Quark Expeditions has held the steel-cutting ceremony for its new polar exploration ship.

The ship, which will set sail in 2020, will accommodate up to 200 passengers.

It will feature an interior zodiac hangar and four embarkation points, as well as state-of-the-art dual helicopters and an array of “cutting-edge” safety features.

Quark will also install a water treatment system, state-of-the-art waste handling and a heat recovery system to recycle excess energy.

Quark Expeditions president Andrew White said: “Every aspect of the ship has been built with one thing in mind: continuing to redefine what is possible in polar adventure.

“This ship will be more than just a ship. It will be an unrivalled operational base for polar adventures. Our guests travel with Quark to maximise their expedition experience, push their boundaries and revel in the magic of the polar regions.

“With this new ship, in the hands of the most experienced expedition team in the industry, we will get our guests further into the polar regions, seeing and doing more of what the they have to offer, in a vessel of exceptional comfort.

“The polar regions are both spectacular and unforgiving. Our new ship will take people there safely and comfortably while giving them experiences to cherish forever and allowing them to appreciate the purity and majesty of nature without disturbing it.”

The vessel goes on sale this spring with the launch of its inaugural Antarctic 2020-2021 season.