Artist rendering of Quark Expedtions' new cruise ship to be launched in 2020

(11:45 a.m. EDT) -- Quark Expeditions, a specialist in polar cruising, has ordered a new expedition ship from Croatia's Brodosplit shipyard. The 200-passenger ship will launch in the third quarter of 2020.

"This ship will be more than just a ship -- it will be an unrivalled operational base for polar expeditions," said Andrew White, Quark Expeditions president. "Our guests travel with Quark to maximize their expedition experience, push their boundaries and experience the magic of the polar regions."

To speed up the process of getting to shore for excursions, the ship will have four embarkation points for its fleet of 20 Zodiacs. It will also have two helicopters.

Inside, there will be a modern spa and fitness facility and more than one restaurant.

The ship will be designed to go longer without having to stop to refuel, with a 40-day operational capacity thanks to the ship's design, which optimizes the use of fuel, water provisioning and waste handling. This combined with the onboard helicopters, makes harder-to-reach areas like the Ross Sea and the remote western Antarctic "Phantom Coast" more safely accessible.

"Exploration is in our DNA. With this new ship, we are looking forward to decades more of exploration, creating legions of polar ambassadors and a whole new series of polar firsts," White said.

--By Dori Saltzman, Senior Editor