Sailing from the UK
Setting sail from Aberdeen
The 'granite city' of Aberdeen is flush with money from the North Sea oil boom, and boasts cultural attractions including the fascinating Maritime Museum and the Aberdeen Art Gallery. Head out into the countryside and you'll find magnificent castles, wild mountain scenery and whisky distilleries aplenty.
United Kingdom: Fair Isle
Fair Isle is the UK’s most remote inhabited island, lying roughly halfway between Shetland and Orkney. The island is tiny, just 3 miles by 1½ miles, and is renowned for its traditional knitwear. It’s also a birdwatching hotspot, serving as both an important breeding ground for seabirds and as a stopping-off point for migrant species.
Svalbard and Jan Mayen: Jan Mayen
The island of Jan Mayen sits several hundred miles north of Iceland, a remote and inaccessible place where tourist numbers are strictly limited. Towering Mount Beerenburg is the world’s northernmost active volcano, and there is no human settlement except for a very lonely Norwegian weather station.
Svalbard and Jan Mayen: Spitsbergen
Spitsbergen is the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago, a land of snowy peaks, frozen tundra and glassy seas. You’ll likely have no fixed itinerary here, due to the unpredictable nature of an Arctic expedition; be prepared to drop everything and rush up to the top deck for the chance of a polar bear sighting!
Arriving in Longyearbyen
This is the world's northernmost city and the base for tourism in Svalbard. A bit quirky, as you would expect from somewhere that spends four months of the year in near darkness, Longyearbyen doesn't take long to explore. Its brightly coloured wooden houses are built on stilts, as the ground in Svalbard is permafrost. When you enter a building, you are normally asked to remove your shoes, and leave your gun at the door. Gun carrying is more or less essential for the locals, as with 3,000 local hungry polar bears, it is said that you never know when you might need protection. That said, we visited safely without a gun!
At the so called heart of the city, Huset has long been the centre for culture and community. Go there for great food and to sample one of the largest wine cellars in Europe!
Your home from home
Ultramarine is Quark's most exciting polar ship yet, equipped with two twin-engine helicopters and offering an amazing array of innovative excursions.
What we love
Ultramarine is Quark's first ever new-build, and promises to deliver the most comprehensive polar expedition experience at sea. You can expect fantastic included excursions, active adventures ashore and a superb onboard expedition team. The ship also features more outdoor wildlife viewing space than any other vessel this size, stylish public spaces and the latest environmentally-sensitive technology.
Comfortable and inviting, with a real focus on in-depth polar exploration and active pursuits such as kayaking and hiking.
Tailor-make your trip
Where to stay in Longyearbyen
There’s really not much choice! Go for the Radisson Blu.
Travel out of Longyearbyen by snow scooter or dog sled to take a look at the amazing scenery and hunt for wildlife.