Quark Expeditions has officially taken ownership of its new polar vessel, Ultramarine. The official handover of the technologically-advanced ship took place in Split, Croatia.
Andrew White, President of Quark Expeditions said the “game-changing” vessel will soon become “an unrivalled operational base for polar adventures”.
“Every aspect of Ultramarine has been designed and engineered to enable our teams to get guests off the ship and deep into the polar wilderness better than ever before. This new vessel – in the hands of the most experienced team in the expedition industry – will allow us to create truly immersive off-ship adventures for our guests while providing them with a superior onboard experience,” White remarked.
“This game-changing ship was delivered after more than five years of dedicated work and considerable financial resources,” said White. “This commitment of time and money, especially during an industry-challenging pandemic, reflects our confidence in the future of polar travel and underscores our commitment to delivering life-changing polar experiences no one ever thought possible.”
The 128-metre Ultramarine will accommodate 199 guests, and will feature:
- Two twin-engine helicopters and two heliports:
The two H145 helicopters, operated from two heliports, will allow more passengers to simultaneously experience new destinations accessible only by air, and to enjoy more unique aerial perspectives of the Polar Regions than on any other ship.
- Twenty quick-deploy Zodiacs:
The 20 quick-launching Zodiacs at four embarkation points mean the expedition team can load and embark Zodiacs faster, safer and easier than ever before.
- The industry’s largest selection of adventure options:
Ultramarine, with its two helicopters and 20 quick-deploy Zodiacs, will offer the most robust portfolio of off-ship adventure options in the industry, allowing guests to customise their polar experience. These include flightseeing, heli-hiking and helicopter-supported alpine kayaking, among others.
Advanced sustainability features:
The vessel’s sustainability features include the Micro Auto Gasification System (MAGS), which is the industry-leading system that converts waste into energy at the site that it’s generated. MAGs eliminates the environmental impact of waste transportation, offering an innovative sustainability feature that exceeds all industry standards.
“The completion of Ultramarine – with its superior on-ship amenities and advanced technology – is a testament to the community of engineers, naval architects, welders, structural fabricators, riggers, electricians and all of the other crew at the Brodosplit shipyard – as well as the designers, innovators and operational team members in the Quark Expeditions head office – who’ve worked long and hard over the last three years,” said Malcolm Ellis, Senior Vice-President of Operations for Quark Expeditions.
Ultramarine‘s first sailing is scheduled for 7 June 2021, a seven-day voyage to Spitsbergen from Oslo, Norway, with the cruise embarking from Longyearbyen the next day. Cabin prices start at AU$8,700 per person twin-share.