In a pier-side gala in Viana do Castelo, Portugal, Chairman Mário Ferreira and the ship’s godmother, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, christened the new World Explorer as Mystic Cruises’ first ocean cruise ship on April 6.
Built in Portugal, the World Explorer will incorporate the latest maritime technology, including two Rolls Royce 9,000 kw hybrid diesel/electric engines and FarSounder’s Forward-looking Sonar (FLS) to deftly navigate harbors, rivers, and iceberg fields for access to city centers and up-close vistas. Two sister ships, the World Navigator and World Voyager, are slated for 2020 and will be built on the same design. Portugal’s WestSea Viana Shipyard is constructing all three ships.
As for World Explorer, Captains Alex Zakalashnnyuk from Russia, Filipe Sousa from Portugal, and Terje Willassen from Norway will master the new ship and bring more than 75 years of combined experience aboard the 9,300-gross-tonne, 200-guest expedition vessel. Guests who board will also experience a low crew-to-guest ratio.
In summer 2019, German brand Nicko Cruises will sail World Explorer’s inaugural itinerary, and Quark Expeditions has chartered the ship for Antarctica voyages in winter 2019-2020. World Explorer is a part of Mystic Cruises, a new expedition cruise company, offering programs in destinations including Antarctica, Europe, Iceland and Greenland. Both Nicko Cruises and Mystic Cruises are brands of Mystic Invest, a privately held Portuguese financial holding company with more than 25 years of experience in the travel and tourism sector.