Whale's tales in Antarctica.

Whale’s tales in Antarctica. Our personal favorite photo from Quark.

Industry-leading polar expedition company Quark Expeditions® invites past passengers from their Arctic and Antarctic expeditions to enter their celebrity-judged Cover Photo Contest. The grand prize photo will be featured on the cover of the Quark Expeditions 2015.16 brochure and the top three winners will appear throughout the brochure and take home valuable photography prizes.

Following a period of popular voting to narrow the field to 12 top submissions, a panel of Quark Expeditions® team members and the following polar travel industry celebrity judges will decide the contest in early August:

Paul Nicklen, National Geographic Photographer – Paul specializes in polar photography, with a focus on the relationship between healthy ecosystems and marine wildlife. In addition to his work at National Geographic, Paul’s work has been featured in hundreds of international publications.

Jonathan Shackleton, Author & Historian – A cousin to famed explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, Jonathan comes by his passion for everything polar-related honestly. He has regaled Quark Expeditions passengers with many an historical Antarctic tale of adventure as an honorary guest on a number of cruises.

Chris Hudson, Art Editor at National Geographic Traveller – As Art Director with Absolute Publishing, Chris oversees the design team working on several brands, including National Geographic Traveller (UK), the world’s most widely read travel magazine.

Falcon Scott, Builder/Creator & Artisan – Grandson of the renowned Antarctic explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott, Falcon is a frequent honorary guest on Quark Expeditions® cruises to the seventh continent.

“The level of talent, experience and sheer passion for polar adventure travel is huge on this panel,” said Hans Lagerweij, president of Quark Expeditions®. “It will be a tough decision with so many great entries, but we couldn’t have asked for a more qualified team of judges to choose the winning Arctic/Antarctic photo.”

Participants are invited to submit their Arctic and/or Antarctic photos captured on cruises with Quark Expeditions® using the Cover Photo Contest app on the company’s website and Facebook page, on or before the deadline this Sunday, July 20. Entrants can invite their network to vote for their favorite photos online. First place will take home a GoPro camera and accessories as well as the cover of the annual brochure. More information on prizes and photo specs is available on the Quark Expeditions® travel blog.

“Our passengers are passionate about travel to the Polar Regions and we have seen so many amazing photos and videos as a result of their expeditions,” Lagerweij said.  ”We are excited to showcase the talent of our passengers with a cover feature and placement throughout our 2015.16 brochure and prizes that will help the winners produce even better images in future.”

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Travel Tips for the Visually Impaired

by Peter Sacco on June 23, 2014

For ages, eye problems have been used as an excuse to keep the visually impaired from living out their dreams. In fact, keeping the visually impaired from experiencing the same adventures as everyone else is as old as mankind itself!

Issues with depth perception, near-sight or far-sightedness, blurry vision or lazy eyes have been excuses for not being able to experience surfing, rock climbing, playing sports, or any other intense physical activity.

The fact of the matter is  that it does not need to be this way! The visually impaired need not hold back from experiencing life simply because they cannot see as well as others.

One need only bring the proper sports eyewear or eye protection to experience the adventures of their dreams!

Swimming has long been an activity that has been hard for those who have difficulty seeing. Whether it is swimming laps  in the local pool, snorkeling in Hawaii, or spearfishing in the Bahamas, goggles have always presented an issue for those with vision problems. Wearing contact lenses even with your goggles in the water is downright unsafe as per FDA guidelines.  Without the right goggles, people are subjected to significantly more eyestrain (some would argue reduced situational awareness) in the water.

In order to help make swimming safer and more enjoyable, prescription swimming goggles have been made for adults and kids. These are available either as economical, off-the-shelf products or can be made to your actual prescription. Prescription diving masks are also great for visually impaired scuba divers! These masks allow the wearer to experience full vision deep under water. Now, everyone can enjoy the sunshine and swim safely knowing that they will be able to see perfectly under and above water.

Often, people with eye problems encounter situations where both eyeglasses and contact lenses are inconvenient or even dangerous as they do not offer adequate protection required for contact sports. These situations include but are not limited to hiking, running, playing contact sports like basketball and football, sports involving fast moving projectiles like baseball and paddleball,  mountain biking and rock climbing.

The good news is a wide variety of protective prescription eyewear for sports available that are compatible with activities out of the water! If  intense contact sports are your thing, no need to fear! Most prescription sport goggles fit snugly over the eyes with a comfortable elastic band that goes over the back of the head to ensure the goggles do not fall off during exercise. Some also include a nose guard to protect shots to the nose. If you are more into hiking and biking, then perhaps prescription sunglasses will be more to your liking! These glasses can also be fitted with a neck leash that will keep them from slipping off!

The visually impaired need no longer fear participating in physical activities. The adventures of your dreams are now made possible with prescription eyewear or eye protection suitable for your favorite sport.

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