Secret Islands, Rare Birds, and Legendary Explorers

If you are into travel by sea that favours secret islands, rare birds, and legendary explorers then you will be as delighted as we were to learn about the newly released voyage in an expanded portfolio of sub-polar experiences from Quark Expeditions.

This new voyage offers travellers the chance to see varied and rare birdlife, history spanning millennia, and volcanic islands.

The trip from the Falkland Islands to South Georgia to Cape Verde via the Tristan da Cunha Archipelago marks an extension of Quark’s sailing season to offer a greater variety of opportunities for travellers to experience picturesque, hard-to-reach destinations, while keeping within the company’s expedition travel tradition.

The geographically diverse 33-day sub-polar adventure will see passengers travelling by small expedition ship from the British islands of the Falkland and South Georgia near the Antarctic Circle, up to the Tristan da Cunha Archipelago, including Gough Island, Nightingale Island and Inaccessible Island.

The ship will sail north to St Helena and Ascension Island before crossing the equator to Cape Verde, just off the northwest coast of Africa.

Birders and naturalists will be thrilled for the chance to travel alongside famed ornithologist Noah Strycker—who set a world record in 2015 for seeing 6,042 species of birds in one calendar year. Passengers will have the chance to absorb expert off-the-ship insights from Noah and on board educational lectures on the endemic species of these remote regions.

Hiking, cruising and exploring the islands with seasoned, expert guides presents myriad opportunities for immersive education in geology, history, ornithology, marine biology and more.

Amateur and professional photographers alike will find the volcanic composition of the islands a spectacular backdrop when exploring by Zodiac cruise or on foot. Those islands and landing sites include:

On both Falkland Islands and South Georgia, passengers can follow in the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s perilous voyages and experience South Georgia’s spectacularly diverse and plentiful wildlife, including 30 breeding bird species and four penguin species.

On Tristan da Cunha Archipelago, including Gough Island, Nightingale Island and Inaccessible Island. Passengers may spot some of the islands’ endemic bird species, explore a UNESCO World Heritage site, visit a remote island village of under 300 residents, and view both active and inactive volcanoes.

During the calls at St. Helena Island, Ascension Island, and Boatswainbird Island, an extremely important avian region and home to the world’s oldest living land animal–a 184-year old tortoise–and offers the most inhabited of the visiting islands in St. Helena, home of the 4,500-resident capital of Jamestown.

Cape Verde, the final destination and point of disembarkation for travellers, who can then travel home with easy flights to Portugal, or stay on to relax and enjoy Cape Verde from one of the archipelago’s many resorts.

These islands tell a story spanning millions of years and provide insights to our planet’s past. It’s an expedition for those craving a true exploration experience, visiting far-off lands after crossing long distances by ship, watching for whales and seabirds en route, and setting foot on islands few have ever experienced. Passengers will enjoy an incredible temperature transition, beginning their voyage in cold weather gear and ending up on a beach in their swimsuits.

“This is an exciting opportunity for travellers to experience the biodiversity of the Atlantic’s most remote islands, from dozens of endemic bird species, to nesting green turtles in their natural habitat, to beloved marine species like dolphins,” said Andrew White, President of Quark Expeditions. “It’s the ideal escape for anyone with a desire to spend a full month experiencing the history and ecosystems unique to this far-off and little-explored area of our world. We’ll continue to explore new itineraries to offer passengers more opportunities to visit remote destinations.”