Quark Expeditions laid the keel for its newest ship, the Ultramarine, on August 2, officially kicking off the next stage in the ship’s construction: the build of its hull and superstructure.
Held at Brodosplit, the largest shipyard in Croatia, the event was attended by a mix of senior staff from Brodosplit, its parent company DIV Group, Quark Expeditions, its parent company Travelopia, and private equity investors KKR. Speeches were given by Joerg Metzner, director at KKR, Andy Duncan, CEO at Travelopia, Malcolm Ellis, SVP operations at Quark Expeditions and representatives from both DIV Group and Brodosplit.
The keel-laying event, which also marks formal recognition of the 199-passenger vessel, included a Croatian folk music performance, as well as the centuries-old coin ceremony, in which a specially chosen coin is welded into the ship’s hull to ensure good fortune during the build and subsequent voyages. The coin was designed with two Emperor penguins to symbolize the brand’s focus on polar exploration.
Ultramarine will join Quark Expeditions’ fleet in late 2020 for the Antarctic 2020 - 2021 season. Designed for polar expedition cruises, the new ship will have a main restaurant; panoramic lounge and bar; a lecture theater; a wellness center with a spa, sauna and a fitness rooms with a separate yoga space; and a Polar Boutique stocked with cold weather expedition gear and polar keepsakes. Each suite will have spa-inspired bathrooms with heated floors throughout.