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  • Frozen splendor - 1 of 9

    Frozen splendor

    For those today who think there is nothing left to seek or nothing left untrammeled, Antarctica awaits -- serene, magnificent, empty, surreal and beautiful beyond words. And although the Seventh Continent is the world's most inaccessible, it is no longer a pipe dream for adventurers who place it high on their bucket lists. Pictured here, Quark Expeditions' 189-passenger Ocean Diamond. Photo by Lisa Maclean; posted July 1, 2014

  • Frozen splendor - 2 of 9

    Frozen splendor

    The writer's 20-day journey included the Falkland Islands and South Georgia before landing on the continent. Photo by Lisa Maclean

  • Frozen splendor - 3 of 9

    Frozen splendor

    Shore excursions are made twice a day via 12-passenger Zodiacs. Photo by Lisa Maclean

  • Frozen splendor - 4 of 9

    Frozen splendor

    South Georgia is a standout for its massive numbers of king penguins.

  • Frozen splendor - 5 of 9

    Frozen splendor

    Guest lecturer Jonathan Shackleton at the gravesite of his cousin Ernest Shackleton, the British explorer credited with one of the most astonishing rescue journeys in history.

  • Frozen splendor - 6 of 9

    Frozen splendor

    Seals of all types are a common sight.

  • Frozen splendor - 7 of 9

    Frozen splendor

    Zodiacs get up close and personal with chiseled icebergs, floating sculptures of outlandish sizes and eroded shapes.

  • Frozen splendor - 8 of 9

    Frozen splendor

    Wandering albatrosses boast a 10-foot wingspan, the largest of any living bird.

  • Frozen splendor - 9 of 9

    Frozen splendor

    Quark offers kayaking as an optional excursion. Antarctica's ethereal light lasted well into the evening,

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