Adler-Schiffe, a German expedition operator, has announced five-day sailings from Hamburg to Helgoland, Sylt, Amrum and the Halligen islands in the Wadden Sea UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Owner and Manging Director Sven Paulsen said in a prepared statement that in light of the COVID-19 situation the company has developed a domestic expedition product and will start sailing with the Quest on July 25.
The 48-guest Quest has been chartered from Norwegian Arctic Travel Company and would normally be deployed in Svalbard. The ship also spends time with Polar Quest.
Built in Denmark in 1992, the ship was upgraded and refurbished in 2018.
In addition to a 28-person marine and hotel crew, the ship will have a three-person expedition team aboard. They will offer onboard lectures which will be combined with local guides.
Paulsen also promised a comprehensive hygiene safety program aboard ensuring “a carefree and safe journey.” The daily program is organized around small groups outdoors in fresh air and meals and lectures onboard will be divided into two groups to maintain social distancing.
The Wadden Sea is located in the Southeast North Sea and is a relatively shallow body of water with tidal flats and wetlands offering a rich flora and fauna, being an important area for both breeding and migrating birds, while supporting large fish and seals.
The Wadden Sea National Park is operated jointly by Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark, and Adler-Schiffe describes itself as a national park partner.
“Travel is changing significantly because of the virus,” Paulsen said. “With this step, we want to do something to make our vacations at home even more attractive. We have beautiful places right in front of our door, so to speak, like the unique Wadden Sea – and we can offer this in a small exclusive setting.”
Not a newcomer to expeditions, founded in 1950, Adler-Schiffe celebrated its 70th anniversary this year and second-generation Paulsen himself has skied to the North Pole and the South Pole.
Starting with one vessel transporting supplies to the Halligen islands, the said it has grown to become one of the largest tourism providers on the North and Baltic Sea coasts as well as Hamburg. The fleet currently comprises 27 passenger vessels used for excursions in inland navigation on the Elbe, Eider and Kiel Canal. In addition to shipping, Paulsen is also the owner of the Sylter Verkehrsgesellschaft and operates several tourism properties in northern Germany.