We speak with Thomas Lennartz, VP Sales and Client Experience at Quark Expeditions on the most adventurous and showstopping journeys from the rugged beauty of the tundra in the Canadian Arctic and the alpine regions of Greenland.
Could you tell us about the founding of Quark Expeditions. Who started the company and what was their inspiration? Quark Expeditions was founded in a spirit of innovation. In 1991, co-founders Lars Wikander and Mike McDowell took the first group of commercial travellers to the North Pole. No other polar operator had ever achieved this feat. That spirit of innovation is embedded in our DNA and it’s inspired a legacy of polar firsts for Quark Expeditions. We were the first to bring commercial passengers on a circumnavigation of Antarctica. We were the first tour operator to successfully offer passengers hot-air ballooning at the North Pole. Quark Expeditions passengers became the first humans to witness a Total Solar Eclipse in Antarctica. And today, we’ve launched the game-changing vessel Ultramarine, which is equipped with two twin-engine helicopters and 20 quick-deploy Zodiacs—totally transforming the way we explore the Polar Regions.
Images: NICKY SOUNESS
What types of expeditions do you offer and how are these personalised for discerning travellers? Our expeditions—to the Arctic and Antarctic—are designed to be intimate and immersive polar adventures. Our voyages are not traditional cruises whereby you watch passing scenery from a window. Our expedition team will get guests off the ship and out onto the polar landscapes as often as possible. We offer the most robust portfolio of off-ship adventures including kayaking, hiking, heli-hi