Carving Out Luxe-Adventure

World Navigator

Five ships and 1,000 berths are heading for the North American source market with Atlas Ocean Voyages between 2021 and 2023, offering a luxe-adventure product at a five-star level.

Headquartered in Florida, President Alberto Aliberti is leading the charge for the Mystic brand.

The company spans just over 15 employees and is continuing to grow its office, while Mystic, the shipowner, handles marine and hotel operations from a Portugal office.

“We create the product. We define our product as an Atlas Ocean Voyages, North American focused product. We decide on drink menus, color schemes and all of that,” Aliberti said.

Added Brandon Townsley, vice president, sales and trade partnerships: “This year is all about connecting, working the networks and market penetration.”

It’s an inclusive product, said Townsley, noting the company is competing in the luxury space.

Entry rate per day? $650 per person per day, said Aliberti, and just over $1,000 per person per day in Antarctica.

In order to charge that rate, we have to deliver top-level service,” he said. “The ultra-luxury service level has to be a given. You can’t expect a guest to pay this and give them anything less than top luxury.”

Townsley said the brand did not want to go head-to-head with Seabourn or Ponant.

“We didn’t want to be that formal. We wanted a more relaxed and fun product,” he said. Target market? Barefoot millionaires, for example.

The small ship and price point should drive home a community experience aboard, he said, backed up by unique land experiences.

Atlas will be heavy pre- and post tours, overland tours and active and unique shore excursions. Glamping and traditional camping are on the table, and the ships will all carry a fleet of bicycles.

“We want to offer bucket list, outside of the box experiences, that people don’t normally associate with cruise or luxury.”

Onboard, the company is eyeing a casual luxury feel.

“We’re not going to be champagne and caviar; we are going to be craft cocktails and canapés.”

Townsley said they had identified an opening in the luxury market that is underserved.

“We will be doing polar expeditions during the Antarctica season, and touching the Arctic also,” said Aliberti.

“We’re training our expedition teams right now,” he continued, for the Antarctica 2021-2022 season, where the World Navigator is set for a full season.

Ships two and three will also sail in Antarctica, he said, although the World Seeker, the company’s third newbuild, will feature Antarctica sailing from New Zealand in 2022-2023.

While not sailing in the poles, the company wants to take every opportunity to use its expedition assets to create a sense of adventure.

Aliberti said there was pent up demand for deployment in the Eastern Mediterranean.

"We‘re going to find locations like that. We’re not going to be so traditional,” he told Cruise Industry News. “We’ll also go out to Russia and the Baltic and places we can find that are off the beaten path.”

With a fleet of five ships, expect a world cruise, Aliberti said, plus a ship in Asia, and deployment in South America and on the Amazon. Also on the wish list, the Galapagos. Not in the plans: Alaska and oversaturated U.S. ports, he said.

Excerpt from Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine: Spring 2020

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