Ultramarine to Feature Ultra-Efficient Energy Systems

Credit: Quark Expeditions
Credit: Quark Expeditions

Published Sep 5, 2019 9:01 PM by The Maritime Executive

Quark Expeditions held the keel-laying ceremony for its new polar expedition cruise ship Ultramarine on August 2 at Brodosplit in Croatia. After earlier releasing renderings of the the 128-meter (420-foot), 199-passenger vessel, the company has now released details of her propulsion, safety and efficiency systems.

Ultramarine's engines will be manufactured by the Anglo-Belgian Company, or ABC Engines, based in Ghent, Belgium. She will be powered by four main engines located in two redundant engine rooms. Each engine drives an electric generator, which supplies power to the main propulsion motors which are 3,000kw each, and also to the two bow thrusters at 600 kw each, a single stern thruster at 800kw, and all onboard electrical consumption. This configuration allows for the most fuel efficient and low emission operation over a wide variety of operating speeds and conditions, says Quark Expeditions. The engines are fully compliant with the most stringent IMO Tier III requirements. 

Additionally, the vessel features:

• Micro Auto Gasification System (MAGS) - The self-generating MAGS system gasifies combustible waste. Mixed waste is converted into thermal energy and solid carbon matter, and then biochar is compacted and recycled, decreasing waste volume by 95 percent.

• Efficient Power - Four diesel engines of two different sizes allow Ultramarine to meet fluctuating power needs, automatically shifting to the optimal combination and minimizing fuel use and exhaust emissions.

• Reused Air - Ultramarine’s Enthalpy Wheel, a leading Heat Recovery System, salvages useful energy and returns it to the ship as fresh air, reducing the amount of energy required to heat the ship.

• A Consistent Environment - Fan Coil Units, top-quality thermal insulation and low heat-transfer windows in every suite mitigate against high variability in HVAC usage, keeping temperatures stable.

• Eco-friendly Lighting - LEDs throughout the ship produce potential energy savings of up to 50 percent compared with standard fluorescent lighting.

• Streamlined Design - Re-imagined hull and propeller design ensures the lowest possible resistance, reducing the power required to propel the ship.

For safety, Ultramarine features:

• Engines - The vessel has four independent engines, two separate engine rooms, three vertical fire zones, and 13 redundant critical systems. In the unlikely event that the ship were to be reduced to operating with only one engine, she would still be able to travel 1,450 nautical miles at six knots in Beaufort force 8 winds while maintaining a safe and comfortable environment for passengers.

• Safe Return to Port - The ship is fully Safe Return to Port compliant.

• Helicopters - The ship’s two twin-engine helicopters and two helidecks allow for faster emergency medical evacuation.

• Wristbands - All guests are issued a wearable wristband with GPS tracking integrated with the Gangway and Mustering systems.

Ultramarine's off-ship adventure options will include activities such as flight-seeing, heli-hiking and heli-skiing. She will house 20 Zodiacs, located close to the waterline, which can be quickly deployed from both sides of the vessel at four embarkation points that will be easily accessible from two passenger ready rooms, allowing guests to get off the ship in less than 20 minutes, half the industry average.

Ultramarine will have a 70-day operational range and will feature dynamic positioning to eliminate the need to drop anchor in sensitive seabed areas.

The vessel will join Quark Expeditions’ fleet in late 2020 for the Antarctic 2020-21 season.