Quark Expeditions Recent Press Releases

DATE : May 20, 2020

Quark Expeditions launches game-changing polar vessel Ultramarine

Quark Expeditions marked a major milestone today in the construction of its technologically-advanced polar vessel, Ultramarine, with a traditional launch ceremony that also honored the Brodosplit ship-building team.

Tomislav Debeljak, owner and CEO of the DIV Group, which includes Brodosplit, the largest shipyard in Croatia, was joined by shipyard godmother Andrea Mutak (from the Split-based children’s charity Udruga Andeli—Association of Angels), dignitaries and Brodosplit employees as Ultramarine—built specifically for polar travel—entered the water for the very first time.

“Today’s launch ceremony is a time-honored shipyard tradition,” said Andrew White, President, Quark Expeditions. “That very moment when ‘ship first meets water’ is a major milestone for any vessel. The sound of Ultramarine’s hull entering the water from slipway No. 2 into Supaval Bay signified we’re one step closer to exploring the polar regions on this game-changing ship. But, of course, it’s not just any ship that we’re celebrating today—but a ship built specifically for polar exploration. Ultramarine will be an unrivalled operational base for exploring the polar regions in ways never thought possible.”

“While the star of today is Ultramarine, the ceremony also honors a cast of people without whom this vessel would never exist: the Brodosplit shipyard team,” says White. “Following a tradition that goes back to earlier times, a shipyard godmother—different from the godmother who eventually christens the ship—is chosen for this ‘working launch.’ Traditionally, this godmother has an affiliation with the shipyard community, which is important to us because today’s launch is our way of celebrating the community of engineers, naval architects, welders, structural fabricators, riggers, electricians and all of the other shipyard crew who had a hand in the launch of this expedition vessel–which will change the way we explore the Polar Regions.”

Andrea Mutak was chosen as shipyard godmother because of her work with Udruga Andeli (Association of Angels), a community organization in Split that supports children with severe physical and developmental disabilities. “It was an incredibly proud moment for all of us at Quark Expeditions as the shipyard godmother cut the rope and released Ultramarine into the waters of Supaval Bay, on the Split Peninsula.”

“The launch of any ship is complex and once underway, uncontrolled until the vessel is attached to tugs standing by,” says Malcolm Ellis, Senior Vice-President, Operations for Quark Expeditions. “The total time involved from trigger release until the vessel is stopped in the water is little more than a minute or two. Yet, the potential for damage in that time period is greater than at any time during the ship’s many years of service. The stress placed on a vessel during launch is probably the highest it will experience in its lifetime. No rehearsal is possible.”

The 199-passenger Ultramarine features two twin-engine helicopters, 20 quick-launching Zodiacs, the most robust portfolio of off-ship adventure options in the entire industry (including heli-skiing, alpine kayaking and heli-hiking), superior onboard comfort and unparalleled amenities (including a sauna with floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto the polar landscape), spacious spa-inspired suites, advanced sustainability systems, and a unique interior design that keeps guests connected to the breathtaking polar landscapes outside while they relax inside. Guests will enjoy breathtaking public spaces and more outdoor wildlife viewing spaces than other expedition ships its size.

About Quark Expeditions: Specializing in expeditions to Antarctica and the Arctic, Quark Expeditions® has been the leading provider of polar adventure travel for three decades. With a diverse fleet of specially-equipped small expedition vessels and icebreakers, it offers travelers unparalleled access to the most remote places on Earth. Led by passionate and seasoned expedition teams, including scientists, naturalists and researchers, the onboard program focuses on guest interaction to educate and enrich the passenger experience. www.quarkexpeditions.com

About Travelopia: Travelopia is one of the world’s leading specialist travel groups. A pioneer in the experiential travel sector with a portfolio consisting of more than 50 independently operated brands, most of which are leaders in their sector. From sailing adventures, safaris and sports tours, to Arctic expeditions, each brand is diverse and focused on creating unforgettable experiences for customers across the world.

DATE : May 1, 2020

Quark Expeditions launches the Polar Learning Channel™

SEATTLE – May 01, 2020.

Quark Expeditions, long recognized as the Leader in Polar Adventure Travel, announced today the launch of the Polar Learning Channel™, an online educational hub specially curated by polar experts—for travelers of all ages.

The Polar Learning Channel™ is designed to educate, inform and entertain polar enthusiasts through a comprehensive weekly program—presented by polar experts—that provides a deep-dive on a specific polar topic each week. Polar enthusiasts of all ages will be fully immersed in that week’s chosen topic through two weekly webinars (one for adults, one for all-ages), videos, infographics, contests, coloring outlines as well as Q&As on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with occasional livestreaming.

“We’re very excited to launch the Polar Learning Channel™,” says Andrew White, President, Quark Expeditions. “This expert-curated educational hub allows us to tap into and share the expertise we’ve accumulated throughout our three decades of polar exploration in the Arctic and Antarctic. Educating our onboard guests about the wonders of the polar regions—on everything from glaciology to penguins to polar bear habits—has been a crucial part of every voyage we’ve ever undertaken. Now, with the launch  of the Polar Learning Channel™, we’re extending that educational commitment by teaching polar enthusiasts—wherever they are in the world—through a variety of online formats, and, for the first time, by delivering engaging polar content specifically for children.”

Quark Expeditions’ polar-passionate experts will address specific topics each week, including subjects such as penguins, the best time for seabird-watching in Antarctica, the mysteries of the Northern Lights, sea ice, and the breeding and feeding habits of whales and dolphins.

“Those of us who’ve visited the polar regions multiple times are, as you can imagine, passionate about these pristine parts of the world,” says White. “As we complete our 30th year of polar exploration, it’s become clear to me that we at Quark Expeditions were the only ones who could conceive and create the Polar Learning Channel™.  It was a natural next step for us in the evolution of our company and of our ongoing commitment to the Polar Regions. It’s long been said that education leads to enlightenment. If we succeed in enlightening more people about all of the wonders of the Polar Regions, we’ll have achieved our goal.”

EXPLORE THE FREE CONTENT ON THE POLAR LEARNING CHANNEL™

About Quark Expeditions: Specializing in expeditions to Antarctica and the Arctic, Quark Expeditions® has been the leading provider of polar adventure travel for three decades. With a diverse fleet of specially-equipped small expedition vessels and icebreakers, it offers travelers unparalleled access to the most remote places on Earth. Led by passionate and seasoned expedition teams, including scientists, naturalists and researchers, the onboard program focuses on guest interaction to educate and enrich the passenger experience. www.quarkexpeditions.com

About Travelopia: Travelopia is one of the world’s leading specialist travel groups. A pioneer in the experiential travel sector with a portfolio consisting of more than 50 independently operated brands, most of which are leaders in their sector. From sailing adventures, safaris and sports tours, to Arctic expeditions, each brand is diverse and focused on creating unforgettable experiences for customers across the world.

DATE : February 20, 2020

Quark Expeditions Releases First Annual Sustainability Report Integral to its Polar Promise Strategy

As outlined in its comprehensive Polar Promise Strategy, Quark Expeditions Publishes its in-depth 2019 Sustainability Report, underscoring accountability and measurable goals in the Polar Regions

SEATTLE – February 19, 2020

Quark Expeditions, the leader in polar adventures, today released its first annual Sustainability Report, which provides a detailed analysis of the company’s comprehensive sustainability strategy in the polar regions, highlighting milestones while also outlining concrete, measurable goals to be met by 2025.

“Quark Expeditions’ first annual Sustainability Report, a key deliverable in our Polar Promise strategy, reflects our ongoing commitment to responsible travel in the polar regions,” says Lyndsey Lewis, Operations and Sustainability Manager for Quark Expeditions. “This comprehensive report establishes a baseline—and culture —of accountability in the Arctic and Antarctic. Last April, we unveiled our sustainability strategy under the title ‘Polar Promise,’ which is the most comprehensive and holistic strategy of its kind in the polar expedition industry. As part of this effort, we shared specific, concrete goals which we intend to meet by 2025. This report, in full transparency to our passengers and partners, marks how we’ve been tracking with respect to those goals and clearly outlines our commitment moving forward.”

Quark Expeditions, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, has been on the forefront of sustainability and environmental protection in the polar regions since its inaugural North Pole expedition in 1991. “Sustainability has always part of our DNA,” says Lewis. “We were one of the founding members of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO), and we’ve been active in the environmental conservation efforts of the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) since 2007. This first annual Sustainability Report cements our ongoing role in safeguarding the pristine polar regions for generations to come.”

Quark Expeditions’ sustainability achievements include:

  • As a long-time supporter of polar research and conservation, including the efforts of organizations such as Polar Bears International, Quark Expeditions enables scientists to access remote locations in both the Arctic and Antarctic and donates the proceeds from our onboard auctions to science and conservation organizations.
  • Quark Expeditions’ onboard charity auctions have raised $686,729 for the citizen science group Penguin Watch since 2012.
  • Since 2014, Quark Expeditions’ onboard auctions have raised $169,924  for the South Georgia Heritage Trust and Friends of South Georgia to support the Habitat Restoration project, whose goal was to restore the sub-Antarctic island to its original status as one of the world’s most important seabird sites. Funds were used for baiting during the eradication phase and to support rodent-detecting dogs for the current monitoring and maintenance phase.
  • In 2017, Quark Expeditions eliminated single use plastics.
  • In 2019, the Quark Expeditions team eliminated 14,000 Individual yogurt containers and 320,000 single use plastic bottles.
  • In 2018-19, Quark Expeditions diverted 103.11 cubic meters of glass, 60.11 cubic meters of plastic and 106.82 cubic meters of cardboard.
  • Historical analysis confirms that Quark Expeditions’ has decreased emissions from its fleet by 28% since 2010.

Quark Expeditions’ Polar Promise is based on four main pillars which have been implemented across all sectors of the company:

  • Planet: Quark Expeditions plans to reduce its footprint and build resilience through best practices and advanced sustainability technologies.
  • Partnerships: To lead change through community engagement, Quark Expeditions will continue supporting scientific conservation and sustainable development in polar communities.
  • Principles: The company will implement sustainable practices throughout the business—in the polar wilderness and in their offices.
  • Positive Impact: Quark Expeditions will continue to demonstrate that the positive benefits of polar exploration will increase awareness of these integral areas and have a positive impact for future generations.

“These pillars define our measurable goals,” says Lewis. “For instance, given these robust plans, Quark Expeditions will reduce carbon emissions by roughly 10% per passenger by 2025, by which time we also plan to work exclusively with suppliers, vendors and external partners who share our commitment to sustainability in the polar regions, while continuing to lead change through community engagement, and supporting scientific conservation and sustainable development in polar communities.”

Quark Expeditions will also continue to grow its recently-launched Polar Ambassador Program, which involves the education of polar visitors who, upon returning home, apply their commitment to sustainability and stewardship of the planet wherever they live in the world.

Quark Expeditions’ commitment to sustainability was the driving force in the design and conception of the company’s new ship, the technologically-advanced Ultramarine, which will be launching in 2021. Ultramarine’s advanced sustainability features include: the Micro Auto Gasification System (MAGS), which converts waste into energy; four diesel engines to meet fluctuating power needs; a heat recovery system; eco-friendly lighting; and a re-imagined hull and propeller design that ensures the lowest possible resistance (which translates into energy savings).

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE ENTIRE SUSTAINABILITY REPORT

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About Quark Expeditions: Specializing in expeditions to Antarctica and the Arctic, Quark Expeditions® has been the leading provider of polar adventure travel for three decades. With a diverse fleet of specially-equipped small expedition vessels and icebreakers, it offers travelers unparalleled access to the most remote places on Earth. Led by passionate and seasoned expedition teams, including scientists, naturalists and researchers, the onboard program focuses on guest interaction to educate and enrich the passenger experience.

About Travelopia: Travelopia is one of the world’s leading specialist travel groups. A pioneer in the experiential travel sector with a portfolio consisting of more than 50 independently operated brands, most of which are leaders in their sector. From sailing adventures, safaris and sports tours, to Arctic expeditions, each brand is diverse and focused on creating unforgettable experiences for customers across the world. www.travelopia.com.

DATE : February 3, 2020

Quark Expeditions Continues to Go Beyond

The Leader in Polar Expeditions Announces a New Voyage to Russia’s Remote Severnaya  Zemlya

SEATTLE – February 03, 2020.

Quark Expeditions, the world leader in polar adventures, is completing preparations to take passengers to the remote Russian archipelago of Severnaya Zemlya —the last major territorial discovery on the planet.

Dominated by glaciers and polar desert and inhabited by a staggering array of wildlife, the hard-to-reach archipelago, located off Siberia’s Taymyr Peninsula in the Kara Sea, was only discovered in 1913 and remained virtually unexplored until it was charted in the early 1930s.

Severnaya Zemlya, which means “Northern Land,” comprises four major islands (October Revolution, Bolshevik, Komsomolets, and Pioneer) and approximately 70 smaller islands that together cover 37,000 square kilometres. Yet despite its vast size, it remains largely unknown to the outside world.

Now, Quark Expeditions’ guests will have a unique opportunity to explore this rarely-visited land on a newly-created expedition – High Arctic Odyssey: Remote Russian Archipelagos.

“Exploring the Russian High Arctic can be a challenge—but it’s a challenge that Quark Expeditions is uniquely equipped to meet,” says Ed Bonner, Vice-President of Product, Quark Expeditions.  “We take pride in having the most experienced team in the polar regions and in doing the preparation required to create life-changing experiences in these remote wildernesses.”

In September 2019, Quark Expeditions undertook a reconnaissance voyage to explore Severnaya Zemlya and the surrounding region and lay the groundwork for the upcoming expeditions. “We sent four experienced expedition team members on a 30-day voyage with Captain Nicolay Litau, one of Russia’s foremost polar explorers, on the expedition yacht Apostol Andrey, to scout out the best landing sites, the most unforgettable views and the unique landmarks that we hope will  maximize our guests’ experience in this magical land.”

Guests interested in being among the few to visit Severnaya Zemlya can join Quark Expeditions’ 22-day High Arctic Odyssey: Remote Russian Archipelagos with departures in July 2020 and July 2021. In addition to exploring Severnaya Zemlya, guests on this expedition will also visit glaciated Novaya Zemlya, where the earliest Arctic explorers overwintered, explore historic sites at Franz Josef Land and discover rarely-visited islands of the icy Kara Sea.

Quark Expeditions is also offering a shorter trip to Russia for travelers eager to explore the remote archipelagos of Franz Josef Land and Novaya Zemlya: the 16-day Jewels of the Russian Arctic: Franz Josef Land and Novaya Zemlya (with departures in July 2020 and July 2021).

To further enrich these voyages, Quark Expeditions has arranged for two Russian specialists to join both voyages and share their first-hand expertise.

Victor Boyarsky will be onboard Ocean Adventurer as Russian Regional Specialist for the High Arctic Odyssey: Remote Russian Archipelagos expeditions. The renowned Russian polar traveler is head of the Polar Commission of the Russian Geographical Society, and member of the National Geographic Society of the United States and the National Academy of Tourism. The widely-respected Boyarsky, who has written numerous books inspired by his Arctic experiences, first visited Severnaya Zemlya in 1975.

Victor Serov will be onboard Ocean Adventurer as Russian Regional Specialist for the Jewels of the Russian Arctic: Franz Josef Land and Novaya Zemlya expeditions. Trained as a scientist, Serov overwintered at the Soviet Antarctic Station Novolazarevskaya in 1981. He then led geophysical expeditions to the Russian Arctic islands and archipelagos from 1982 to 1989. Serov visited Franz Josef Land for the first time in 1984 and returned in 1992 as the Russian leader of an Austrian film project that recreated the Tegetthoff expedition (which discovered the archipelago in 1872-74). Serov first visited Novaya Zemlya in 1985.

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About Quark Expeditions: Specializing in expeditions to Antarctica and the Arctic, Quark Expeditions® has been the leading provider of polar adventure travel for three decades. With a diverse fleet of specially-equipped small expedition vessels and icebreakers, it offers travelers unparalleled access to the most remote places on Earth. Led by passionate and seasoned expedition teams, including scientists, naturalists and researchers, the onboard program focuses on guest interaction to educate and enrich the passenger experience.

About Travelopia: Travelopia is one of the world’s leading specialist travel groups. A pioneer in the experiential travel sector with a portfolio consisting of more than 50 independently operated brands, most of which are leaders in their sector. From sailing adventures, safaris and sports tours, to Arctic expeditions, each brand is diverse and focused on creating unforgettable experiences for customers across the world. www.travelopia.com.

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