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Press Release

Quark Expeditions Appoints Mario Pires as Senior Manager of Fleet Hotel Operations

Quark Expeditions®, the world leader in polar adventures, has announced the appointment of Mario Pires to the newly-created position of Senior Manager of Fleet Hotel Operations. In his new role, Pires will assume the responsibility of standardizing the quality and service levels of the various hotel providers across all vessels operated by Quark Expeditions.

Pires, who brings with him 29 years of experience managing hotel operations on large cruise ships and small expedition vessels around the world, will work with existing and new providers to ensure a consistent, high-level guest experience by creating Quark Expeditions’ own standard for all providers to follow. Pires will also ensure hotel partners’ sustainability and environmental practices are aligned with Quark Expeditions’ recently refined sustainability strategy, Polar Promise. 

“I’m excited to embrace the challenge of standardizing service levels and guaranteeing consistent high-level guest satisfaction on all ships in Quark Expeditions’ fleet,” said Pires, “I’m especially pleased to join Quark Expeditions as it approaches its 30th anniversary sailing season and underscores the importance of a superior standard of hotel operations to ensure passengers enjoy the best-in-class expedition experience in the Polar Regions.” 

Born in Lisbon, Portugal, Pires landed his first hotel job at the age of 13, and has since worked with such brands as Ponant and Crystal Cruises. Pires was part of the small team that launched the unique The World: Residences at Sea. Along the way, Pires has acquired fluency in French, Spanish, Italian and English, and can function in German and Tagalog, which will be advantageous as Pires interacts closely with Quark Expeditions’ international guests, multilingual expedition team and onboard staff. 

Pires will also draw on his previous experience with new-build vessels as he will play an integral role in the hotel start-up and commissioning activity preceding the delivery of Ultramarine, Quark Expeditions’ new technologically-advanced polar vessel, which is scheduled to set sail late in 2020.

Said Malcolm Ellis, Senior Vice-President of Operations at Quark Expeditions: “The appointment of a seasoned hotel operations professional like Mario—and the creation of this position—signifies how committed we are to ensuring Quark Expeditions’ guests have the best polar experience possible, both on-ship and off-ship. The on-ship hotel experience is a crucial part of a guest’s polar voyage. We’re particularly excited that Mario will be able to call upon his vast hotel operations expertise to develop the onboard amenities, superior dining options and deluxe accommodation on our new vessel Ultramarine.”

About Quark Expeditions®: Specializing in expeditions to the Antarctic and the Arctic, Quark Expeditions® has been the leading provider of polar adventure travel for three decades. With a diverse fleet of specially-equipped small-expedition vessels, icebreakers, and unique land-based adventures, Quark Expeditions offers travellers unparalleled access to the most remote places on earth. Led by passionate and seasoned expedition teams, including scientists, naturalists and researchers, Quark Expeditions’ onboard program focuses on guest interaction to educate and enrich the passenger experience. Quark Expeditions is part of the Travelopia family, the world’s largest collection of specialist travel brands.

About Travelopia: Travelopia, headquartered in the UK, is one of the world’s leading experiential travel platforms, providing customers with unique experiences, such as private jet travel, polar expedition cruises, cycling and trekking-based holidays, sailing adventures and high-end, tailor-made holidays. Travelopia has a large, international customer base of over 750,000 travellers each year and serves over 70 destinations globally through its collection of brands, which includes Quark Expeditions. To learn more about Travelopia, visit: