Steel cutting for a new design of polar expedition cruise ship took place this week at the Brodosplit yard in Croatia.
The ceremony took place at the shipyard and museum of Brodosplit and was attended by senior executives from the builder and Quark Expeditions which will own and operate the vessel.
The new ship from Seattle-based Quark Expeditions is claimed as the first of its kind, combining leading-edge technology, long-range operational capability and advanced safety systems to reach new frontiers in polar exploration.
The 13,500gt vessel is 128m long and has a beam of 21.5m. It will set sail in 2020 and will accommodate up to 200 passengers in spacious cabins and public areas and feature an array of adventure options, allowing guests to maximise opportunities for spontaneous adventure off the ship while enjoying superior comfort on it.
The top deck includes infrastructure for two helicopters for flightseeing and heli-skiing. The ship will also carry 20 Zodiacs, rapidly deployable from an internal Zodiac hangar with four embarkation points. The ship is claimed to have a best-in-class 70-day operational range, and an array of cutting-edge safety features. Passengers will benefit from eleven different cabin styles, modern spa and fitness facilities, indoor and outdoor dining options. All passenger cabins have either large windows or a private balcony, with several cabins catering to disabled persons. There is space for 116 crew members. The vessel is further equipped with a spa and wellness area, and two restaurants.
The ship’s numerous innovations will also minimise its environmental footprint to an extent previously unseen for a vessel of comparable size, including a sophisticated water treatment system, state-of-the-art waste handling, a leading-edge heat recovery system that recycles excess energy back into the ship, and the use of entirely recyclable materials to construct it. The dynamic positioning technology will also mean no need to anchor – avoiding damage to sensitive seabed ecosystems.
“Every aspect of the ship has been built with one thing in mind: continuing to redefine what is possible in polar adventure,” said President of Quark Expeditions, Andrew White. “We’ve created a ship unsurpassed in its class not only by partnering with industry leaders like Brodosplit and the designer LMG Marin, who are as committed as we are to pushing the boundaries, but also by consulting with our own polar experts and Expedition Leaders, who know better than anyone else what guests want out of their polar experience.”
“This ship will be more than just a ship,” added White. “It will be an unrivalled operational base for polar adventures. Our guests travel with Quark to maximise their expedition experience, push their boundaries and revel in the magic of the polar regions. With this new ship, in the hands of the most experienced expedition team in the industry, we will get our guests further into the polar regions, seeing and doing more of what the they have to offer, in a vessel of exceptional comfort.”