Quark Expeditions announced the name of their brand new polar expedition ship due to set sail late in 2020. The technologically-advanced newbuild will be named "Ultramarine". The vessel is named after the color ultramarine, meaning "beyond the sea". The ship is currently under construction at Brodosplit Shipyard (Split, Croatia).
MS Ultramarine is planned to combine advanced safety systems and leading-edge technology that will allow cruisers to get off the cruise ship and deeper into polar wilderness faster than ever. The unique features of the advanced polar ship will allow the cruise line to continue to redefine what is possible in the polar regions:
- A pair of twin-engine helicopters and 2 helidecks. Ultramarine's helicopters will be the most capable and safest helicopters in the polar regions. The robust twin-engine helicopters, that will boast exceptional viewing spaces and exceed industry safety standards, will allow guests to experience landings only accessible by air and epic aerial perspectives of the Polar Regions.
- The largest selection of adventure options in the industry. Ultramarine will be the only vessel in the polar waters to offer every off-ship adventure in the robust adventure activity portfolio of Quark Expeditions, including paddling, stand up paddle boarding, sea kayaking, mountaineering, hiking, cross-country skiing, and now, for the first time, helicopter flight-seeing, heli-skiing, and heli-hiking (private helicopter tours).
- 20 quick-deploy Zodiacs. The new Ultramarine will house twenty Zodiacs, situated close to the waterline, that can be quickly deployed from both sides of the ship at 4 embarkation points that will be accessible from 2 passenger ready rooms, allowing travellers to get off the cruise ship in less than 20 minutes (half the industry average) to enjoy spontaneous off-ship adventures.
- Best-in-class 70-day operational range. The optimized fuel, water, provisioning, waste-handling systems will all enable a best-in-class, 70-day operational range allowing Ultramarine to offer up a new set of polar experiences from exploring innovative itineraries to seldom-seen landing sites.
- Advanced sustainability features. In keeping with the recently unveiled Polar Promise sustainability framework of Quark Expeditions, Ultramarine will boast technical features that are expected to minimize the environmental footprint of the ship to an extent unseen for a ship of this size. It will include environmentally-friendly innovations like dynamic positioning, that will eliminate the need to drop anchor in the sensitive seabed areas.
The inaugural season for Ultramarine is scheduled to go on sale this summer. The first cruises will set sail in the Antarctic 2020-2021 season.