EXPLORING THE HIGH SEAS
Courtesy Mystic Group
The Mystic Group, the world’s third-largest river cruise operator, is expanding into oceangoing cruising. Its first vessel - a 126m passenger expedition ship, World Explorer - is due to deliver in April 2019 from the WestSea Shipyard in Viana do Castelo, Portugal. Mário Ferreira, Founder and Chairman of Mystic, shares his vision for his company’s journey from the rivers to the oceans.
“The ocean cruise business for us is a natural extension of what we have done for the past 26 years with river cruises,” Mário says. “World Explorer is only the first of a series of vessels we intend to build.”
Another ship, World Voyager, will be ready by April 2020, while World Navigator will launch no later than April 2021. The ships’ large and luxurious accommodations can hold up to 200 passengers, a number that Mystic is very used to handling in its river vessels while maintaining its tradition of calling all guests by their names.
All of Mystic’s ships are built in Portugal and operate under the Portuguese flag. Along with being Mário’s home nation, Portugal offers cost management benefits, and ships there can be designed and fit out to Mystic’s strict specifications.
World Explorer will spend the northern summer in the Baltic, the Norwegian fjords, Iceland and Arctic. From November, she will operate in the Antarctic for the season, based out of Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.
“Our guests can expect a five-star hotel level of comfort when aboard our vessel. Available space per guest is larger than usual, and guests can experiment with different spaces. The food is provided by great European chefs, and the ship is equipped with a state of the art stability system that will help make a most enjoyable ride.”
Mário talks about Mystic’s environmental focus: “We won’t use any single-use plastics on board the World Explorer and the ship’s garbage room can compact, treat and refrigerate waste, so we can bring it back to port. And World Explorer’s fuel consumption is very low compared to similarly sized vessels.”
Bureau Veritas is very proud to class Mystic’s newbuildings, which are being built to the new Polar Code regulations. “Bureau Veritas is a very strategic partner for all the vessels we have built in the past, and in particular for this one,” Mário says. “The experience of the Bureau Veritas team of engineers has played a huge and important role in the success of this prototype ship accomplishment.”