Atlas Ocean Voyages

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Atlas Ocean Voyages fleet

Review of Atlas Ocean Voyages

AOV-Atlas Ocean Voyages ( is a new expedition cruise travel brand and a fully owned subsidiary of Mystic Invest SGPS SA (shipowner). The parent company is the Ferreira family-owned Portuguese financial holding with brands mainly in the travel tourism and leisure industries.

AOV specializes mainly in polar/Arctic and Antarctic cruises, but also schedules itineraries in Europe (Mediterranean, Baltic, Iceland and Greenland, Norwegian Fjords), Central America/Caribbean and other popular travel regions.

AOV's sister cruise shipping companies (which are also fully owned by Mystic Invest) are the travel brands "MYSTIC CRUISES" (USA), ATLAS OCEAN VOYAGES (North America), NICKO CRUISES (Germany) and DOUROAZUL (Portugal-based riverboats).

The complete list of brands/subsidiaries owned by the parent company Mystic Invest Holding includes DouroAzul (Portugal), Mystic Cruises (USA), Atlas Ocean Voyages (North America/USA and Canada), Nicko Cruises (Germany, via Schiffsreisen GmbH), Priority Dolphin (shipbuilding), Mystic Tua (Portugal) Mystic Adventure (tour agency in Barca d'Alva), World of Discoveries (theme park in Porto Portugal), Helitours (Porto and Douro Valley), BlueBus (Oporto), Caminho das Estrelas (suborbital and Zero-G flights), Mystic Real Estate, as well as several luxury hotels and resorts (Hotel do Cais, Monumental Palace Hotel, Douro Marina Hotel, Wine Lodge Hotel).

Mystic Invest fully owns (100%) the WestSEA Shipyard (shipbuilding/repairs yard in Viana do Castelo, Portugal) where the Holding is currently building its new expedition cruise ships.

Mystic Cruises USA often seasonally charters some of its ocean-going/expedition vessels and riverboats to small cruise companies, including Quark Expeditions and Riviera Travel UK/fleet.

All ocean ships are operated via Mystic Cruises USA's brand "Atlas Ocean Voyages"/AOV. These vessels include World Navigator (2021), World Voyager (2021), World Traveller (2022), World Seeker (2025), World Discoverer (2023), World Adventurer (2024).

Atlas Ocean Voyages logo (CruiseMapper)

On May 16, 2019, Mystic Cruises signed a partnership with Adonis AS (provider of maritime HR / human resources support and solutions) for the ocean fleet's management. Adonis Maritime HR Suite includes services like staff recruitment, crewing and payroll.

In early-June 2019, Certares GBT Holdings Ltd (NYC-based global company specializing in travel, tourism and hospitality investments, subsidiary of Certares Management LLC) became a shareholder (40%) in Mystic Invest Holding for EUR 250 million (~USD 294 million). The Ferreira family is the majority stake owner (60%) of Mystic Invest's cruise companies (DouroAzul Portugal, Nicko Cruises, Mystic Cruises USA, Atlas Ocean Voyages USA) and full owner of the holding's non-cruise subsidiaries.

On November 14, 2019, was officially introduced the new (adventure-luxe) brand "Atlas Ocean Voyages" which is currently managed by Mystic Cruises USA. Bookings were opened on January 2, 2020, while revenue operations were scheduled to start on July 7, 2021, with the ship World Navigator. Early-booking promos included per-cabin savings (up to USD 2000) and half deposits.

Due to the COVID crisis, all Mystic-owned cruise brands (Nicko, DouroAzul, AOV-Atlas Ocean) canceled voyages fleetwide between March 2020 and May 2021.

Company changes 2023

On May 24, 2023, was officially launched the "Atlas Yacht Club" loyalty program. The program is 5-tiered (has 5 membership levels) - Purple (7-35 nights with AOV), Bronze (36-75 nights), Silver (76-125 nights), Gold (126-200 nights), and Captain's Yacht Club (201+ nights).

AOV's Epicurean Expeditions (scheduled for the period May thru Ocotber 2023) introduced the open-air dining concept "Alma Alfresco" on the ships World Navigator and World Traveller. The experience is complimentary and includes a wine-pairing menu with traditional Portuguese dishes prepared from authentic recipes. The food is cooked using artisanal methods (oven-roasted), cookware (clay pots) and locally sourced ingredients (from places like Santa Luzia/Algarve, Mirandela/Norte, Setubal/Lisbon). Among the dishes are Polvo a Lagareiro (octopus, potatoes, olive oil, roasted garlic), Alheira de Mirandela (sausage, potatoes, radish greens), Torta de Azeitao (roll cake with egg custard cream).


AOV's Epicurean Expeditions also include wine tasting (of regional wines) and a guest chef (could be from a Michelin-starred restaurant or a local culinary celebrity). The voyages also provide tourists with the opportunity to participate in the culinary competition Yachtsman Cookoff and enjoy the complimentary poolside Josper Grill Dining.

In May 2023, Nicko Cruises/fleet announced that starting September 2023, World Voyager will be transferred to AOV, with Vasco da Gama remaining as Nicko's only ocean-going ship.

In November 2023, AOV hired Bernard Carter as a Sales Consultant for Europe & UK. Previously, he consulted the premium cruise brands Oceania, Silversea, and ResidenSea The World.

Company changes 2022

In February 2022, AOV appointed the following executives - Colleen Rodriguez (VP of Marketing), Jacqueline Leyva (Senior Director of Guest Services, Reservations, Air-Sea), Robert Cao (Senior Director of Charters, Meetings, Incentives), Oya Bekisoglu (Sales Director of Central USA), Anthony Iozzia (Sales Director of Northeast USA, New England, Eastern Canada).

In August 2022 was appointed James Rodriguez as AOV's President and CEO, replacing Alberto Aliberti. Previously, Rodriguez was employed by the cruise brand companies Crystal (as Director of Sales) and Oceania (as Executive VP of Sales and Marketing/2003-2022).

In June 2022, AOV announced its Panama homeporting operations (starting October 2022) for the ships World Navigator and World Traveller. AOV's 12-night "Panama Roundtrip Cruise" itinerary departs from Panama City (Fuerte Amador Marina) and visits destinations in Panama (Isla Parida), Costa Rica (Puerto Jimenez, Puerto Caldera/Puntarenas, Playa Del Coco, Playa Flamingo, Curu, Tortuga Islands, Quepos, Golfito), Nicaragua (San Juan Del Sur). Prices range between US$6400 (Veranda) and US$9300 (Navigator Suite) per person with double occupancy.

Company changes 2021

In January 2021, AOV signed a partnership with L'OCCITANE en Provence (1976-founded French luxury retailer) for the first-at-sea "Luxury SeaSpa by L'OCCITANE" on the ship World Navigator.

  • The L'OCCITANE treatments combine all hand-performed exclusive sequences, with authentic French ingredients certified in origin and proven effectiveness. The ship's L'OCCITANE spa treatments menu features the 90-minute "Sleep & Reset Massage".
  • SeaSpa by L'OCCITANE (sized 88 m2 / 945 ft2, located on Main Deck 4) groups a reception room (with L'OCCITANE's scent Relaxing Pillow Mist), 2 treatment rooms for massages (by professional therapists), an infrared sauna, serenity lounge (featuring floor-ceiling windows and relaxing furniture/plush loungers).
  • By the AOV-L'OCCITANE deal, all staterooms' bathrooms are stocked with complimentary body wash, handwash, shampoo, and hair conditioner.

In September 2021, AOV introduced its insurance program "Atlas Assurance" for emergency support and services. Atlas Assurance covers all medical/travel/legal expenses as well as medevacs (medical evacuations at sea and return home transportation) during the voyage.

  • Medical services include prescriptions, eyeglasses replacement, medical expenses, dispatching physician/specialist, hospital and physician referral (worldwide), and return of dependent children.
  • Travel services include documents assistance, 24-hour emergency arrangements, embassy assistance, and travel companion transportation.
  • Legal assistance includes worldwide lawyers and bail bonds.

"Atlas Assurance" is optional but included in AOV's "All Inclusive All The Way" package.

In January 2021, AOV signed a partnership with Ensemble Travel Group (a member-owned and run organization of ~850 American independent travel agencies (USA and Canada). The deal was signed by Brandon Townsley (AOV's VP of Sales and Trade Partnerships) and David Harris (Ensemble's CEO).

AOV ship technology

The ship design for the series of expedition vessels operated by AOV was developed by Leadship Ltd (Piraeus Greece-based company) owned by the Italian naval architects Giuseppe Tringali and Mirco Zoia. The design features an ice-strengthened hull (ice class 1B), top-notch automation and control system, modern propulsion (based on electrical pods / 360-degree azimuthing thrusters), dynamic positioning system (using GPS data to accurately maintain the ship's position without anchoring), advanced water treatment system, hybrid powerplant (diesel-electric) with efficient marine engines (two Rolls-Royce engines running on ULSD / ultra-low-sulfur diesel).

The Rolls-Royce powerplant costs GBP 7 million (EUR 7,75 million / USD 8,9 million) and includes two main engines (model Bergen C25-33L8P) and one auxiliary dual-fuel genset (model Bergen C25-33L6P). The engines are connected to the vessel's electric power system (Rolls-Royce SAVe CUBE) allowing them to operate efficiently at variable speeds.

Rolls-Royce Promas propulsion is an integrated propeller-rudder system to optimize hydrodynamic efficiency. Promas includes two controllable pitch propellers integrated with two flap rudders, steering gears and tunnel thrusters.

The vessel's draft is only 15 ft (4,7 m) allowing access to remote islands and unique coastal destinations. The ship has all 2 lifeboats (full-capacity) which are fully enclosed. Ship-to-shore communications are via Inmarsat Capsat Fleet 77 (satellite phone and Internet).

Landings (passenger transportation) and coastal exploration voyages are served by the ship's own fleet of 10x Zodiacs (motorized boats stored aft on Deck 7) and 2 loading stations.

Mystic Cruises ship

The shipbuilder WestSEA is owned by Martifer Group via the subsidiary Martifer SGPS. This is a family-owned holding company (1990-founded by the brothers Carlos and Jorge Martins), headquartered in Oliveira de Frades (Portugal). Since 2007, WestSEA is listed on the Euronext Lisbon (stock exchange). Martifer Group has 3000+ employees and specializes in metal construction and (since 2004) in renewable energy - wind and solar energy equipment production. Martifer Group is one of Europe's largest metal construction companies, with subsidiaries in Spain, Poland, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, Brazil and Angola.

Itinerary of Atlas Ocean Voyages

Atlas Ocean Voyages (AOV) is a subsidiary company and travel brand managed by Mystic Cruises USA (parent Mystic Invest).

AOV's fleet currently consists of the newbuild vessels World Navigator (2021), World Voyager (2021/transferred from Nicko in 2023), World Traveller (2022), World Adventurer (2023), World Discoverer (2023), World Seeker (2025).

In 2023, AOV's Epicurean Expeditions introduced the open-air dining concept "Alma Alfresco" on World Navigator and World Traveller. The experience is complimentary and includes a wine-pairing menu with traditional Portuguese dishes prepared from authentic recipes. The food is cooked using artisanal methods (oven-roasted), cookware (clay pots) and locally sourced ingredients (from places like Santa Luzia/Algarve, Mirandela/Norte, Setubal/Lisbon). AOV's Epicurean Expeditions also include wine tasting (of regional wines) and a guest chef (could be from a Michelin-starred restaurant or a local culinary celebrity). The sailings also provide tourists with the opportunity to participate in the culinary competition Yachtsman Cookoff and enjoy the complimentary poolside Josper Grill Dining.

Bookings on AOV's World Voyager cruises (Antarctica 2023-2024 itineraries) were opened on May 16, 2023. For Atlas Ocean, World Voyager's inaugural season starts on November 8th (2023) and is based on homeporting in Ushuaia Argentina. The voyages visit popular Antarctic destinations like Deception Island, Graham Land/Paradise Harbor, Wiencke Island/Port Lockroy, cruising the Lemaire Channel and the South Shetlands.


AOV World Voyager Antarctica 2023-24 program included 4x 9-day roundtrips from Ushuaia (departures Nov 8, Nov 28, Feb 27, Mar 18) and 6x 11-day roundtrips from Ushuaia (departures Nov 17, Jan 14, Jan 25, Feb 5, Feb 16, Mar 7). With World Voyager, Atlas Ocean introduced the brand's first fly-cruises. The fly-and-cruise deals are inclusive of direct charter flights from Punta Arenas Chile to King George Island Antarctica (Chile's Base Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva) as well as optional 1-night hotel stays (pre- and post-cruise) on all cruisetours from/to Punta Arenas.

AOV itineraries 2024-2025

The brand's 2024 schedule (summer and fall) includes new itineraries in Europe (Mediterranean, also Holy Land and Egypt), South America. The program groups 41 voyages of which 9 are Extended Journeys visiting a total of 31 countries and featuring 19 overnight port stays.

AOV's Mediterranean 2024 schedule has 13x Western Mediterranean itineraries (all 7-night) leaving from Barcelona, Civitavecchia-Rome, Dubrovnik Croatia, Lisbon, Nice France, Palma de Mallorca, Valletta, Malta, Casablanca Morroco.

Two voyages to Holy Land and Egypt in July 2024 depart from Piraeus-Athens (9-night and 12-night) and visit Haifa plus ports in Greece (Greek islands, Cyprus), Turkey, Egypt. A 9-night Adriatic itinerary in August (Athens to Venice) visits ports in Greece, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia.

Two itineraries in Northern Europe and the UK/British Isles are scheduled for World Navigator in 2024 - one in May and the other in September.

AOV's South America and Amazon River program groups 8 itineraries (7- to 11-night long) visiting the Falklands UK, Chilean Fjords/Patagonia, and the Caribbean (French Guiana, Tobago, St Vincent and the Grenadines.

AOV's Transatlantic crossings in 2024 are four - 13-night (Rio de Janeiro to the Canaries/Gran Canaria), 12-night (Barbados to Lisbon), 21-night (Malaga to Montevideo), and 13-night (Gran Canaria/Canaries to Rio de Janeiro).

Antarctica-Arctic 2024-2025

AOV's 2024-25 Antarctic program is based on 3 ships (World Navigator, World Traveller, World Voyager), a total of 48 voyages and itineraries ranging between 5-18 nights (mostly roundtrips from Ushuaia).

Antarctic season's highlights include: 9-night "Antarctic Discovery" (departures in 2024 Oct 30, Nov 13 and 19, Dec 20 and 28 in 2024, and departures in 2025 Jan 5, 6, and 15, Feb 3, 4, 13, and 14, Mar 5, 11, and 22), 11-night "Crossing the Antarctic Circle" (departures in 2024 Nov 8 and 23, Dec 9 and 29, departures in 2025 Jan 9, 20, 24, and 31, Feb 22, Mar 14), 5-night "Drake Express" (roundtrip from King George Island (departures in 2024 Nov 27 and Dec 2), 18-night "Grand Antarctica & Beyond" (Antarctic Peninsula, the UK's South Georgia and Falkland Islands, South Orkney Islands/departure in 2025 Jan 16th from Ushuaia).

AOV also offers one East Coast South America voyage (10-night "Brazilian Allure" from Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires/departure October 28, 2024) and one Transatlantic crossing for ship relocation from South America to Europe ( - the 14-night "Atlantic Adventurer" from Rio de Janeiro to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands Spain (departure April 8, 2025).

The 2024 Arctic Season features the debut of two yachts simultaneously exploring the region. The World Traveller and World Navigator embark on 11 expeditions ranging from 7 to 12 nights, delving into the captivating Arctic landscapes with departures from TromsoOsloLongyearbyenReykjavik, and Kangerlussuaq. Select expeditions offer inclusive charter jet air service from either New York John F. Kennedy International Airport or Oslo Gardermoen Airport for added convenience.

Highlighted Itineraries include:

  • Guests can embark on a 7-night expedition from Tromso to Longyearbyen departing on June 21, 2024. This voyage showcases ports along the magnificent Norwegian coast, including Hammerfest and Skarsvag (North Cape), Norway, before culminating in the breathtaking landscapes of Svalbard.
  • The most sought-after Arctic adventure is a 9-night roundtrip from Longyearbyen, Svalbard, offering a tapestry of polar landscapes and wildlife encounters each day. Departures are available on June 28 and July 7, 2024, with an extended 11-night expedition departing on July 16, 2024.

New for 2024 are expeditions to Greenland, a first-time offering, allowing travelers to explore Svalbard, Iceland, and Greenland in one extraordinary journey. Whether marveling at towering icebergs, vibrant coastal villages, or the mesmerizing Northern Lights, each day promises a new and awe-inspiring experience. Choose from expeditions lasting 9 to 12 nights on August 5, August 15, August 21, August 25, September 1, and September 6, 2024.

In the peak of polar summer, passengers can embark on a unique expedition departing from Oslo to Reykjavik on August 10, 2024. This special journey features enchanting Norwegian coastal ports like BergenStavangerFlamOlden, and Alesund before crossing the Norwegian Sea. Explore Icelandic ports such as SeydisfjordurAkureyriIsafjordur, concluding the adventure in Reykjavik.

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