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Brodosplit lays the keel for Quark's Ultramarine

quark's ultramarine keel-laying at brodosplit (photo - quark expeditions)
The keel block for the 128-meter ship is lowered into place at Brodosplit PHOTO: Quark Expeditions
Festivities at Brodosplit, Croatia's largest shipyard, marked the keel-laying for Quark Expeditions' Ultramarine on Friday.

A Croatian folk music performance and a coin ceremony heralded construction of the 128-meter, 199-passenger vessel.

'A lot of hard work from a lot of talented people has been required to get us to this point. It’s exciting to see our collective vision for this ship come to life, and to have the opportunity to thank everyone involved for their tremendous dedication and effort,' said Malcolm Ellis, SVP operations at Quark Expeditions.

Also on hand were other senior staff from Quark and its parent company, Travelopia; private equity investors KKR, led by director Joerg Metzner; and Brodosplit and its parent company, DIV Group.

Coin depicts emperor penguins

The silver coin used in the ceremony features two emperor penguins.

'We chose this coin because it perfectly embodies Quark’s mission: to push the boundaries of polar exploration,' Ellis said. 'In our three decades of operation, Quark Expeditions has accomplished a long list of polar firsts, including being the first to take guests to Snow Hill Island to engage with emperor penguins in their natural habitat. Ultramarine’s mix of design ingenuity and technological innovation will allow us to continue adding to that list of firsts by taking guests further into the polar regions than ever before.'

Ultramarine is scheduled to join Quark's fleet in late 2020 for the 2020/21 Antarctica season.