Croatian shipbuilder Brodosplit has launched the technologically-advanced polar vessel, Ultramarine, being built for 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,” Andrew White, President, Quark Expeditions, said.
“Ultramarine will be an unrivalled operational base for exploring the polar regions in ways never thought possible.”
Ordered in June 2018, the 128-meter-long Ultramarine has the capacity to accommodate up to 200 passengers. The value of the ship is around € 106 million.
With a Polar Code PC 6 classification and an ice class 1A, the 13,500 GT Marshall Islands-flagged ship will have a cruising speed of 16 knots. It was designed by Norway’s LMG Marin AS.
The 199-passenger Ultramarine features two twin-engine helicopters, 20 quick-launching Zodiacs, and a robust portfolio of off-ship adventure options in the entire industry, including heli-skiing, alpine kayaking and heli-hiking.
The vessel, scheduled for launching expeditions in 2021, will feature optimized fuel consumption, water, provisioning, and waste-handling systems. It will also feature a dynamic positioning system, eliminating potential damage to sensitive seabed areas from anchor dropping.
“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.”