Ultramarine – purpose built for exploring Polar regions

Ultramarine – purpose built for exploring the Polar regions

                                                                                                      Ultramarine from on-board helicopter

Alex Burridge- Managing Director Arctic Travel Centre

The Ultramarine is a perfect platform from which to explore the Polar regions.  I was fortunate enough to experience this excellent ship first-hand on a recent (July 2022) voyage to Greenland.


I have to admit most of my previous voyages have been on older ‘expedition’ ships – all of which I enjoyed immensely, where the cabins were quite small and functional.

And the cabins on the Ultramarine were certainly functional.  They were also spacious, well-appointed and very comfortable.  Presentations could be viewed in cabin if for any reason you didn’t want to head to the purpose built, mid ship presentation room (with bar).

Prior to this trip I’d often viewed a balcony as ‘unnecessary’ and being able to immediately step outside to take images or to simply enjoy the passing land and seas capes was a plus; and the seas were calm.

Balcony Suite – Ultramarine

Explorer  Suite                                                                                                                                                                                                             Terrace Suite


The lounge is perfectly located to view the ever changing land and seascapes; a few steps to the bar, library, coffee/tea machine or to the outside deck make it a perfect place to relax.


With your own open locker where you can leave your expedition jacket, muck boots (wellies), pfd (Portable Flotation Device) enough bench space to sit down when you pull your boots on, and boot pulls when you come to take them off again; no longer is it a battle to get ready to enter the zodiacs.


A purpose built platform from which to enter zodiacs is a significant benefit – simply it makes it easier/fasters and likely in some conditions safer (and I know of the ships without them significant care is taken to ensure safety).



Helicopters (the Ultramarine has two) affords a whole different perspective on any destination.  In addition, they offer access to places otherwise out of reach.  Weather conditions have a fundamental effect on what’s possible and in the right conditions they are a highlight.  On our voyage the standout day was being dropped onto Greenland near a glacier with views over the Greenland icecap – just spectacular.

‘Co Pilot’ where you sit changes for each flight, if there are enough opportunities you’ll get the chance to be co-pilot (sit next to the pilot up front).   

In Antarctica where the helicopters are  not only a necessity, they afford access to one of the continents most amazing wildlife encounters at an Emperor penguin rookery.
Ultramarine offers an Emperor Penguin Safari

Ultramarine Helicopter

The Ultramarine is very much and expedition ship, she also has many ‘luxury’ features to enjoy whilst not exploring, on foot, in a zodiac or on a helicopter ‘flight-seeing’ excursion.

The only possible down side is she has a maximum of 200 guests; with IAATO & AECO regulations limiting the number of guests ashore to 100 you could potentially end up waiting on-board.  AND – having enough zodiacs and expedition staff the ship can offer zodiac excursions (or ‘air’ excursions) at the same time as 100 guest make a shore excursion.  So even this ‘limitation’ has less of an impact on your experience – this is where the heritage of the operator is important as although she has all the ‘bells and whistles’ she’s still an expedition ship at heart.

Overall, I have to say she is a fine vessel backed up with a great team and a mentality to offer guests an excellent experience.

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