With the closure of the Russian Arctic, the possibilities of expedition trips to the polar north have become a good deal smaller. At the same time, however, the list of operators for trips to the Arctic has grown. Therefore, to stand out from the crowd of similar products, Quark Expeditions, which is one of the industry’s veterans with over 30 years of polar expeditions experience, has decided to offer its widest range of Arctic regions and experiences for its guests in the summer of 2024, bringing a breath of fresh air to the industry.
From the Faroe Islands to the far north of Greenland and from the western end of the Northwest Passage to the eastern tip of the Svalbard archipelago, virtually all Arctic and sub-Arctic regions will be served by Quark in the 2024 summer season. However, very special experiences and adventures are also offered, which allow the guest to dive even deeper into the diversity of the Arctic. Whether you are culturally, nature-related, scientifically or historically interested, whether you are a photographer, globetrotter, nature lover or a particularly active person, the product range is so broad that everyone will find the right thing for them and can experience the Arctic in their own personal way.
Quark plans to enter the 2024 season with a mix of new products in popular regions and new regions with its popular products. “At the heart of our exciting 2024 Arctic season is the incredible range of polar experiences that no one else offers, led by our amazing expedition team,” explains Wendy Batchelor, Quark’s videpresident of Marketing. The focus is on the Ultramarine and the Ocean Adventurer. Both vessels are perfectly equipped and the ideal platforms to implement Quark’s ambitious program, which will start from the end of April 2024. “We have refined our offering of off-ship adventures to suit the tastes of every traveler. We have also introduced a new itinerary in West Greenland and – based on feedback from our guests – have resumed our popular voyages to Spitsbergen and the Canadian High Arctic,” Batchelor adds. The Ultramarine has the highest ice class 1A+ and the Ocean Adventurer the second highest class 1A and both are equipped with enormously powerful engines. This allows them to be out in the Arctic waters as early as May, showing guests the late spring in the north of Svalbard when the archipelago awakens again from its winter sleep. In addition, both offer Quark’s usual on-board service and comfort to make the time between excursions and experiences outside, which are at the heart of all Quark voyages, as pleasant as possible.
The highlights in the 2024 season will certainly include the two two-week Spitsbergen tours in May and July. These two departures are among the longest such expedition ships make around Svalbard. The goal is to show and experience firsthand Svalbard’s breathtaking diversity of animals, plants and landscapes. The extra days allow to visit more places or stay longer than normal for animal experiences. Especially the trip in May will be interesting for photographers, because the light conditions in May on Svalbard are softer and more varied than in July. The, however diversity then reaches its peak. On foot on land or on the water by Zodiac or kayak, guests immerse themselves in this Arctic hotspot and experience why Svalbard is also known as the “Arctic in a Nutshell.”
On the other side of the Arctic, from Greenland to the end of the Northwest Passage, guests will also be immersed by Quark. And here, too, two longer trips in addition to the familiar products will offer travelers the opportunity to delve deeper into this side of the Arctic. In Greenland, for example, Quark wants to show the differences in Greenlandic culture in the south and in the west, and to implement its successful cooperation with local tourism representatives in the south in West Greenland as well. The aim is to provide guests with a new and broader perspective on life and cultural diversity. At the same time, Quark also aims to showcase the nature of south to northwest Greenland and the adjacent Canadian Arctic, offering travelers an up-close experience with its popular activities on land, on the water and also on the ice.
This then includes the islands of Ellesmere and Axel Heiberg on the Canadian side, both of which boast spectacular nature and eventful histories of Arctic exploration. However, these are precisely the aspects that will be brought to bear on the resumption of Quark’s longest voyage in the Arctic, the Franklin Expedition’s tracking of the Northwest Passage. During more than two weeks, guests will be immersed in both the tragically exciting story of the most famous Arctic expedition as well as the unique nature of the Canadian Arctic and the culture of its inhabitants. Also included will be the new and now popular “Tundra to table” product, where selected chefs will introduce guests aboard the ship to regional cuisine and also culture in a very appetizing way. Experiencing the Arctic even wider and deeper is hardly possible anymore. “As a leader in polar adventure, our goal is to provide our guests with the expedition of a lifetime with the best team of polar experts in the world,” Wendy Batchelor concludes.
Dr Michael Wenger, PolarJournal
This article appears as part of a partnership between PolarJournal and Quark Expeditions. However, the content and opinion are those of the author.
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