On Site: A First-Hand Look at Atlas Ocean Voyages' World Traveller

Sailing Mediterranean waters last week between Barcelona, Spain, and Nice, France, Travel Agent was aboard Atlas Ocean Voyages' World Traveller, the second 9,900-gross-ton vessel in the small-ship line's fleet. Launched in late 2022, this expedition ship embodies a delightful mix of luxury touches, exquisite cuisine, spacious public areas and comfortable accommodations.

We also found the week-long experience relaxing and pampering, thanks to an onboard team that’s “a cut above.” Some 117 crew members serve fewer than 200 guests. Over and over again, we experienced crew members' “can-do” attitudes when it came to guest requests. The service standard was quite high. 

Boutique Flair, Luxury Touches

Boarding this ship, one senses immediately that it’s a bit unique. As with World Navigator, the line’s first ship and a sister to World Traveller, many walls in both public spaces and accommodations are shiny with a rich, wood veneer-like look (not wood, per safety regulations for modern cruise ships). But it’s quite pretty and distinctive—something we haven’t really seen in the same way on other yacht-style vessels.

Throughout the ship, carpeting is a contrasting mix of bright patterns and soft tones.That and many other interior components are custom-designed, from the furniture to the wall coverings (resembling a white birch look in our stateroom, for example). 

One bonus for maritime buffs? World Traveller brims with public space wall artwork that showcases classic ocean liners and cruise ships of the past. So, in stairwells, corridors, the Lisboa dining room and other public spaces throughout the ship, guests will find historic photos of the S.S. United States, the original Queen MaryEmpress of Britain, Normandy and many other storied vessels. Just walking around and looking at the wall photographs elicits a feeling of the maritime past.  

Our Horizon Stateroom (A2), No. 540

#540, Horizon (A2 category) stateroom on World Traveller. The top window panel drops down to form an open-air balcony.
The living area of No. 540, a Horizon (A2) category stateroom on Atlas Ocean Cruises' World Traveller is shown above.  (Photo by Susan J. Young)

We stayed in No. 540, a Horizon (A2) stateroom with 270 square feet of space on Deck 5. One nice touch? We very much liked the floor-to-ceiling windows with a drop-down, top-glass section. One pushes a button (located on the wall above one of the bedroom night-stands) and, presto, that glass panel drops to create an open-air balcony.

Our assessment? We love this concept not only for the fresh air but also for the ability to take clear photos when scenery or a cityscape comes into view. But the biggest plus is that this drop-down glass—unlike a full balcony—doesn't take away space from the main living area. Thus, the living room is much more robust. 

Living Room Area

Talking a bit more about that ...

In 2022, we stayed overnight for several nights on Atlas' World Navigator in a walk-out balcony cabin. But while both that balcony cabin and the Horizon stateroom have two upholstered chairs, a coffee table, and a desk/vanity credenza, only the Horizon configuration affords the space for a nice couch. 

The Horizon (A2) category stateroom, #540 shown here, affords the space to include a large couch within the living area.
While a balcony stateroom has a walk-out private balcony, it has less interior space. Thus, we like the Horizon (A2) category stateroom shown above because it has the space for a couch in the living area.  (Photo by Susan J. Young)

That creates a more usable stateroom from our perspective—as, during any type of weather, one can sit adjacent to the floor-to-ceiling windows in comfort and enjoy great exterior views. There's also more room for socializing if guests have friends or other family members traveling on board. Yet it's easy to just hit the button and drop the window for a balcony-like feel. 

Along the wall opposite the couch is a desk/vanity credenza. It's outfitted with a padded, elongated stool and an attractive large circular mirror above the desk. A stocked mini-bar below the credenza is nicely filled prior to each embarkation with the guest's favorite soft drinks and beer. That's based on the preferences that guests choose online in advance of their trip. As we also learned, we could request wine upon arrival. All those drinks are included in the cruise fare. We'd like to see the standard house wine added to that "advance choice" menu, though, for ease of the guest experience. 

Other nice creature comforts in the living area are a Nespresso machine with decaf and regular coffee pods. Plus, there is a hot water boiling pot as well as three kinds of Kusmi tea: English Breakfast, Detox and Darjeeling.

Atlas Ocean Voyages' World Traveller: Horizon (A2) stateroom's living room credenza/desk area.
The large desk area in the Horizon (A2) category stateroom on World Traveller.  (Photo by Susan J. Young)

We used the large writing/computer/work surface atop the credenza extensively during our cruise. Here, guests will also find one of two Vero drinking water bottles placed in the stateroom (the other on the nightstand), plus two drinking glasses and a box of tissues.

One surprise? A small door panel flips up atop the desk; just below are several plugs, including  two USB ports, one three-pronged U.S. 110-volt plug and one international 220-volt plug. Our only “could be improved” is that we’d like to see a few small, desk drawers added under the desk on one side for storing office supplies or makeup. 

Bedroom Area

Queen bed in #540, Horizon (A2) category stateroom on Atlas Ocean Voyages' World Traveller.
The queen-sized bed with Portuguese linens in a Horizon (A2) stateroom on Atlas Ocean Voyages' World Traveller. (Photo by Susan J. Young)

Separating the living room area from the bedroom space are partitions that extend out about a foot and a half on either side of the room. They're a floor-to-ceiling lattice-like structure, but they're essentially decorative and "see through," so the space feels open, yet still separate. 

The Horizon’s stateroom’s queen bed is decked out with plush bedding, including a duvet and soft Portuguese cotton linens by Lameirinho. The bed is also convertible to two singles, if desired. Overall, we slept quite well on the mattress.

Flat-screen, wall-mounted TV in #540, Horizon (A2) stateroom, World Traveller, Atlas Ocean Voyages.
The flat-screen TV in our Horizon (A2) stateroom on World Traveller. (Flat-screen, wall-mounted TV in #540, Horizon (A2) stateroom, World Traveller, Atlas Ocean Voyages.)

Directly across from the bed is a large, wall-mounted info-entertainment system, offering movies, documentaries and so on. We also like the thin, curved shelf just below the TV. Here, the line has placed binoculars for guests to use while aboard, as well as a refillable aluminum water bottle they’re free to take home.

Stateroom Storage

Some of the closet storage in #540, a Horizon (A2) category stateroom.
A portion of the closet. (Photo by Susan J. Young)

While there are no storage drawers or enclosed storage compartments in the living area, there are two end tables in the bedroom area with one thin drawer in each. Essentially, the storage space for the Horizon stateroom lies behind multiple wardrobe doors near the stateroom's entry door (and across from the bathroom). One curved space opens to reveal hanging space for longer clothing items, plus a second, thinner hanging space is adjacent. Also, there’s another hanging space for shorter items.

Within the wardrobe are a hair dryer, slippers, personal safe, laundry bags, plus several drawers and multiple shelves for storing things. We’d describe the storage space as adequate, but not super large.

That said, this ship has a casual onboard aura and it’s expeditionary in approach in polar regions. As a result, guests likely won’t need lots of more formal, dressy clothes as they might on some other ocean cruises or luxury ships. Luggage can store under the bed, as well.

Marble Bathroom

The Horizon stateroom’s elegant private marble bathroom has a single sink, large mirror, toilet and large, walk-in mosaic shower. We particularly appreciated the shower’s sit-down bench.

Guests also will discover three types of shower spray, offering flexibility for personal choice: An overhead rainforest shower; a hand-held spray with long cord mounted on a shower apparatus that adjusts up and down; and three spray jets behind that bench. 

Nicely sized wall-mounted containers in the bathroom dispense L’Occitane shampoo and conditioner. As for stateroom temperature, our air conditioning system worked well, adjustable by two turning knobs.

Bathroom in #540, Horizon (A2) stateroom, on World Traveller; it offers a single sink, toilet, and mosaic tile shower.
The bathroom of a Horizon stateroom has a single sink, toilet, two fluffy robes and a mosaic-tile shower (not shown).  (Photo by Susan J. Young)

Discovery Suite, No. 535

Travel Agent also participated in a quick stateroom/suite tour. While nine of the 10 suites were occupied by guests sailing on this cruise, we were fortunate to see No. 535, the 445-square-foot Discovery Suite (DS Category).

Discovery Suite, #535, Atlas Ocean Voyages' World Traveller.

Designed to accommodate two guests, it’s a one-bedroom suite with over-sized private balcony. Perks include butler service and expanded room service, allowing guests to order off the dining room menu at nighttime.

Guests will discover a separate living area with a sofa, vanity, upholstered chair, end tables and a large flat-screen, wall-mounted TV. A mini-bar provides beer, soda and juices, complimentary to guests.

The living room area of World Traveller's Discovery Suite is shown above.
The living room area of No. 535, a Discovery Suite. (Living room area of #535, Discovery Suite, Atlas Ocean Voyages' World Traveller.)

The bedroom also has a queen bed, nightstands on either side, and a second wall-mounted TV; plus, the suite has a walk-in closet and wardrobe. This suite also has an elegant marble bathroom with L’Occitane amenities.

World Traveller's Public Spaces

Think of Deck 4 as the heart of World Traveller's public spaces. Guests will discover a bright and welcoming reception area with the purser’s desk counter. A sofa and a few comfortable chairs dot the space. The yacht's shore excursion desk as well as the cruise director's desk are off to one side. Two nearby elevators in different stairwells provide access to all guest decks.  

Just forward of reception is Paula’s Pantry, which we absolutely loved during our cruise. Open from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., this cozy spot offers a grab-‘n’-go breakfast, fresh pressed juices, muffins, doughnuts, croissants, and La Cimbali fresh-pressed coffees, espressos, cappuccinos, macchiatos and so on. Throughout the day, it also serves up yummy sandwiches, wraps and salads.

Atlas Lounge on Atlas Ocean Voyages' World Traveller.
One section of the Atlas Lounge on Atlas Ocean Voyages' World Traveller. (Photo by Susan J. Young)

Walking just a bit farther forward is the spacious Atlas Lounge with comfortable, blue-and-white couches and upholstered chairs. What’s good to know? This space extends the full width of the ship’s beam with windows on both sides. We gathered here many nights to socialize with fellow colleagues and friends, watch boats in the harbor outside or just enjoy piano music. Servers circulate to offer canapes or other nibbles, such as shrimp crackers with a sweet spicy sauce.

They also take drink orders for a soda, favorite glass of beer, wine or spirit, which are all complimentary. Plus, they’re diligent about returning to check whether guests desire any refills. In addition, this lounge doubles as the ship’s library, with shelves displaying a good selection of books for guests to borrow.

Atlas Lounge also typically hosts the Captain’s Welcome Party (see photo of a bar server offering drinks below) and other onboard events, such as the crew talent show, raffle and auction (to benefit the crew fund).

Travelers shouldn't miss that talent show. We were blown away by the quality of the amazing singers, the Balinese dancer, rope-tying expert and a crew member that belted out "La Bamba." It was a hoot; guests bought raffle tickets and could win prizes such as cups, stuffed animals, key chains, wine and more. 

Server offers complimentary drinks to guests at the Captain's Welcome Party on Atlas Ocean Voyages' World Traveller.
A friendly bar waiter offers drinks to passengers entering the Captain's Welcome Party on World Traveller. (Photo by Susan J. Young)

Given that the owner of Atlas Ocean Voyages is Mystic Invest Holding, with headquarters in Porto, Portugal (Atlas' HQ is in Fort Lauderdale, FL, though), it’s not surprisingly that some World Traveller venues have names reflecting the line’s Portuguese heritage. For example, guests head to the Vasco de Gama Auditorium, far forward on Deck 4, for destination briefings and enrichment lectures, or the main dining room, Lisboa, aft on that same deck.

An onboard boutique on Deck 4 sells clothing items, souvenirs such as stuffed animals (cute penguins, for example, a nod to the ship’s winter Antarctica itineraries), snacks, colognes and perfumes, hats and sundries. We asked about lipstick, but the shop carries no cosmetics. The ship’s Medical Center is also on this same deck.

Wellness and Fitness

Also on Deck 4 is the full-service SeaSpa by L’Occitane. Guests will discover two treatment rooms, an eight-person Serenity Lounge, and an infrared sauna. Treatments include face care, body massages and more targeted treatments. Among the pampering options is the "Shea Nourishing Comfort" face-care treatment, which costs $60 for 25 minutes or $125 for an hour. Alternatively, a “Relaxing Aromachologie Massage” runs $125 for an hour-long treatment or $175 for a 90-minute treatment.

Across from the boutique is a small fitness center with state-of-the-art machines. And while runners can obviously head ashore on port days to complete their daily exercise regimen, it’s also good to know that World Traveller has a small running track that circles the ship’s top deck (Deck 8). While the ship does not carry a helicopter for guest touring, there is also a helipad, if needed, on that deck, too.

More Spaces, The Bridge and Pool

For great outside views, head for the exterior Water’s Edge Observation Deck on Deck 6 forward. What’s nifty here, particularly in bit cooler climates such as during an Arctic or Antarctica cruise, is that the bench seating is heated.

Aft on Deck 5 is the Zephyr Lounge, which is particularly convenient for those staying in staterooms 536 through 547. An outside, open-air lounge, it's a quiet respite. Guests will find several tables and chairs plus other types of seating, much of that undercover. It’s a good spot for reading a book or taking in the aft views on a nice weather day.

Separately, did you know that World Traveller has an open bridge policy if the signage outside the bridge indicates green? When lit, guests can enter forward on the port-side of Deck 6 to view the bridge.

Another favorite spot for many cruisers is the Dome Observation Lounge forward on Deck 7. Expect 270-degree views as well as a bar, dance floor, comfortable furniture and cool, night-time mood lighting. At 4 p.m., this venue also hosts “Tea Time,” with Kusmi teas, yummy treats, finger sandwiches and so on. 

Photo of pool atop World Traveller, an Atlas Ocean Voyages yacht-style expedition ship.
World Traveller's pool is shown above. Adjacent is a large whirlpool.  (Photo by Susan J. Young)

Also on Deck 7 is the open pool deck, with a decent-size pool given the ship’s size; plus, there’s one large whirlpool adjacent to the pool. Sister World Navigator has two, bit smaller whirlpools in that spot. Padded lounge chairs ring the pool and deck area, and guests can head to a pool grill and bar here, too.  

Epicurean Experience and Cuisine

Look for another story soon detailing elements of our dining experience aboard, plus culinary programming and the line's new Epicurean Experience. 

For more information, visit www.atlasoceanvoyages.com.

Related Stories

Atlas Ocean Voyages’ World Voyager to Debut November 2023

Carnival Venezia to Sail Winter 2024/25 From Port Canaveral

Princess Unveils Colonial Heritage Voyages Featuring Yorktown

Virgin Voyages Launches Resilient Lady in Greece