Quark Expeditions has introduced new hiking and trekking options for guests traveling on Ultramarine. Modern-day explorers will have the opportunity to walk alongside polar experts for a truly innovative and immersive experience.
“Setting foot where few humans have ever walked is part of the magic of exploring the Arctic and Antarctic,” said Alex McNeil, Director of Expedition Experience and Innovation for Quark Expeditions, which has been offering hiking opportunities in the Polar Regions since 1991. “Guests frequently speak of the excitement that hits them when they step onto the snow-and ice-covered sites of Antarctica or the remote tundra of the Arctic. They breathe in the polar air, feel the terrain beneath their feet, and observe the polar landscapes up close…and in that moment they know they’ve truly arrived in one of the great wilderness frontiers of the planet. Thanks to our game-changing new ship Ultramarine, we’ve expanded our adventure options to include multiple styles of hiking no one else offers.”
Quark Expeditions’ enhanced hiking and trekking options are aligned with the Adventure Travel Trade Association’s 2022 Industry Snapshot which ranked “hiking/trekking/walking” as No. 2 on the list of ten Hot Trending Adventure Activities.
“Hiking and trekking in the Polar Regions are not your typical long-distance rambles on clearly marked trails,” said McNeil. “We don’t just take our guests off the beaten path, but we take them to where there are no paths at all. And now, thanks Ultramarine’s two twin-engine Airbus H145 helicopters and 20 quick-deploy Zodiacs, we can take guests—of all fitness levels, ages and areas of interest—on hiking and trekking adventures to remote areas of the Polar Regions where few—if any—have ever visited before.”
Quark Expeditions’ Hiking and Trekking options include:
Hiking: Our guided hikes, which are offered at multiple levels from beginner to advanced, range from short jaunts to the top of lookouts or visits to see wildlife to longer walks of several kilometers over ice, rock and snow. Hiking excursions may last from two to three hours with plenty of time for photographs of wildlife, learning moments from your experienced guides, or just time to stand back and admire the incredible polar surroundings.
Heli-Hiking: Ultramarine’s twin-engine helicopters transfer guests to the start of the most scenic hiking routes of Southern Greenland and then pick them up at the endpoint of the route. Each guided heli-hiking departure will be tailored to guests’ personal needs and level of ability and interest. They may choose to join one of our fast walking groups which aims for exploration and distance, one of our medium hiking routes where there will be plenty of time to pause for photography and reflection, or explore at a slower pace with ample time to enjoy the scenery and immerse themselves in their polar surroundings.
Alpine Heli-trekking: Quark Expeditions’ expert guides will take guests on an active adventure high up in the Antarctic Peninsula. Intimate groups of adventurers will board one of Ultramarine’s two twin-engine helicopters for a trekking excursion in an area only safely accessed by air. On land, during an invigorating walk or hike, guests will be rewarded with stunning views of remote ridgelines, glaciated terrain, and snow-topped peaks.
Ice Sheet Experience: While not considered a traditional “hike,” Quark Expeditions’ Ice Sheet Experience enables gets to disembark from their helicopter, and walk on the second-largest ice mass on the planet, the Greenland Ice Sheet.