World Navigator

Specifications of World Navigator

Year built2021 new ship
BuilderWestSEA Shipyard (Viana do Castelo, Portugal)
Classice-strengthened expedition ship
Building costEUR 70 million (USD 80 million)
OwnerMystic Invest via Mystic Cruises (Portugal)
OperatorNicko Cruises, Atlas Ocean Voyages
Speed16 kn / 30 kph / 18 mph
Length (LOA)126 m / 413 ft
Beam (width)19 m / 62 ft
Gross Tonnage9300 gt
Passengers196 - 200
Crew125
Decks8
Cabins98
Decks with cabins3
Sister-shipsWorld Adventurer, World Explorer, World Discoverer, World Seeker, World Traveller, World Voyager
Christened bytba

World Navigator Review

Review of World Navigator

MS World Navigator cruise ship is a newbuild passenger vessel designed for operations in the polar regions (Arctic and Antarctica). The vessel is owned by Mystic Invest (via the subsidiary Mystic Cruises) and operated under charter by Nicko Tours (subsidiary) and other small cruise companies. The shipbuilder is WestSEA (naval shipyard in Viana do Castelo, Portugal).

The ship World Navigator is the third vessel in a planned 10-ship fleet of Mystic Cruises, that includes the sisterships World Explorer (2019), World Voyager (2020), World Navigator (2021 July), World Traveller (2022), World Seeker (2022), World Adventurer (2023), World Discoverer (2023).

In November 2019, as the ship's first charterer was announced Atlas Ocean Voyages (US-based travel company and new cruise brand). Bookings for Atlas Ocean Voyages World Navigator ship cruises 2021-2022-2023 were opened in January 2020.

Ship history and ownership

The vessel is owned by the Portugal-based company Mystic Cruises and seasonally chartered by Atlas Ocean Voyages (for polar cruises) and also by the European river cruise operator Nicko Tours (for the rest of the season). The ship charterer Atlas Ocean Voyages (established in 2019) is a polar travel company specializing in expedition cruises to Antarctica using vessels with ice-strengthened hulls. Company's first charter boat is World Navigator, to be followed in 2022-2023 by the sisterships (fleetmates) World Traveller, World Seeker, World Adventurer, World Discoverer.

AOV-Atlas Ocean Voyages is managed by Alberto Aliberti (President) and Brandon Townsley (VP of Sales and Trade Partnerships), plus two Sales Managers - Alyssa Logan (North America West) and Richard Sims (North America East, former Sales Manager of NCL-Norwegian, Holland America and Seabourn).

MS World Navigator cruise ship

Mystic Cruises is a new brand owned by the Portuguese entrepreneur Mario Ferreira - president of Mystic Invest SGPS (group of companies) and best known as CEO of the Portuguese river cruise company Douro Azul, operating on Douro River roundtrips from Oporto. Mario Ferreira is also famous for being Portugal's first space tourist (traveling on Virgin Galactic's Spaceship One / owned by Richard Branson).

The shipowner Mystic Invest is a Portuguese family-owned financial holding that fully owns several brands specializing in travel and tourism business (cruises, tours, hotels) and real estate. The list of brands (subsidiaries) owned by the parent company Mystic Invest includes DouroAzul (Portugal), Mystic Cruises (Portugal), Nicko Cruises (Germany), 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 (Porto), hotels and resorts (Hotel do Cais, Monumental Palace Hotel, Douro Marina Hotel, Wine Lodge Hotel), Caminho das Estrelas (suborbital and Zero-G flights), Mystic Real Estate.

Cabins

World Navigator staterooms (a total of 98) are all in Suite categories and all with step-out balconies. The vessel has max passenger capacity 200. Each of the cabins offers as standard (complimentary / price-inclusive) amenities

  • en-suite bathroom (shower, WC, washbasin, hairdryer, plush bathrobes and slippers, premium bath products)
  • separate bedroom (Queen-size double bed convertible to 2 twins / single beds, bedside cabinets, bedside USB charging ports, wall-mounted lamps)
  • mirrored dressing table / writing desk with armchair, lounge area (2-seater sofabed, coffee table with chairs), Horizon and Veranda cabins additionally have a plush loveseat
  • smart HDTV (infotainment system, Internet, on-demand movies, Bluetooth connectivity), large wardrobe, electronic safe box (in the closet), minibar (fully-stocked refrigerator)
  • individual air-conditioning, LED lighting
  • daily turndown service
  • Still and sparkling bottled water is provided complimentary and replenished twice daily.

Towels (excluding those on the rack) and bedsheets are changed every 3rd day (depending on cruise itinerary length). Shipboard laundry and ironing services are available at extra cost. Laundry bags are provided in the cabins and collected each morning.

Each cabin is equipped with orange-coloured lifejackets, which are used in cases of emergencies and during lifeboat drills. Ship's electrical supply is 220 V (50 Hz). The electrical outlets (found in all cabins and throughout the ship) are standard European 2-pin plugs. A total of 5 USB ports (per cabin) are for digital devices (cameras, smartphones, tablets, etc). Each cabin is also fitted with a total of 5 power outlets (110V / 220V).

Most cabins (~90%) are with private step-out balconies, excepting only the aft-located (decks 5-6) "French Balcony" cabins, which are with a sliding window opening to a railing (Juliet balcony). Cabin balconies are furnished with 1 low table and 2 deckchairs.

 

MS World Navigator has 7 cabin categories ranging in sizes from 185 ft2 (17 m2, Adventure Stateroom) to 465 ft (43 m2, Owner/Navigator Suite). French Balcony cabins (Horizon/Infinity Stateroom) are sized 270 ft2 (25 m2) and feature a floor-ceiling glass wall with a slide opening window (upper panel). Balcony cabins (Veranda Stateroom) are same-sized (25 m2) but with a step-out balcony. The all 12 Adventure-type (Porthole) cabins are located on Deck 3 and each has a large non-opening window.

The boat's all 10 suites (top-tier cabins) are in categories Journey Suite (380 ft2 / 35 m2), Discovery Suite (445 ft2 / 41 m2) and Navigator Suite (465 ft2 / 43 m2), plus two Junior Suites (300 ft2 / 28 m2). All suites are 2-Room (1-Bedroom) and with step-out balconies (sized 110 ft2 / 10 m2) furnished with 2 sun loungers, 2 teak deckchairs and 1 low table. Each suite has 2 closets and 2 large HDTVs (wall-mounted in the bedroom / living room). The two Junior Suites are in different configurations - one with an outdoor balcony, one with French Balcony.

Cabin bathrooms are with spa showers (rain shower head, handheld showerhead, 4 adjustable body jets), L'Occitane bath products (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, handwash, hand lotion). Navigator Suites and Discovery Suites bathrooms are with double basin vanity (his-and-hers sinks) and separate WC. Navigator Suites bathrooms are with bathtub.

Shipboard facilities and activities

The ship offers plenty of public areas, including Observation Lounge (glass-domed, with surrounding outdoor terrace), Navigator Lounge (a multi-purpose and full-bar venue with floor-ceiling windows and comfortable seating), Library (reading lounge), Lecture Theatre (24-hour open Auditorium serving cruise company's enrichment program with daily scheduled activities, including port talks, discussions, media presentations), aft-located Dining Room Restaurant (with floor-ceiling windows and an outdoor terrace for alfresco dining / weather permitting).

MS World Navigator cruise ship

Navigator Lounge doubles as multi-purpose room hosting special events (anniversaries, birthdays, group and private meetings, etc). Fresh-baked cookies and pastries are offered in the afternoons. Hot and cold snacks are available during the evening cocktail hour (activities permitting) and special occasion events. Lounge's Bar is staffed by a professional bartender serving a selection of liquors, spirits, premium beers, wines and champagnes (by the glass). Complimentary beverages include soft drinks, juices, water, coffee, tea.

Polar Library is well stocked with books and popular board games. The Library is open 24 hours. Its collection includes books in various languages and themed on wildlife, history, marine biology, geology, ecology, also field guides, picture- and reference books.

Polar Boutique is ship's gift shop selling travel essentials and souvenirs, as well as a selection of expedition gear (clothing, waterproof pants, gloves, hats). Shop's opening hours are based on the daily scheduled cruise activities.

In the Lobby area is ship's Reception (Guest Services Desk) served by dedicated staff that assists passengers with information, purchasing PIN cards (Internet / email access, phone cards), arranging wake-up calls. The Reception also doubles as Cashier's Office for setting shipboard accounts and making payments of these accounts towards the end of the cruise. Also on Lobby Deck are the ship's two entrance areas (portside and starboard) used for passenger embarkation / disembarkation in ports of call where pier/quay/wharf is available for docking.

Wellness facilities include an outdoor jogging track (on top-deck), small gym, Sauna Room, Spa (room for massages, showers, changing / locker rooms), Hairdresser. On Sun Deck is the outdoor heated swimming pool surrounded by a sunbathing area with loungers. The pool has a kids (shallow) area separated from the deeper saltwater plunge pool. The ship doesn't provide lifeguard on duty. On top-deck (aft) is a Helideck - helipad used in cases of emergencies.

As complimentary shoreside activities are offered camping, seakayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, Zodiac boat tours.

Cruise itineraries

When chartered by Nicko Cruises, the ship operates in Europe (Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic Coastal, Baltic Sea, Norwegian Fjords), also Iceland and Greenland. When chartered by other companies, the ship operates on polar cruises - to Antarctica and Arctic destinations. Atlas Ocean Voyages is a subsidiary company and travel brand managed by Mystic Cruises USA (parent Mystic Invest).

Atlas Ocean Voyages logo - CruiseMapper

AOV-Atlas Ocean Voyages deals are inclusive of complimentary roundtrip flights (from/to major airports in Canada and the USA) included in the ticket prices for all cabin categories and on all cruise itineraries. Price-included are also the prepaid gratuities, gourmet dining, drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), Wi-Fi, premium brand cabin bath products (by L'Occitane en Provence), 1x shore excursion (per itinerary), in-cabin use binoculars, dedicated butler service (Suites only), medevac (emergency medical evacuation insurance) and return-to-home insurance. AOV's cruise insurance policy covers medevac transportation (from the ship to a local treatment center) plus return transportation (back home or a medical facility close to home).

Cruise itineraries

Bookings for Atlas Ocean Voyages (World Navigator ship) were opened on January 2, 2020. Company's passenger shipping operations were scheduled to start in July 2021 (with MS World Navigator). The inaugural cruise season of Atlas Ocean Voyages (2021) includes 66 different port destinations in Europe and Asia (Mediterranean Sea, Black Seas, Holy Land) visited on a total of ten 7- to 15-nights long itineraries.

  • World Navigator's inaugural cruise (11-night itinerary, July 17th) departs from Valletta Malta and visits 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) departs from Piraeus-Athens and visits Kusadasi, Nessebar, Bucharest, Odessa (2 overnights). Black Sea cruise (9-night itinerary, August 4th) departs from Piraeus-Athens and visits Novorossiysk, Batumi, Sinop, Amasra, Sochi (overnight), Istanbul (overnight). Both Black Sea cruises can be combined into a B2B (16-night).
  • Three Holy Land cruises offer overnights in Israel (Haifa-Tel Aviv, and Ashdod-Jerusalem).
  • Mediterranean cruise (September 18, 7-night itinerary) is from Piraeus-Athens to Civitavecchia-Rome and visits Corinth Canal (passage), Itea-Delphi, Katakolon-Olympia, Taormina (Sicily), Agropoli, Amalfi, Ravello, Positano, Naples.
  • Mediterranean cruise (September 25, 7-night itinerary) is from Civitavecchia-Rome to Lisbon and visits Livorno, Marseilles, Barcelona, Valencia, Malaga, Gibraltar.

Follows a 17-night Europe to South America Transatlantic crossing (October 4) from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro. The itinerary includes 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) visits Buzios, Paraty, Ilhabela, Porto Belo, Imbituba, Punta del Este.

Two longer roundtrips in 2021 depart from Ushuaia (Argentina).

  • (November 28, 2021) 12-night itinerary to Antarctica (solar eclipse on Dec 4), South Shetland Islands, Paulet Island, Brown Bluff (Tabarin Peninsula), South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands (UK).
  • (February 2, 2022) 9-night itinerary crossing the Antarctic Circle and themed on wildlife-viewing.

On November 11, 2021, World Navigator cruises from Montevideo (Uruguay) to Ushuaia. The 8-night itinerary visits Buenos Aires, Patagonia (Puerto Madryn) and Port Stanley (Falkland Islands).

Early-booking promos included per-cabin savings (up to USD 2000) and half deposit.

In mid-May 2020 were opened for booking the following voyages:

In late-September 2020, AOV-Atlas Ocean Voyages announced two new "MAX SHORE" itineraries. For summer-2021, MS World Navigator has planned 7- to 24-night long cruises in Europe (Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Holy Land) followed by a Transatlantic repositioning crossing and 9- to 13-night long voyages (Caribbean, South America, Antarctica) planned for winter 2021-2022 season.

(August 4, 2021) The 24-night "MAX SHORE" itinerary departs from Odessa Ukraine and features cruising through tree seas (Black-Aegean-Mediterranean), 19 call ports (7 countries) and two complimentary shore excursions (each 3-night in length).

AOV customers can choose one of the two MAX SHORE itineraries - "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 begins on the cruise itinerary's 9th day and departs from Istanbul Turkey. Tour experiences include a hot-air balloon ride (over Pamukkale or Gerome) and visiting Pamukkale's Salt Springs. The cruise ship World Navigator is then reboarded in Kepez. If passengers decide to stay onboard in Istanbul, they enjoy for 3 days complimentary tours.

The list of call ports includes Novorossiysk Russia, Batumi Georgia, Paphos Cyprus and in Turkey are visited Sinop, Amasra, Bozcaada Island, Dikili, Kusadasi, Bodrum, Marmaris, Fethiye, Kekova Island and Demre. Overnights are in Sochi Russia, Ashdod Israel and Haifa-Jerusalem.

From Istanbul is 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).

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World Navigator Wiki

On November 15, 2018, the shipowner Mystic Cruises officially announced the contract with WestSea for building two more vessels. Deliveries were scheduled for 2020 (World Voyager) and 2021 (World Navigator).

All Mystic Invest newbuilds as investments were backed by ICBC Leasing - part of ICBC Ltd (Chinese multinational bank, ranked world's largest by assets, deposits, loans, customers and employees). The shipbuilding financing was supported by Portuguese banks (during construction) and ICBCL Leasing funding (following delivery) through sale and charter-back of the vessel, with an obligation to repurchase it on maturity. Mystic Invest intends to build a 10-ship fleet of the same design.

In August 2017 were completed design's tank tests. The testing water tank and ship model were conducted by the Wageningen-based MARIN (Maritime Research Institute Netherlands).

In 2018 (February 20 through March 1), Nicko Tours scheduled a total of 10 road shows in Germany to promote company's new "ocean cruising" business. Each of the shows started with a casual get-together and buffet with finger food, followed by presentation of the vessel and its Nicko cruise itineraries. Then travel agents enjoyed full meals and gourmet desserts.

Mystic Cruises ship

The vessel was launched (floated out from drydock at WestSea Viana Shipyard) on October 5, 2020. On the same day was held the keel-laying ceremony for the sistership World Traveller.

Fun fact is that there is a tanker ship named "World Navigator" (IMO 9422225). The 2010-built vessel is Singapore-flagged (MMSI 566932000) and with GT 29151 tons.

World Navigator ship technology

Ship's design is based on a Rolls-Royce expedition vessel platform developed by Giuseppe Tringali (Italian naval architect). It features an ice-strengthened hull (ice class 1B), top-notch automation and control system, modern propulsion (based on electrical pods / azimuthing thrusters), dynamic positioning system (using GPS data to accurately maintain 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 (Bergen C25-33L8P) and one auxiliary dual-fuel genset (Bergen C25-33L6P). The engines are connected to ship'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.

Mystic Cruises ship

World Navigator is a cruise vessel with hydrojet propulsion (technology initially developed for military vessels). The ship is fitted with two SPJ Pump Jets by SCHOTTEL (model SPJ 82, total power output 670 kW) allowing silent navigation at 5 knots speed (9 kph). This is an alternative propulsion system as the hydrojets are used only in destinations with specific marine life. Both hydrojets pump water to propel the ship and similarly to the in-hull mounted Azipods (underwater azimuthing thrusters) can rotate 360 degrees. They also allow dynamic positioning (via GPS) to stabilize / fix the vessel without using propellers or anchors.

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 ship's own fleet of ten Zodiacs (motorized boats stored aft on Deck 7) and 2 loading stations.

The shipbuilder WestSEA is owned by Martifer Group via the subsidiary Martifer SGPS. This is a family-owned holding company founded in 1990 (by the brothers Carlos and Jorge Martins), headquartered in Oliveira de Frades (Portugal) and Euronext Lisbon (stock exchange) listed since 2007. Martifer Group has over 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.

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