Director of Marine Operations

As the Director of Marine Operations, you will be responsible for ensuring that all vessels in the Quark fleet, whether Owned or Chartered, meet the standards and criteria required by Quark, as well as ensuring all relevant technical maritime and other legal and regulatory requirements (as set by Flag, Class and other regulatory bodies) are continuously met. This role will report to Malcom Ellis – Senior VP of Operations.

The Director of Marine Operations will ensure that Company vessels are operated by suitably qualified, trained and experienced people (a team) in a safe, efficient and economical manner and in full compliance with all relevant maritime requirements and regulations and in line with all contractual requirements between Quark and its chosen vessels and ship management companies.

The Director of Marine Operations will be responsible for the selection, contracting and subsequent oversight of ship management services as it relates to Quark’s owned vessel, Ultramarine, currently under construction, and in conjunction with any such ship management company, oversee the timely implementation of all start-up and commissioning activities as will be required as relate to technical performance of the vessel and all relevant deck and engine requirements. 

Essential Functions

  • Monitors the effective operation of the equipment and machinery of assigned vessels, identifying and reporting potential discrepancies from regulatory and operational standards. Working with ship management companies to propose and implement solutions that will enhance the efficiency, performance and safety of the vessels.
  • Where relevant, coordinate and attend maintenance activities, including wet and dry-docking, of the assigned vessels and monitor the quality and timeliness of maintenance and repair work being carried out, and where appropriate, according to plan and approved budget. Provide support and guidance for the handling of equipment breakdown and malfunction, to support the on-time and cost-effective repair of the vessel.
  • Supports the development of OPEX budgets of owned vessels, including spare parts and technical training, and follows-up and accurate execution, monitoring the development of the actual operational costs throughout the year, and proposes adjustments and corrective actions, that will decrease the cost and increase the effectiveness of services.
  • Plan, establish and execute bunker plans for all owned and chartered vessels against Quark’s sailing plans / technical itineraries within budgeted cost and consumption targets, working with suppliers and ship management companies to obtain best prices, minimize consumption and maximize vessel efficiencies related to fuel management.
  • Plan, execute and oversee all port related services, including the timely appointment of Port Agents to act on Quark’s behalf in line with our contractual obligations.
  • Provide support, guidance and advice to Quark’s product team as relates to itinerary planning and associated vessel, port and passenger logistics. Assist with the development of and verification of existing technical itineraries.
  • Perform scheduled and ad-hoc visits to the assigned vessels, to monitor their performance and verify the overall compliance of the vessel with Quarks processes, procedures and standards. Implements and oversees all corrective actions, as derived from the inspections, to support the operational efficiency and quality of the Quark fleet. 
  • Ensure that the Quark fleet is operated in compliance with Quark policy and practice and within the rules and regulations of the appropriate governing authorities and agencies with special attention given to safety, security and protection of the environment.
  • Work closely with representatives from various classification societies and governing agencies regulating the operation of our vessels.
  • Provide support, direction and guidance to Quark Expedition Leaders on their assigned vessels as relates to all marine technical and compliance matters.
  • Monitor ongoing performance of each vessel, maintain frequent communication with senior management (Captain, Staff Captain, Chief Engineer) and provide technical guidance/support through prompt and positive action.
  • In conjunction with Vessel Operator(s) set up and maintain a succession plan for all Captains and senior watch keeping officers and Chief Engineers.
  • Work closely with the Vessel Operator to select and assign ship Management Teams and evaluate senior shipboard officers.
  • Represent Quark on damage claims by working closely with both the Underwriter and Insurance Coordinator. Responsible for providing adequate documentation and arranging surveys for the associated claims.
  • Maintain current knowledge of up-to-date technical research and relevant projects, plus maintain an oversight of new technology for use onboard Quark ships, and run test programs on such equipment together with ships' crew and expedition leaders.
  • Represent Quark at relevant industry bodies, including but not limited to IAATO and AECO, and including membership of appropriate committees and working groups as relate to maritime, technical and regulatory affairs affecting or potentially affecting Quark and the Polar expedition industry.
  • Communicate Quark and department goals and targets with managers as it relates to Marine Operations.
  • Accountable to communicate with and create transparency between owner operators and Quark.Strong collaboration with other departments (finance, marketing and operations) ensuring expectations are aligned and customer needs are met.
  • Shares energy, enthusiasm, insight, skill and experience with everyone.


Skills & Experience

  • Background as Master or Senior Bridge / Watchkeeping Officer, Naval Architect or Chief or Senior Marine/Mechanical Engineer and 5-10 years’ experience with a shipping company, expedition company or major cruise line, classification society or similar.
  • Bachelor’s degree in the appropriate related field from an accredited college or university or the international equivalent preferred.
  • Experience in a previous shore-based Marine Operations role a distinct advantage.
  • Proven ability to manage the financial aspects of the assigned function, including the successful identification of operating efficiencies.
  • Proven ability to manage headcount within an area.
  • Proven ability to manage a staff in a positive and productive manner by motivating, developing and managing employees as they work.
  • Must have excellent organizational and communication skills.
  • Must have ability to travel both domestic and international, frequently and on short notice.
  • Excellent mathematical skills as applied to vessel technical management and navigational requirements
  • Ability to perform calculations using Imperial and SI units for weight measurement, volume, and distance, as well as foreign exchange rates
  • Must have excellent interpersonal skills to communicate in a multicultural environment with all levels of employees and management.


Decision Making

  • Requires high level of discretion and judgment in making decisions.


This job description does not represent an exhaustive list of job duties or requirements. From time to time the job may be changed at the sole discretion of the company, and the foregoing should be viewed only as a summary of the key elements of the position that will change and evolve to reflect the changing needs of the business.

About Quark

Quark Expeditions is the world leader in polar adventure travel. Since 1991, Quark has been establishing a tradition of firsts in polar travel: as the first to transit the Northeast Passage with adventure travelers; the first to take travelers to the far side of Antarctica; and the first to circumnavigate the Antarctic continent with guests. Quark Expeditions is recognized for its diverse fleet of passenger vessels and offers the widest variety of polar itineraries of any other adventure company.


Title: Director of Marine Operations
Department: Operations
Location: Toronto, ON.

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