Quark Expeditions has shored up the inaugural voyage of its new ship Ultramarine as the impending 20-day Solar Eclipse 2021: Totality in Antarctica, with South Georgia and Falkland Islands on 25 November 2021 – the date flagged by LATTE earlier this month.
The roundtrip itinerary from Ushuaia will offer guests the opportunity to view the total eclipse from the comfort of Ultramarine‘s decks on Day 10 (4 December 2021), for a period of 1 minute and 40 seconds. The unique experience won’t occur again in Antarctica until 2039.
“Ultramarine is more than a new ship. It will be an unrivalled operational base for polar adventures,” said Andrew White, President of Quark Expeditions. “And after five years of dedicated work and considerable financial resources, we wanted the maiden voyage of this game-changing ship to be incredibly special.
“What our guests will experience in our Total Solar Eclipse voyage (November 25 to December 14) can never be recreated in this lifetime. Not only will they witness the Total Solar Eclipse in Antarctica – and with the world’s top three eclipse experts onboard – but they’ll do so on the inaugural voyage of Ultramarine, which, with its two twin-engine helicopters, 20 quick-deploy Zodiacs and the most robust portfolio of off-ship adventure options in the industry, totally changes the way travellers can explore the Polar Regions,” said White.
“This one-of-a-kind voyage is an opportunity for our guests be part of polar history in the making.”
Three of the world’s leading eclipse experts will be onboard to make the voyage even more memorable: Award-winning National Geographic night-sky photographer Babak Tafreshi and retired NASA scientist Fred Espenak- both of whom were on our 2003 Antarctic eclipse voyage – reunite with some of the same crew, and are joined by “American Eclipse” author David Baron.
Meanwhile, the first of two new Airbus helicopters that will be accommodated onboard Ultramarine touched down on the expedition ship for the first time a few days ago.
The twin-engine H145 helicopters will not only provide flightseeing opportunities for up to 8 guests at any one time, but will be utilised for remote off-ship adventure options such as heli-hiking, alpine kayaking and ice-sheet heli-landings.
Ultramarine was delivered to Quark Expeditions by shipbuilder Brodosplit in Croatia earlier this year. She was originally flagged to enter service in June 2021. Presently, the 199-passenger ship is docked in Trieste, Italy.