Signature Luxury Travel & Style was invited to take a sneak peek at Quark Expeditions’ newest ship at an exclusive breakfast at the Art Gallery of NSW with the vice president of sales, Thomas Lennartz. Now, you can too.
Quark Expeditions has released new renderings of its polar expedition ship, Ultramarine, which will set sail in the Antarctic 2020/21 season.
The images showcase the ship’s spacious suites, as well as a range of public spaces, including the ship’s main restaurant, panorama lounge, lecture theatre, ready room, polar boutique, spa, sauna and fitness centre.
In addition to its extensive portfolio of off-ship adventure options, which will include activities such as flightseeing, heli-hiking and heli-skiing, Ultramarine will provide guests with an exceptional onboard experience, including six solo suites with floor-to-ceiling windows and the largest entry-level twin suites of its class. Each suite has been designed to keep guests connected to the incredible landscapes outside and will include spacious entryways, spa-inspired bathrooms with heated floors throughout and premium sleep zones.
Public spaces on Ultramarine
Main Restaurant – Featuring outstanding views from every seat, full access to the 360-degree wraparound deck, a wine-tasting bar and a variety of seating configurations to comfortably accommodate all guests and expedition staff.
Panorama Lounge and Bar – A relaxed gathering spot featuring unobstructed panoramic views and an outdoor, forward-facing Observation Deck.
Lecture Theatre – A comfortable space where passengers learn more from world-class experts about the adventures enjoyed and the wonders to come, featuring a high-resolution LED screen, real-time translations and live broadcasting for those who prefer to listen from the ease of their suite.
Wellness Centre – A modern space featuring three distinct areas where guests can unwind before their next adventure: a luxurious spa with a wide range of treatments, a state-of-the-art sauna featuring floor-to-ceiling windows and a fully equipped fitness room with separate yoga space.
Polar Boutique – Stocked with the industry’s top cold-weather expedition gear and a carefully curated selection of polar keepsakes, the boutique ensures guests have everything they need, including mementos of an unforgettable journey.
Ready Rooms – Designed for efficiency and situated next to the Zodiac hangar, Ultramarine’s two ready rooms include an individual locker for each guest to safely store and dry personal items and expedition gear between outings.
The concept of maximum aliveness
At the breakfast, Thomas Lennartz – or as he likes to call himself, the lifelong polar ambassador – talked about the exponential growth Quark Expeditions has had in the Australian market, with over 6,000 Australian travellers heading to the polar regions in the last five years. He also focused on Quark’s concept of “maximum aliveness”, the idea that people become more alive by changing our environments, particularly through adventure.
Andrew White, president of Quark Expeditions, phrases it best: “When we intentionally put ourselves in a unique setting where we can no longer count on things as they were, our senses become more finely attuned and our instincts sharpen – it’s a sure ticket to revitalised awareness.”
The ship will combine leading-edge technology and advanced safety systems that will allow passengers to get off the ship and deeper into the polar wilderness faster than ever before. Two twin-engine helicopters and two helidecks will allow passengers to experience epic aerial perspectives of the polar regions and landings only accessible by air. Twenty quick-deploy Zodiacs will be onboard the ship, which can be quickly deployed at four embarkation points that will be accessible from two passenger ready rooms, allowing guests to get off the ship in less than 20 minutes – half the industry average.
The new ship takes its name from the colour of the same name: ultramarine, which means “beyond the sea.” These words speak to the ethos of the company, which has been committed to helping people go beyond the predictable in polar exploration.
“We picked the name Ultramarine because it links us directly to the sea,” said Mr White. “But the word ‘ultra’, especially by its modern day definition, ‘beyond what is ordinary,’ reflects our signature approach to polar exploration.”