The Carliers are born with a sextant in their hand and navigation in the blood! Three or four generations of sailors definitely leave their trace. “My father sailed with his father, and my sisters and I have always sailed with our father, Philippe” summarises Thomas Carlier, co-founder of Qilak with his father and sister Marion.

  • discovery: retractable keel allowing Qilak to reach places that are inaccessible to larger ships
  • adventure: a sailboat of 20m made of aluminium built especially for the polar regions
  • nature : a boat designed and built to respect the environment
  • cocooning: a comfortable living space with a large screen and stove
  • freedom: a yacht that welcomes very small groups (maximum 8 guests) which allows for travelling, easily adapting the programme
  • fun : a williams 285 – 90 horse power turbo jet
  • relaxation: sauna and hot showers – a garage located at the back of the boat with a small annex for canoes, dinghy etc…
  • observation: a covered area, to observe flora and fauna sheltered from cold and wind


Depending on the type of trip the crew consists of two to four members. A skipper, a first mate, a crew and a guide.

Philippe Carlier, Captain - co founder Bplay

Philippe Carlier is a true adventurer. Everything began one evening as the radio broadcast the story of the Belgian adventures in the Arctic: snow, ice, wind, and moments of humanity. On the back seat of his uncle’s car, in the middle of the night, a small flame has just kindled in the belly of young Philippe. It has never since diminished. Later, after a first flight with a cousin and devouring the stories of his hero, Hermann Geiger (famous Swiss glacier pilot), it’s aviation he chooses: the vibrations of the propeller, the roar of the engine, the noise of the air on the fuselage, and above all: leaving the ground!

He pursued an exciting career as a pilot, first as a fighter pilot and as an instructor (notably on F-104s), where he became Captain and then an airline pilot for various companies where he finished as a Boeing 747 pilot. A man faithful to his passions, his aerial adventures never turned him away from his other passion: the sea. When he is not in the air, Philippe Carlier is at sea. In fifty years, he has covered the globe: North Sea, North and South Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Persian Gulf, Norwegian Sea … Parachutist, diver, balloonist, paraglider … for Captain Philippe, the world is never big enough, and above all … you can always go little further. In 2015, he obtained the Yach-Master Ocean and PPR (Professional Practices and Responsibilities) certification, recognised by the Royal Yachting Association (RYA). The sacred fire of adventure burns more than ever in Philippe’s eyes, but he now dreams of sharing this passion, of taking others on the adventure. A measured, controlled adventure, where randomness and uncertainty are eliminated but the adventure nevertheless. Philippe has the reputation of “correctly calculating his actions”, from this point, the Captain now wants to put himself at the service of others.


Michael is the owner and principal of Germany’s biggest RYA Training Centre Sailing Circle. He is an experienced skipper and instructor. He has more than 50.000 Miles under his belt and undertaken many ocean passages  including expeditions in Svalbard. He has sailed and instructed in many regions, including the Solent, his playground, but also in Asia and Australia. His passion is celestial navigation. As he is an RYA Yachtmaster Ocean instructor you will benefit from his expertise should you wish to undertake one of our passages as a Yachtmaster Ocean Qualifying Passage. Michael followed the build process of QILAK very closely so it was a natural decision to adopt him to the QILAK family in a position as First Officer and Relief Captain, but he is also your personal RYA instructor- and to top that of, Michael has a reputation of cooking some delicious meals even when the going gets rough!
More information about his training centre can be found under www.sailingcircle.de


Thomas Carlier, the son of Philippe, has, like his sister Marion, jumped at the adventure that their father involuntarily laid before them. Passionate about sailing and navigation, he nevertheless chose to study management. Graduated in 2007, he made a career in the business world. Entrepreneur and businessman, he contributed to many projects, from computer consultancy to positive engineering. Good blood not knowing how to lie, he did all this without ever being very far from the helm of his father’s boats, with his sisters Marion and Valerie. With Qilak, he holds an opportunity to reconcile happiness with professional skills and an all consuming passion.

Thomas is the one helping you from Brussels but also sometimes on board as First officer


Florian Ledoux, Polar Photographer and Filmmaker

Florian is a polar photographer and filmmaker.

Passionned by the nature and especially the polar regions, Florian is the kind of person putting all his heart to offer us incredible images.

Award-wining Photographer and drone Photographer of the year 2018, he is giving the best of him at every moment to show us all the beauty of the high latitudes worlds.

When Qilak and her crew met Florian this winter in Lyngen Alps, something happened between all of them, like a touch of magic ! It gave great shots but even more it create a new friendship !

Discover all his work :



Would you like to join us sometime with Florian on board for a very unique “images adventure : how to get The shot – by Florian Ledoux”

Take contact with us : marion@qilak.com

Jost Kobusch, high mountain guide, professional mountaineer, first officer

Jost Kobusch (*3rd of August, Germany) is a professional mountaineer, author and speaker. Kobusch is one of the most known solo – mountaineers of Germany. In 2014 he became the youngest to ever solo Ama Dablam 6812m. In spring 2016 he summited Annapurna 8091m solo without the help of sherpas nor supplemental oxygen. On the third of Oktober 2017 he also made a first ascent (solo) of the highest unclimbed mountain of Nepal – Nangpai Gosum II 7296m which he considered as “one of the few last real adventures that you can experience in the modern world”.

Jost’s style is to climb by fair means, that means to climb without the help of sherpas or fixed ropes above Basecamp, without using supplemental oxygen nor other artificial means.

“I have been sailing with Marion and Philippe in Spitzbergen where I worked for a couple of seasons as a guide before I fully entered professional mountaineering and from the beginning on, there was a magical connection”.

Facebook : Jost Kobusch@jostgoforit


Merfyn Owen, naval architect, skipper

Merfyn Owen is a Chartered Engineer, a member of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects, a graduate of University College London and a member of Glamorgan University. He has registered over 160 000 offshore miles, including many major races in multi-hulls and mono-hulls. In addition to numerous trans-ocean crossings he has completed, including the Jacques Vabres double Transat, he has twice rounded Cape Horn, including once as a skipper in the BT Global Challenge 1996/97.

And to top it off, it is from his imagination and from the tip of his pencil that Qilak was born!



Ashley Perrin, Ice Pilot, skipper

Ashley Perrin has over 16 years of professional experience in the maritime industry as crew and then as captain on a large number of ships. Over the years, Ashley has developed a significant number of skills, such as safety at sea, special navigation in uncharted areas, diving, mechanics … Travelling thousands of miles across the Pacific, Atlantic and in difficult areas such as Antarctica, San Francisco Bay, Drakes Passage, the British Isles, we can say that Ashley is an experienced and distinguished sailor. Add to this an significant regatta experience and you will soon realise that Qilak is very fortunate to be able to count on Ashley to have her discover the Southern Hemisphere. She could also, depending on its availability, take Qilak to the northern hemisphere to Spitsbergen, Greenland or elsewhere.

For more information about Ashley, visit her page http://www.antarcticicepilot.com

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