The 9,300gt ship, being built for Portugal's Mystic Cruises, a division of Mário Ferreira's Mystic Invest, had been scheduled to operate on charter to Quark Expeditions during the current Antarctica season and then for Mystic subsidiary Nicko Cruises of Germany.
More time needed to install hybrid power management system
According to a Quark spokesman, the delivery delay is to allow time for the shipyard to install a sophisticated hybrid power management system that will yield environmental and energy-saving benefits.
Quark customers booked on World Explorer were given a generous credit to use for a future voyage or offered a full refund.
Quark has also chartered World Explorer for the 2019/20 Antarctica season. In addition, the company is building its own 200-passenger expedition ship, at Croatia’s Brodosplit yard. Delivery is set for third quarter 2020, in time for the 2020/21 Antarctica season.
More Mystic newbuilds planned
World Explorer is the first in a planned series of up to 10 expedition vessels for Mystic Cruises, which intends to operate them for various charterers.
Entrepreneur Mário Ferreira is expanding into ocean cruising after building up the Douro River itinerary in Portugal, where his DouroAzul is the largest operator with an expected 20 vessels in operation by 2019 for companies like AmaWaterways, Avalon, Jules Verne, Riviera, Scenic, Uniworld and Viking.