Quark Expeditions, the leader in polar adventures for three decades, celebrated the steel-cutting of its pioneering new ship today, launching an exciting new chapter in polar exploration.
The ceremony took place at the shipyard and museum of Quark Expeditions’ build partner, Brodosplit, and was attended by senior executives from both companies, including President of Quark Expeditions, Andrew White, CEO of DIV Group, Tomislav Debeljak and CEO of Brodosplit Zoran Kunkera.
The new ship from Quark Expeditions is the first of its kind, combining leading-edge technology, long-range operational capability and advanced safety systems to reach new frontiers in polar exploration. “Every aspect of the ship has been built with one thing in mind: continuing to redefine what is possible in polar adventure,” said White. “We’ve created a ship unsurpassed in its class not only by partnering with industry leaders like Brodosplit and LMG Marin, who are as committed as we are to pushing the boundaries, but also by consulting with our own polar experts and Expedition Leaders, who know better than anyone else what guests want out of their polar experience.”
The vessel, at 128 meters long, with a beam of 21.5 meters and at 13,500 Gross Tons which will set sail in 2020, will accommodate up to 200 passengers in spacious cabins and public areas and feature an unparalleled array of adventure options, allowing guests to maximize opportunities for spontaneous adventure off the ship while enjoying superior comfort on it. “This ship will be more than just a ship,” added White. “It will be an unrivalled operational base for polar adventures. Our guests travel with Quark to maximize their expedition experience, push their boundaries and revel in the magic of the polar regions. With this new ship, in the hands of the most experienced expedition team in the industry, we will get our guests further into the polar regions, seeing and doing more of what they have to offer, in a vessel of exceptional comfort.”
Featuring an interior Zodiac hangar and four embarkation points, state-of-the-art dual helicopters with simultaneously operable helidecks, a best-in-class 70-day operational range, and an array of cutting-edge safety features, the vessel will help Quark Expeditions deliver the thrill of polar adventure in new and unmatched ways while ensuring its guests’ comfort, enjoyment and safety. Passengers will benefit from eleven different cabin styles, modern spa and fitness facilities, indoor and outdoor dining options, and a rapid Zodiac and helicopter deployment system that allows for safe and efficient movement on and off the ship.
The ship’s numerous innovations will also minimize its environmental footprint to an extent previously unseen for a vessel of comparable size, including a sophisticated water treatment system, state-of-the-art waste handling, a leading-edge heat recovery system that recycles excess energy back into the ship, and the use of entirely recyclable materials to construct it. The dynamic positioning technology will also mean no need to anchor – avoiding damage to sensitive seabed ecosytems.
The new vessel will go on sale in Spring 2019, with the launch of it’s inaugural Antarctic 2020-2021 season.
“We are proud of our long list of firsts, like the first commercial passenger circumnavigation of Antarctica,” said White. “We designed this ship to keep adding to those firsts in what we consider the most breathtaking places on our planet. It is our combination of institutional knowledge and technological innovation that makes a design like this possible. The polar regions are both spectacular and unforgiving. Our new ship will take people there safely and comfortably while giving them experiences to cherish forever and allowing them to appreciate the purity and majesty of nature without disturbing it.”