Polar expedition cruise line Quark Expeditions has launched its 2022 Canadian Arctic Season with the inaugural voyage of its newest ship, Ultramarine, in the region.
On 01AUG the Ultramarine embarked on the 17-day, Northwest Passage: In the Footsteps of Franklin voyage, which is one of the operator’s five expeditions that explores the Canadian High Arctic.
The adventure immerses Quark Expeditions’ guests in the beauty of the Canadian Arctic, where they experience rich Inuit culture, learn about polar history, witness abundant wildlife, and take advantage of an extensive range of off-ship adventures,, which include Zodiac cruises, kayaking and hiking.
"We're so excited to have kicked off our Canadian Arctic season with the 17-day Northwest Passage: In the Footsteps of Franklin itinerary," said Thomas Lennartz, Vice-President of Sales and Customer Service for Quark Expeditions.
"Not only does it herald our return to the much-beloved Canadian Arctic, but this voyage also marks Ultramarine's inaugural voyage in the Canadian North—which includes the fabled Northwest Passage. Guests get to enjoy the amenities of this technologically-advanced ship while steeped in polar history and wilderness."
True to its name, the Northwest Passage: In the Footsteps of Franklin expedition takes guests on a journey that retraces the footsteps of polar explorer Sir John Franklin and his ill-fated expedition to map out the Northwest Passage. Franklin departed the shores of England in May 1845 with a crew of 24 officers and 100 men and never returned. The doomed expedition remains one of the most enduring mysteries of Arctic exploration and is an integral part of Quark Expeditions' itinerary.
This unique voyage also includes stops in Greenland before traversing the Davis Strait to the northern tip of Baffin Island, near the eastern entrance to the Northwest Passage, where guests can often spot humpback and bowhead whales and an abundance of seabirds to the delight of birders and photographers alike. Guests also have the opportunity to visit the picturesque Inuit hamlet of Pond Inlet where they can meet Inuit guides and community members to learn more about the traditional Inuit way of life and rich culture.
The technologically-advanced Ultramarine, the newest addition to the Quark Expeditions fleet, is equipped with two twin-engine Airbus 145 helicopters, 20 quick-launching Zodiacs and "the largest portfolio of off-ship adventure options in the industry." Other features include a spa, sauna with floor-to-ceiling windows, fitness centre, yoga space, spacious rooms and two restaurants plus a lounge and presentation theatre.
Ultramarine has been designed with advanced sustainability systems that help preserve the pristine Polar Regions for the next generation of explorers. The luxury ship has an Ice Class rating of 1A+ and Polar Class rating of PC6, as well as sustainability features, which help reduce its environmental footprint, include a micro auto gasification system (MAGS), which is capable of converting onboard waste into energy, eliminating the need for the transportation of waste.