Going Where No One Has Gone Before

June 12, 2019 Andrew White

For three decades, our purpose at Quark Expeditions has been unwavering: to go beyond. Since our founding, we have been committed to helping others discover the wonders of the polar regions while continuing to push the boundaries of exploration.

Our much-anticipated new ship, Ultramarine, delivers on this promise in ways never before seen for a vessel of its size. As we celebrate the unveiling of the ship’s name – which, in Latin, means “beyond the sea” – and look forward to its inaugural season, I feel tremendously proud of the combined efforts of our teams around the world that have led to the realization of this groundbreaking new ship.

I am also filled with excitement knowing that, both on and off the ship, Ultramarine’s technological innovations and visionary design will create brand new possibilities for our guests, with every detail crafted to optimize the polar experience.

At Quark Expeditions, we know that it’s when people get off the ship and start to explore that they truly catch the polar bug. We’ve witnessed untold moments in which guests have had their eyes opened and their breath stopped by something previously beyond their imagination. That’s why we designed Ultramarine to get passengers off the ship and into the wilderness as quickly as possible. Unlike most other ships, where Zodiacs are usually stored on higher decks out in the open and craned off the ship, Ultramarine will launch its twenty Zodiacs from an enclosed hangar close to the waterline. As a result, our guests will be able to get off the ship in half the time and maximize their time in nature.

We also know that, while polar landscapes are spectacular from the sea, they are just as striking from the air – which is why we’ve included not one but two helicopters on Ultramarine. Not many of those who visit the polar regions get to experience the remarkable aerial perspective, but we want to change that. The helicopters will enable a range of inspiring adventures such as flightseeing and, for the first time ever, heli-hiking and heli-skiing. These unforgettable new activities will complement our already diverse range of off-ship activities like sea kayaking, paddling, hiking, cross-country skiing and paddle-boarding.

Finally, we know that environmental responsibility is as important to our guests as it is to us, and that everyone who comes aboard one of our ships shares in our unwavering Polar Promise. That’s why, in the process of creating this ship, every decision was made with a view toward ecological sustainability. Ultramarine’s technological advancements will temper its environmental impact to an unprecedented degree for a vessel this size. The sophisticated, industry-leading MAGS (Micro Auto Gasification System) will decrease waste volume by 95%. The innovative hull and engine designs will reduce fuel consumption. Black and grey water generated on board will be treated to exceed the most stringent worldwide standards. Even Ultramarine’s propellers have been specially designed to ensure quiet operation in the wildlife-rich areas that we visit with our guests. With the launch of Ultramarine, we will enable guests from all parts of the globe to become keen polar explorers charting new ground, but also environmental ambassadors sharing in the pledge to preserve these beautiful regions.

We are thrilled to once again be evolving the standards in polar exploration, and we look forward to welcoming you on board Ultramarine.

About the Author

Andrew White

A previous Expedition Leader, he’s found a way to reverse engineer his career by turning his passion for the polar regions into a living. After guiding his first white-water paddling trip in the Arctic a few decades ago, he was instantly captivated by the raw, wild remoteness and rugged beauty only the opposite ends of the Earth can truly offer. For him, it wasn’t solely about the destinations themselves, but the experience of expedition travel—of being a true explorer—and embarking on an adventure where the outcome is unknown, creating epiphanies and eternal memories. Born in South Africa and having grown up in Belgium, England and Canada, travel and exploration has always been at White’s core. The drive to alter perspectives by getting out of one’s comfort zone to achieve what he calls ‘maximum aliveness’ is a philosophy he brings to every space, be it a corporate or natural one. Since 2014, White has led the Quark Expeditions Team in delivering transformative experiences in the polar regions. More often than not, he says Quark passengers return home feeling different—the expedition experience comprised of an extraordinary destination and a team that goes the extra mile leaves them with a renewed perspective.

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