As first reported by Cruise Industry News last week, Mystic Cruises today confirmed a newbuild under construction at Portugal's WestSea Yard, part of Martifer Group.
The ship will be built on a Rolls-Royce technical platform and is the first in a planned series of cruise ships.
Quark Expeditions will operate the vessel, the World Explorer, for 10 charter cruises for the 2018-2019 Antarctica season.
According to a statement, for the rest of the season the ship will visit small and distinct ports around the world normally not accessible to larger cruise ships and will be distributed worldwide by the German Company Nicko Cruises.
Mário Ferreira, Mystic Cruises, CEO said: “These are very exciting times for us, this project is something that we’ve been working on for some time, crafting it to perfection to meet our clients’ and the market’s needs. The MS World Explorer will be the first of our expeditionary cruise ships. She will offer passengers a once in a lifetime experience of exclusivity and personalized service visiting the vast frozen landscapes of Antarctica and small, exclusive ports around the world.
“Antarctica offers a unique setting for expeditionary cruises, and we’ll offer the opportunity to explore this amazing region with all comfort and luxury of a five-star plus hotel. Aboard the MS World Explorer, guests will have the opportunity to marvel at the beauty of the landscape, while enjoying all the amenities of a luxury hotel with a personalized service, where staff will know their name and preferences.
“Being one of the last unspoiled and untouched regions in the World, Antarctica poses a unique challenge for cruise companies in order to offer the high-quality service that guests are used to in other areas, while being environmentally sustainable. We are very pleased to be working with an industry leading company such as Rolls- Royce. Since we started our partnership the results have been very positive, and we believe that we made the correct call in selecting them. For us it’s essential to have a sustainable, efficient and environmental friendly solution. That is why we opted for the hybrid technology that Rolls-Royce proposed.”
The World Explorer is the first of several ships to be built by the Portuguese company for its expeditionary cruise line, according to a press release.
"The design is the result of several years of study and development to create the perfect balance between luxury, comfort, efficiency and environmental friendly operation," the company said.
Rolls-Royce has supplied two Bergen, C25:33L8P main engines and a Bergen C25:33L6P auxiliary dual generator. This connects to a Low Voltage AFE “SAVeCUBE” Power Electric System which allows the engines to operate at variable speeds maximizing their efficiency for the required power. Rolls-Royce is also providing the automation and control system, and the complete Promas propulsion system with two CPP propellers integrated with two flap rudders, also steering gears and tunnel thrusters.
John Roger Nesje, Rolls-Royce, Vice President, Power Electric Systems – Marine said; “ Our experience of all aspects of ship design and construction, has allowed us to help Mystic Cruises, carefully consider the World Explorer ‘s operational profile and identify the optimum combination of technologies to use in order to reduce emissions and achieve improved performance and fuel economy.”
The MS World Explorer will accommodate 200 guests served by a 111 international crew members. The ship will have an operating cruise speed of 16 knots with a strengthened hull and propellers for traversing ice. She will be 126 meters in length with a width of 19 meters, a draft of 4.8 meters and be 9,300 tons.
Construction of the vessel, designed by Italian Naval Architect Giuseppe Tringali, is already underway at the WestSea Shipyard in the northern Portugal with completion expected October 2018.
Mystic Cruises belongs to the holding company Mystic Invest that also owns river brand DouroAzul and German company Nicko Cruises.