eastern; Friday, 8:30 AM to 5 PM. Travelers in North America may call toll free 1.888.892.0171 or +1.203.803.2887. Contact Prisca Campbell, +1-416-645-8256, or visit

Picture credit: PR Newswire.



About Author

Richard Lee

Richard has been traveling since he took a year off from college, where he was doing a BA in Journalism. He traveled half the world, backpacking with his girlfriend (now his wife). They spent time in South America, Asia, Greece and much of Europe. After writing about his experiences for several airline and travel magazines, he never went back to college.

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