Quark Expeditions, leader in polar adventures, has announced that its ice-beaker 50 Years of Victory will retire as an expedition vessel after the 2015 Arctic season. This will be marked by Quark with three final voyages to the North Pole departing in June 2015.

‘It is with great reluctance that we announce the retirement of Victory as a passenger expedition vessel in 2015. Victory has become part of the Quark Expeditions’ family,’ said Hans Lagerweij, president of Quark.

Quark is the only North American operator to offer trips to the North Pole, using Victory, which can carry only 128 people during each of the final voyages. Quark has been offering expeditions aboard 50 Years of Victory since 2009, and has taken over 1150 passengers to 90 degrees North. The voyages will depart on 4, 19 and 30 June, and will be 14- or 15-day voyages.

50 Years of Victory is a Russian Arktika class nuclear-powered icebreaker. Arktika class icebreakers are the largest and most powerful nuclear icebreakers ever constructed. With an ice-class LL1, Victory is designed to continuously break through ice up to 2.8m (9.19ft) in thickness.

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