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 (2023), 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.

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 Seeker (2024).

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.

Antarctica 2022-2023

AOV's Antarctica 2022-2023 program included World Navigator's second season as well as World Traveller's maiden season.

The program (November 2022-March 2023) included 20 expeditions (9- to 20-night itineraries) with World Navigator sailing the shorter ones (9- to 11-night) while World Traveller sailed the longer ones (13- to 20-night).

World Traveller offered 9x Antarctic expeditions (13-, 16- and 20-night itineraries), with the inaugural Antarctic voyage departing on November 1st, 2022 (17-night Montevideo Uruguay to Ushuaia Argentina).

The January 16 and February 18 (2023) expeditions visited the Falklands, South Shetlands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic Peninsula.

World Traveller offered 3 departures that crossed the Antarctic Circle - December 1 and 14 (2022) and February 5 (2023). The Ushuaia roundtrip itineraries departing November 18 (2022) and January 3 and March 10 (2023) visited Diego Ramirez Islands Chile (in the Drake Passage).

World Navigator offered 11x roundtrips from Ushuaia and 9-, 11-, and 20-night itineraries (starting December 3, 2022) of which 9 included navigation throughout the South Shetlands. The 9-night voyage from Ushuaia (December 12, 2022) visited Tierra Del Fuego/Chilean Patagonia's scenic fjords and glaciers.

Itineraries 2022 Europe

In April 2022, AOV scheduled 3x Western European cruises (for World Navigator) for August and September 2022.

The 12-night "Norwegian Fjords Cruise" (roundtrip from Hamburg Germany/departure August 26th) also included the Northern European port cities (with scheduled overnight stays for optional land tours) Amsterdam (Netherlands), Antwerp (Belgium), Bordeaux (France), and London (England UK).

On the subsequent 12-night Hamburg to London cruise (September 7th) included overnights in Amsterdam and London, also Antwerp, Honfleur-Paris France and Plymouth England UK. To reach London, World Navigator navigated up the Thames River and docked at Tower Bridge Terminal for an overnight stay.

The 13-night London to Leixoes-Oporto Portugal voyage (departure September 19th) had overnights in Amsterdam, Bordeaux, London, and Honfleur-Paris.

AOV itineraries 2024

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).

B2B bookings receive a 15% discount (on both voyages) while 20% are offered to bookings that combine 3 or more itineraries.

AOV's inaugural cruises (2021)

Bookings for the brand's inauguration year (2021) were opened on January 2, 2020, and the operations were scheduled to start in July (2021) with World Navigator.

AOV's inaugural season included 66x different port destinations (the Mediterranean Sea, Black Seas, Holy Land) and a total of 10x (7- to 15-night long) itineraries.

AOV's inaugural cruise (11-night itinerary, July 17th) from Valletta Malta visited Piraeus-Athens, Zakynthos Island, Katakolon-Olympia, Elafonisos Island, Chania (Crete), Sitia (Crete), Rhodes Island, Mykonos Island, Siracusa (Sicily), Kusadasi.

Black Sea cruise (7-night itinerary, July 28th) from Piraeus-Athens visited Kusadasi; Nessebar, Bucharest, Odessa (2 overnights). Black Sea cruise (9-night itinerary, August 4th) from Piraeus-Athens visited Novorossiysk, Batumi, Sinop, Amasra, Sochi (overnight), Istanbul (overnight). Both Black Sea voyages were combinable into a 16-night B2B/back-to-back.

  • Three Holy Land voyages had overnights in Haifa (Tel Aviv) and Ashdod (Jerusalem).
  • 7-night Mediterranean (September 18) from Piraeus-Athens to Civitavecchia-Rome visited Corinth Canal (passage), Itea-Delphi, Katakolon, Taormina Sicily, Agropoli, Agropoli, Amalfi, Ravello, Positano, Naples.
  • 7-night Mediterranean (September 25) from Civitavecchia-Rome to Lisbon visited Livorno, Marseilles, Barcelona, Valencia, Malaga, Gibraltar.

Followed a 17-night Europe to South America Transatlantic crossing (October 4/Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro) with stops in Funchal (Madeira Island) and Mindelo (Sao Vincente Island, Cape Verde) before Brazil (Fernando de Noronha Island, Natal, Recife, Salvador, Buzios). An 8-night itinerary (Rio de Janeiro to Montevideo) visited Buzios, Paraty, Ilhabela, Porto Belo, Imbituba, Punta del Este.

AOV's first "golf cruise" was World Navigator's 10-night "Caribbean Golfing Tour" itinerary offering the chance for playing at 5 of the region's top golf courses, with all the details and arrangements being taken care of by AOV - both onboard and ashore.

MS World Navigator's 24-night "MAX SHORE" itinerary (August 4, 2021, from Odessa Ukraine) featured cruising through three seas (Black-Aegean-Mediterranean), 19 call ports (7 countries) and 2 complimentary shore excursions (each 3-night in length). The two MAX SHORE /land tour itineraries were themed "Magical Cappadocia - Russia to Israel" (Holy Land) or "Hidden Histories and The Pamukkale Hot Springs" (thermal pools/natural site in Denizli Turkey). Each land tour started on the cruise itinerary's 9th day and departed from Istanbul Turkey. Tour experiences included a hot-air balloon ride (over Pamukkale or Gerome) and visiting Pamukkale's Salt Springs. The ship World Navigator was then reboarded in Kepez. If passengers decided to stay onboard in Istanbul, they enjoyed 3 days of complimentary tours.

The MAX SHORE itinerary's call ports included Novorossiysk Russia, Batumi Georgia, Paphos Cyprus and in Turkey were visited Sinop, Amasra, Bozcaada Island, Dikili, Kusadasi, Bodrum, Marmaris, Fethiye, Kekova Island and Demre. Overnights were scheduled in Sochi Russia, Ashdod Israel and Haifa-Jerusalem.

From Istanbul was included a domestic flight to Kayseri City (Cappadocia). The Pamukkale itinerary visits Hierapolis (UNESCO site), includes the hot-air balloon ride (over the archeological site) and visiting Isparta City (shopping).

For World Navigator's Antarctica 2021-2022 program (November through March), AOV scheduled a private jet charter service to bring tourists from Orlando City (Port Canaveral) to Ushuaia Argentina via Ezeiza Airport (Santiago de Chile/3-hour rest stop) to Ushuaia onboard a private chartered jet..

  • Vacationers were flown from one of 16 airports in the USA and Canada to Orlando, from where via a chartered aircraft to Argentina to embark the ship. The AOV-chartered jet also flew the tourists from Ushuaia back to Orlando at the end of the sailing.
  • World Navigator had scheduled a total of 12 ex-Usuaia departures on 9-day itineraries to the Antarctic Peninsula. The Maiden Voyage left on November 19th (9-day itinerary) and was followed by a 12-day itinerary (November 28th) for witnessing the Antarctic solar eclipse (on December 4th).
  • The itineraries visited destinations like Deception Island, Neko Harbour, Brown Bluff.

Atlas Ocean Voyages related cruise news

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