The Quark Ground Team (stationed in Ushuaia, Argentina) is an invaluable extension of both the Quark onboard expeditions team as well as the head office team, and the only one of its kind with an office stationed at the jumping off point for Antarctica. I recently had a chance to speak with Marcelo Vanecek via phone during one of his regularly busy days in-and-out of the office. Marcelo is Quark’s Ushuaia Services Manager and essentially coordinates the ease of travel for Quark passengers upon their arrival (and departure) in Ushuaia.
1. What should Quark passengers know about our Ushuaia Ground Team?
“Ultimately, we’re here to help and guide them in EVERYTHING they need to know. With a live Quark person on the ground, we are able to suggest restaurants and shops and help smooth out logistics in real time. Passengers really appreciate that extra touch. They should also know that our expertise is in their stay in Ushuaia and visits to the surrounding areas (such as National Parks or other local attractions and highlights); while the Expedition Team is far more knowledgeable about Antarctica itself and will do their best to make that experience a memorable one.”
2. How long have you been assisting passengers in Ushuaia?
“I’ve been assisting travelers en route to Antarctica for over 10 years. The last company that I worked for merged with Quark in 2009 and that is when I began working for Quark Expeditions.”
3. How has tourism changed in Ushuaia over the last 10 years?
“Tourism in Ushuaia has grown dramatically… and positively. Not only have we seen increasing numbers of Quark passengers route to Antarctica, but travellers with around-the-world tickets are making it a must-see stop along their route as well. The increased visits have brought with it a better infrastructure here in town with better choice in quality hotels and services like restaurants and shops, etc.”
4. What is your favourite part of being a Quark Ground Team representative in Ushuaia?
“Meeting our passengers. I get to see the expressions on our travelers’ faces when their dreams turn into realities. Quark passengers often read about and prepare for a journey like this for months and sometimes years. The expression on our passengers’ faces tells me how satisfied they are when we exceed their every expectation."
Call a Polar Travel Adviser to book your voyage to Antarctica… and be sure to stop by Quark’s Ushuaia office when you’re there to say hi to Marcelo and his team!
By Jonathan Carroll, Quark Business Development & Trade Communications