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Congratulations on the new ship, she's beautiful and I'm loving that big Q 🙂

 

I visited your website and began reading about the Heart of the Northwest Passage, (didn't even realize at first it was an Ultramarine itinerary but yay!) and was deeply entrenched in the details of this voyage, which, combined with the sleek and stunning interiors of the ship that are cool, but wouldn't compete with the beauty of what's outside, it's easy to see what an unforgettable experience this would be.

 

The only thing I wouldn't want is the helicopters, as technologically superior as they must be, I'm all for planes, not for helicopters but that's just me. Does that create a challenge for scheduling or are there options for zodiac expeditions, outings on land etc? No other trepidations beyond that, bring on the challenges, that's the point of a journey like this. 

 

I especially like that because of the weather, wildlife, etc., no two itineraries will be the same and nothing is strictly guaranteed, it's almost the best part. Just being there is enough. The setting, the Inuit, the wildlife, the spontaneity, the ship, that's what it's about.

 

And if I can skip the helicopter, that'd be great. 😉 

 

BTW, how cold is the water, with the polar plunge? I'm guessing that's after a sauna? Or a sauna follows the plunge...

(and could be an interesting bonding experience for all guests?!)

 

Thanks and congratulations to everyone on Ultramarine, long may she sail. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi @Host Bonjour

Thank you so much, we love your enthusiasm! We’re so excited for Ultramarine and all that she’s going to deliver for our guests. 
 

The Arctic Express Canada: The Heart of the Northwest Passage expedition is one of the new itineraries that are now possible thanks to Ultramarine. Our guests will be adventuring into one of the least explored corners of the Canadian Arctic! 

 

The helicopter excursions will be planned and organized by the Expedition Leader depending on weather and ice conditions. They are not mandatory and we completely understand if you’d prefer not to participate in them. 

 

There will be times when helicopter operations are one part of a multi-part excursion. For example, the program might include a split cruise / flightseeing excursion where you get a 1.5 hour zodiac cruise followed by a 15 min helicopter flight. However, there will be other excursions where the sole focus will be helicopter enabled (Flightseeing only or Heli-Landing) in that case there wouldn’t be an alternative adventure option for you to partake in. 

 

To provide more context, our objectives from a helicopter’s operation perspective will be to offer two heli-excursions minimum: one Heli-Landing and one Flightseeing excursion. The Heli-Landing would almost certainly be a heli-focused excursion, with no other options. However, the flightseeing is likely to be either while the ship is cruising (no other excursions taking place) or as a split excursion as described above.

 

Please note that there is a remote chance (<5%) that the helicopters may need to be used for embarkation/disembarkation from the vessel. For example, if sea ice around Resolute (which is uncommon at that time of year but possible) limits our ability to operate zodiacs we would changeover guests using the helicopters. 

 

I hope this response provides more clarity on our helicopter operations. Our onboard Guest Services team will be happy to guide you through all the onboard activities available for you and also make sure our Expedition Leader is aware of your preference.

 

In terms of the Polar Plunge… you should 100% do it! 💦 The temperature of the water varies on multiple factors including the depth of the water and positioning of the vessel, any ice coverage nearby, etc. The usual temperate range of the water hovers between -1.5° to about 2° C. 

 

You should be able to use the sauna before or after the plunge, my personal recommendation is to use it after, this way the water isn’t as cold when jumping in! 😉

 

Let me know if you have additional questions! 

 

Have a good one, 
Nicolas at Quark Expeditions

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On 4/22/2021 at 3:33 PM, Quark Expeditions said:

In terms of the Polar Plunge… you should 100% do it!

 

I'm convinced, it sounds like an unforgettable experience, and definitely sauna after! 💯

 

On 4/22/2021 at 3:33 PM, Quark Expeditions said:

Please note that there is a remote chance (<5%) that the helicopters may need to be used for embarkation/disembarkation from the vessel. For example, if sea ice around Resolute (which is uncommon at that time of year but possible) limits our ability to operate zodiacs we would changeover guests using the helicopters. 

 

This makes sense and in this case, one could wrap one's head around it. Perhaps this would be the feeling once on the voyage entirely. But it's good to know that except for in the case you pointed out, it's otherwise a choice. 

 

I appreciate the detailed answers you gave about this amazing voyage and experience. It's an opportunity to visit places that we didn't think we'd be able to see, at least without such complicated logistics or, leaving too harsh an environmental footprint. The opportunities here are phenomenal. 

 

Thanks Nicolas and Team Quark 🙂 

 

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It's my pleasure, Host Bonjour! I am so excited for these voyages and for all the adventures our guests will experience onboard Ultramarine. 

Feel free to reply to this thread or contact our team directly if you'd like any additional information related to our expeditions and vessels. 

We look forward to being more active in the Cruise Critic community, so we'll see you around! 🙂

Have a great week ahead, 
Nicolas at Quark Expeditions

 

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