- year built
- crew members
- 420 feet
- 70.5 feet
- 16.4 feet
- cruising speed
- 16 knots
- Marshall Islands
- ice class
- 1A, PC6
The new Ultramarine 199-passenger polar ship is purpose-built for safety and far-off exploration. The vessel boasts specialized exploration tools, cutting-edge safety measures and an incredible 70-day cruising range to focus on hard-to-reach places, while at the same time providing a high-end onboard experience. Ultramarine was built in 2021 by Croatia’s award-winning Brodosplit, the largest shipyard in the country, and is designed by LMG Marin, Europe’s leading naval architect. Her first sailings were in the Arctic in early 2022.
Why Sail Aboard Ultramarine
Choose this ship for her excellent balance of personal, operational and public spaces, creating a high-end experience to go farther, faster and more safely in the dynamic conditions of the Arctic and Antarctic. Exploration is prioritized with Ultramarine’s twin helicopter and helipads for heli-skiing, flightseeing and expeditions to otherwise inaccessible places as well as an innovative, internal hangar and launching system for Zodiacs.
These exploration tools, the ship’s specialized, cutting-edge safety features, and the provisioning and waste handling systems (enabling a 70-day operational range) all ensure the ability to go farther into the polar regions, more safely and more easily than before. For these, and many other reasons, the Ultramarine is among our top choices for passengers seeking Antarctica luxury cruises and exploring in the most active way worldwide.
AdventureSmith Explorations has been aboard the Ultramarine firsthand. Read our dedicated Ultramarine Ship Review, written by our expert who sailed aboard the ship in the Arctic. Or consult this page further for a detailed description of the Ultramarine, including ship specs, deck plan, cabin images, photo gallery and current links to all the trips she sails. We can help compare the Ultramarine with other Antarctica ships and ice-class expedition ships offering Arctic cruises, Greenland cruises, Canada cruises, Patagonia cruises and Antarctica cruises.
Design, Sustainability & Accessibility
Designed in collaboration with active expedition leaders, this ship offers innovative features to increase guests’ on- and off-ship experiences.
Helicopters, Zodiacs & Activity Gear
This polar ship has two twin-engine H145 helicopters launched from two simultaneously operable helidecks for heli-skiing, heli-hiking, flightseeing and exploration of air-only accessible destinations. These helicopters are the most fuel-efficient in their class, celebrated for their small footprint and reduced noise pollution. They enable polar travelers to explore deeper in the remote areas in which Ultramarine sails (except for South Georgia in Antarctica and Spitsbergen in the Arctic). Helicopter operations require roughly 20 expedition team members and pilots to run successfully, and operate in tandem with paddling and Zodiac activities.
Days are packed with multiple landings by Zodiac, enabled by the ship’s rapid Zodiac deployment tools. Ultramarine’s internal Zodiac hanger provides safe and quick deployment of 22 Zodiacs with four embarkation points easily accessible from two ready rooms, enabling all passengers to offload the ship at the same time. When possible, the Expedition team uses a rear dock that lowers to water level for efficient Zodiac loading.
Ultramarine additionally offers the largest selection of classic adventure options, including sea kayaking (hard plastic boat), paddling (inflatable kayak), camping, mountaineering and stand-up paddleboarding (inflatable board). All activities are led by highly trained guides and expedition leaders, and all paddling activities include a drysuit and gloves.
The groundbreaking safety features of Ultramarine include 13 fully redundant critical systems, twin propellers powered by four diesel-electric engines in two separate engine rooms for consistent backup and engine reliability, stabilizers, as well as a fully operational emergency bridge. This expedition vessel also has an ice strengthened hull and dynamic positioning capabilities. The dynamic positioning technology also means no need to anchor, avoiding damage to sensitive seabed ecosystems.
Responsible Travel Features
Ultramarine’s sophisticated and environmentally friendly waste handling systems allow for treatment of waste to be managed safely in far-off distances. Her numerous innovations are designed to minimize her 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 (Micro Auto Gasification System incinerates waste that then creates stored energy for use on board), a leading-edge heat recovery system that recycles excess energy back into the ship, LED lighting, and the use of entirely recyclable materials to construct it.
Digital wristbands enable both keyless cabin entry and computer-logged tracking of entry and exit from the ship. An elevator services all decks. Finally, an onboard, English-speaking doctor is available 24 hours a day. The ship’s physician manages a medical clinic stocked with a supply of common prescription medicines and basic first aid equipment.
Crew, Guides & Expedition Leaders
The 140 crew members of Ultramarine work together to create a seamless guest experience. This premiere ship within the Quark Expeditions fleet attracts top guides, many with over 10 years of experience with the company. The expedition team features guides with advanced degrees, including doctorates, in areas such as glaciology, geology and ornithology. Guides are omnipresent on board and make every effort to interact with travelers throughout the voyage. Special guests may include a cultural interpreter. A large portion of the expedition staff are required for helicopter operations, and the near 1:1 guest-to-guide ratio helps with smooth operations.
With a modern and high-end feel, guests aboard the Ultramarine polar expedition ship can feel right at home while traveling to these extreme locations. A modern spa and fitness facilities offer guests the ability to relax and rejuvenate in between the active off-ship explorations. A polar boutique is stocked with basic toiletries, sunscreen, Ultramarine logo gear, base layer clothing, gloves, hats, jackets, waterproof pants and gifts. Satellite WiFi is available in public spaces and some cabins, however service may be intermittent due to the remote locations in which the ship sails.
Dining, Bar & Lounge
The gourmet Balena Restaurant services two dining rooms with tables from 2-10 guests each. The indoor/outdoor Bistro 487 on the upper deck, and four bars, provide additional food and beverage options (including self-serve espresso) while aboard. The bistro offers an alternative menu and various healthy options, plus any early riser breakfasts, afternoon tea and late-night snacks.
Food on board is healthy and varied, with options including meat, fish, vegetables, pasta, grains, soups, cheeses, desserts and fruit. Most special diets (vegetarian, dairy free, sugar free, gluten free, nut free, shellfish free) are easily accommodated with advance notice. Breakfasts and lunches are typically buffet style, while a la carte dinners are made to order and plated.
The Panorama Lounge & Bar is a space for special events; when this space is not in use for a function, guests can enjoy its far-reaching views with complimentary binoculars and spotting scopes, plus coffee, espresso and tea. The bar offers complimentary soft drinks, juices and water. Beer and wine are complimentary with dinner. A selection of liquors, spirits, and premium beer, wine and champagne is available for a fee.
Deck 5 of Ultramarine features a wraparound promenade that’s ideal for walking and al fresco wildlife viewing, including a large forward-facing viewing area. Deck 7 has a large exterior deck space with forward and side facing views, and quiet outdoor spaces can be found at the back of the ship. The Bridge, open in calm weather and open seas, is spacious and offers 180-degree views and binoculars to enjoy them with. This heart of the ship is where guests will find the expedition leader, captain and crew continuously evolving the expedition’s course.
Spa, Sauna, Steam Room & Gym
The Tundra Spa offers treatments and massages bookable on board. The steam room is a great place to relax after an off-ship excursion. The sauna features commanding views of the icy landscapes outside. The gym is equipped with a variety of machines and weights, including exercise bikes, treadmills, a rowing machine, weight machines, free weights, yoga and stretching mats. Floor-to-ceiling windows and mirrors blend with wooden accents and a polar theme.
Library & Lecture Theater
The library features a collection of field guides, picture books and reference materials relevant to the polar regions. Find materials in various languages, covering a selection of topics such as wildlife, history, marine biology, ecology and geology. A selection of games further provides entertainment while the ship is underway. The Ambassador Theater seats all passengers and acts as the main lecture hall. Enjoy a variety of comfortable seating arrangements including chairs, tall tables and bench seating near the bar, bar stools, booths with bench seating and chairs. Visit this auditorium for briefings, recaps, presentations and movies.
Ready Rooms & Studio
The thoughtfully designed mudroom Ready Rooms (A & B) are equipped with an open storage locker assigned to each guest, plus ample space and benches. Travelers can keep their parka, boots and life jacket here, between excursions. Located near to the helideck, the Studio is a preparation room for helicopter excursions, where travelers are weighed for balancing the aircraft, and arranged into flight groups.
Cabins, Amenities & Deck Plan Aboard Ultramarine
Passengers benefit from 11 different cabin styles, each are spacious and designed for superior comfort. Amenities include key-less entry via wristbands, Egyptian cotton bedding, non-allergenic pillows, bedside USB charging stations, 220-volt electrical outlets (standard European two round pin plugs), reusable water bottle, refrigerator and a safe. The heated-floor private bathrooms are equipped with bathrobes, slippers, a hair dryer, and their feel is high-end, with a rain shower and in-shower bench. TVs in-room offer movies and the ability to tune into live presentations going on in the Ambassador Lounge.