I chose Quark Expeditions for my trip to Antarctica due to the good, though few, reviews that I found online, the appealing itinerary and the voyage options that fit my time frame. I researched Antarctic expeditions for about five years before choosing one. As a solo traveler I was looking for a company that offered structure and safety blended with enough freedom to be creative in response to conditions. I was very pleased with my Quark experience and wanted to add recent information to support the company and the people they employ.
I was on the December 12-23, 2016 trip on the Ocean Endeavour. After arriving in Buenos Aires and staying at the very comfortable Hotel Emperador, I appreciated the thorough communication and organization of Quark in luggage handling and management of the charter flight to Ushuaia. The experience at the airports at both ends of the voyage was very smooth. Upon arrival at Ushuaia, there was free time to explore the town before embarking at 4 pm that evening. Be aware- have Argentinian pesos if you plan to see any of the museums or buy anything to eat in Ushuaia! I did not find establishments that took American dollars!
Embarkation was also well organized, and my cabin was extremely comfortable. The cabin was spotlessly clean, and was well attended by the very capable Jun during my stay. I can't compliment the hotel and culinary staff enough. They provided friendly, enthusiastic service throughout the trip. In other cruises I have often noticed suspicious repeats/recycling of food items in the dining room and a drop off in service toward the end of the trip, but there was no evidence of this flaw on the Ocean Endeavour. The food was extremely varied and very tasty, and 24 hour availability of serve-yourself hot coffee, tea, and hot chocolate was appreciated.