Hi Lynn / Steven
We had an absolutely amazing time. I can’t speak highly enough of the Quark Expedition team – their knowledge, enthusiasm and engagement with the group were exceptional. I would recommend them to anyone thinking of going. The brilliant weather, the fact that we landed and/or zodiac cruised 5 times below the Circle as well as landing in the usual “tourist” sites made this a really special trip. Plus we had penguins, orcas, humpbacks and more penguins and leopard seals, one of which punctured a zodiac with a friendly nip. Oh, icebergs too of course and endless beautiful scenery.
I will sort through my photos “soon” and if I have any worthy of sharing, I will forward them. Quark gave us a DVD which has all the best photos from the group plus a highlights reel which should encourage anyone to give it a go. I don’t know if they would let you use or see the highlights – but you could ask them.
I am sorely tempted to book another trip right now – but will wait until my rational head returns before doing anything. As a tip for future travellers, I’d suggest staying a couple of nights in Ushuaia. Quark booked us into Los Cauquenes which was a far better hotel than I was expecting. Weather permitting, there are several excursions around Ushuaia. You won’t see the Magellan penguins in the Beagle Channel on the main trip because the ships leave late and arrive early in the day, so if penguins are your thing, take the penguin island trip or the channel cruise. The concierge at Los Cauquenes organised a driver and guide to take the 2 of us into the National Park for a 4 hour tour / picnic which we really enjoyed (don’t bother with the train – you will see more on foot). The hotel offers several other “experiences” which I assume are just as good. We thought our picnic would be a sandwich in a paper bag – but in fact we were sent a menu the day before (3 choices of main and dessert) and it was served on a table and chairs with hot coffee by the driver in a location of our choice in the park.