It's not often I beat our resident adventure cruise expert, Steve Newman, to the punch with a story on his favourite subject, but I did pick up this latest news from Polar expedition specialist Quark Expeditions, and thought it had some great ideas for 2015.
As we know full well at World of Cruising, adventure cruising now has a large and rapidly increasing following, hence it is a regular part of our feature line-up, and we also think it is worth highlighting on a regular basis as it truly offers that off-the-beaten-track experience.
Cruising to the Antarctic and Arctic Oceans is a sensitive issue, as there remain serious environmental concerns about large numbers of people visiting these parts of the world, especially by ship. But Quark have established a peerless reputation for handling these issues and still providing an amazing voyage into these unique regions.
And their big news for the Arctic season the year after next seas two popular vessels return to the fleet for the June-October period:
M/V Sea Adventurer
Currently part of Quark’s Antarctic fleet, Sea Adventurer (above) will undergo a refurbishment of cabin interiors before sailing during the Arctic 2015 season. This ship is a customer favourite because of its intimate size and ample public space. With a 1A ice-class rating and its operational range, this ship is well-equipped to navigate some of the more ice-laden regions visited by some of Quark’s Arctic itineraries. Formerly known as Clipper Adventurer, Sea Adventurer has an active stability system which helps steady the ship when sailing through rough waters. With a maximum occupancy of 117 and plenty of outdoor deck space, she offers a comfortable journey with plenty of opportunities for up close and personal viewings of the wildlife and scenery.
Sea Adventurer will operate eight itineraries in Iceland, Greenland, Svalbard, the Canadian Arctic and the Northwest Passage during the 2015 summer season.
M/V Ocean Nova
Originally designed to take on challenging ice conditions as a year-round Greenlandic ferry, the Ocean Nova is a 1B ice-class vessel with a small draft that allows her to navigate in shallow waters and reach places larger ships are unable to access. Last used by Quark during the Antarctic 2011/12 season, there are few expedition vessels available these days with fewer than 100 passengers, hence Ocean Nova offers a unique and intimate experience while offering full private facilities and public spaces. The top deck observation lounge affords fabulous views of the incredible ice, fjords and wildlife. With a maximum of 84 passengers, this will be Quark’s most intimate ship.
Ocean Nova will operate 11 itineraries through Iceland, Greenland, Spitsbergen, the UK and Norway during the 2015 season.
Quark president Hans Lagerweij said: “We’re thrilled to have both of these nimble and capable vessels in the Arctic season. The high ice class of both will allow for easier navigation through Arctic ice, enhance our passengers’ expedition experience and provide unprecedented access on our northern itineraries.”
Arctic 2015 Season Details
Quark’s 2015 Arctic season is scheduled to be announced in February. For more information, visit www.quarkexpeditions.com or call 0808 120 2333.