BTN interview: Thomas Lennartz, vice president, sales and client experience, Quark Expeditions
Having been recognised as one of the best-in-the-business by voters at the World Travel Awards, Breaking Travel News here chats with Thomas Lennartz, vice president for sales and client experience with Quark Expeditions, to find out more
Breaking Travel News: Congratulations - Quark Expeditions has been honoured with the title of World’s Leading Specialist Cruise Line at the World Travel Awards. How does it feel to have taken the prestigious honour?
Thomas Lennartz: We’re honoured to have won the award for the World’s Leading Specialist Cruise Line because it reaffirms the guest-focused direction we chose to follow 30 years ago when we became the first-ever expedition company to take consumer travellers to the North Pole.
Our commitment to our guests, to take them beyond the next horizon in the Polar regions, to create life-changing transformational experiences that no one else can, to continue being the Leader in Polar adventure… this was our guest commitment 30 years ago and remains our commitment today.
The launch of our game-changing ship Ultramarine is yet another example of our commitment to our passengers.
This award signifies we are still fulfilling the dreams of our polar guests.
BTN: How will the trophy and title help to promote the brand to a global hospitality audience?
TL: At a time when global travellers have questions and concerns about travel, this trophy and, especially the title iself, the World’s Leading Specialist Cruise Line, will give guests peace of mind and confidence that polar travel is safer than ever.
Quark Expeditions, with the launch of our industry-leading SAFE Covid Travel Policy, is yet again at the forefront of safe, life-changing expedition travel.
BTN: What changes can we expect to see onboard Quark Expeditions vessels as they return to service in the wake of the Covid-19 shutdown?
TL: Quark Expeditions has unveiled the most comprehensive, traveler-focused Covid-19 policy in the travel industry.
Quark Expeditions SAFE Covid Travel Policy not only safeguards the traveler’s health against Covid-19 and secures their dollar investment – offering a level of protection and money-back guarantee unparalleled in the competitive travel market – it ensures every guest’s polar experience is enjoyed to the fullest, without compromise.
Integral to our efforts to prevent Covid-19, Quark Expeditions has secured the cutting-edge FRANKD rapid onsite testing kit to protect our guests and crew from Covid-19 when normal operations resume in May.
The FRANKD rapid onsite testing kit is a breakthrough in the combat against Covid-19. This efficient and speedy testing kit will allow the Quark Expeditions team to:
- Receive results within 30-60 minutes of each Covid-19 test.
- Identify infected individuals, even asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic carriers.
- Ensure all guests test negative for Covid-19 before boarding our ships.
The SAFE Covid Travel Policy stands for:
- State-of-the-art Testing & Health Protocols – In addition to securing the FRANKD rapid onsite testing kit to prevent Covid-19 outbreaks on ships, Quark Expeditions has rigorously enhanced all sanitization procedures.
- Anytime Cancellation & Rebooking – This best-in-class cancellation and rebooking policy allows travelers to rebook right up to the day of departure with a money-back guarantee and flexible rebooking options.
- Free from Crowds in the Polar Regions – Natural social distancing is part of life in the remote, and unpopulated Polar Regions—making the Arctic and Antarctic the best places to be at a time when location matters most. Guests can take comfort knowing that for the duration of their expedition, they are only interacting with their fellow pre-screened passengers and Quark Expeditions staff.
- Experience will not be Compromised – Quark Expeditions has always been committed to delivering transformational polar adventures, and this policy ensures there are no sacrifices in the guest experience, onboard amenities or immersive excursions.
BTN: With Covid-19 vaccines now being rolled out around the world, is there hope the market can return to something like normal in 2021?
TL: The urge to travel has not diminished in the least. If anything, Covid-19 has compounded the desire to explore remote polar destinations and seek out new experiences.
This is evident in the requests we at Quark Expeditions continue to receive from people who dream of seeing polar bears, penguins and whales in the polar wilderness—and in the bookings from adventure-seekers who want to go kayaking in the Antarctic, heli-hiking in Greenland and Zodiac cruising in Spitsbergen.
With the implementation of Quark Expeditions SAFE Covid Travel Policy, guests not only have renewed hope for future travel—but renewed confidence based on the concrete, trust-worthy information at the heart of our policy.
In the words of Andrew White, president of Quark Expeditions: “Quark Expeditions has always put our travelers first. There has never been a better time to discover or rediscover the Polar Regions. We want our guests to feel confident their money is safe, their health is in the best, most qualified hands, and that their expedition experience will surpass their wildest expectations.”
Quark Expeditions, the leader in Polar adventures, has been exploring the Polar regions since 1991.
The company is a member of the Travelopia Group, the largest collection of travel brands exclusively focused on specialist travel in the world.
Find out more on the official website.