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Quark Expeditions’ Ultramarine Vessel is Ready for Booking



WHY IT RATES: The company is pioneering a new polar expedition vessel set to go beyond the expected in 2021 with unrivaled innovation and sublime comfort. —Mackenzie Cullen, Editorial Associate

Quark Expeditions today announced that their much-anticipated polar vessel, Ultramarine, is ready for booking during an inaugural Arctic season with voyages to Spitsbergen, Greenland and the Canadian Arctic. This season will include many new, inspiring excursions and amenities exclusive to Ultramarine and Expeditions.

“Ultramarine is a game changing new ship setting the industry standard for polar expeditions,” said Andrew White, president of Quark Expeditions. “For example, our brand-new Greenland Adventure is the perfect expedition to showcase her phenomenal capabilities. Guests on our exclusive Greenland Adventure will go further into Greenland’s remote wilderness than ever before, to enjoy a wide range of new adventure options and wilderness experiences including heli-hiking, alpine kayaking, mountain biking and an authentic Greenland camp experience.”

Ultramarine’s inaugural Arctic season ushers in a new era for Quark Expeditions:

—Built to meet the demands and sensitivities of the polar regions

In a league of her own, Ultramarine combines leading-edge technology and advanced safety systems to optimize the polar expedition experience. And, in keeping with Quark Expedi­tions’ Polar Promise sustainability framework, Ultramarine will include technical features that will minimize the ship’s environmental footprint to an extent previously unseen for a vessel of this size.

—All-new itineraries to some of the world’s most remote destinations

New itineraries for Arctic 2021 made possible by Ultramarine’s unique capabilities include Greenland Adventure; Arctic Express Canada: The Heart of the Northwest Passage, which offers the most efficient way to experience the majesty of Canada’s Arctic in nine days; and Canada’s Remote Arctic: Northwest Passage to Ellesmere and Axel Heiberg Islands.

—The most adventure options in the industry

In addition to what is already the broadest portfolio of adventure options in the industry, Quark Expeditions will offer even more exciting off-ship activities with Ultramarine and her two twin-engine helicopters, including heli-hiking, heli-landing, flightseeing, alpine kayaking, a Greenland camp experience, mountain biking and an ice sheet experience.

Ultramarine will also house 20 Zodiacs in a hangar close to the waterline, allowing guests to get off the ship in half the time of that of industry averages, to enjoy more spontaneous adventures than previously possible.

Supported by a multichannel marketing campaign called, “Q the Adventure,” Ultramarine will join Ocean Adventurer in a season that will feature a wide range of destinations including Spitsbergen, Greenland, Iceland, Canada’s Northwest Passage and Russia’s most remote high Arctic.

For more information on these awe-inspiring voyages from Quark Expeditions visit

SOURCE: Quark Expeditions press release.

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Cruise Ship Denied by Two Caribbean Ports Amid Coronavirus Outbreak



An MSC Cruises ship was turned away from at least two ports in the Caribbean on Tuesday after a crew member fell ill amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

According to The New York Times, MSC Meraviglia was denied from docking in both Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Georgetown, Cayman Islands after port authorities learned that a crew member from the Philippines was ill. However, the Associated Press reported that the employee was believed to be sick with the common seasonal flu.

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

“In an abundance of caution, in order to provide protection to the health and safety of the residents of the Cayman Islands, the government has denied permission for the cruise ship to call on Grand Cayman as previously scheduled,” Dwayne Seymour, health minister of the Cayman Islands, said in a statement.

The cruise line expressed frustration over the repeated denial, claiming that the ill crew member and all passengers on the ship had passed a health screening prior to embarking.

“The crew member had traveled to Miami from Manila, via direct connection in Istanbul,” MSC Cruises said in a statement to the Times. “He developed symptoms of common flu and tested positive to Type A influenza after he visited the ship’s 24/7 Medical Center while already on board. He has no other symptoms.”

The ship, which is carrying more than 4,500 passengers and 1,600 crew members, is in the midst of a 15-day roundtrip sailing from Miami that had included scheduled stops in Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Mexico, Bahamas, Belize and Honduras.

MSC Meraviglia isn’t the first ship to be turned away from port amid fears of the spreading coronavirus and likely won’t be the last. Tuesday’s unexpected hiccup comes just one week after MSC Cruises updated MSC Bellissima’s Grand Voyage itinerary to Asia.

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