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Coming soon to the expedition fleet: Mystic Cruises' World Explorer

(Rendering: WestSea Viana Shipyard)
World Explorer has an energy-efficient Rolls-Royce hybrid propulsion system and will meet the highest emissions, waste treatment and no-discharge standards
Under construction at Portugal's WestSea Viana Shipyard, the 9,300gt World Explorer will carry 200 passengers in mostly all-balcony suite accommodations, with some 'infinity' cabins.

Mystic Cruises, a division of Mário Ferreira's Mystic Invest, burst onto the scene with this latest entrant to the expedition sector. It's planned to be the first in a series that could stretch to 10 ships.

World Explorer stretches across six decks with a theater/lecture hall, main lounge, observation bar, restaurant, library/chart room, small casino, fitness room, outdoor pool and jogging track. A bow observation deck, mudroom and lockers for passenger gear are among the expedition features.

Nearly all accommodations are balcony suites of a standard 280 square feet with top suites ranging from 387 square feet to 490 square feet including balcony. Twenty-four 'infinity' cabins, 280 square feet each, don't have balconies but a glass wall facing the sea. The top part of the glass can be opened to the fresh air.

The 126-meter/413-foot vessel was designed by Italian naval architect Giuseppe Tringali, Ferreira said, and Rolls-Royce specially developed an energy-efficient hybrid propulsion system for the newbuild.

It consists of 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 that 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, plus steering gears and tunnel thrusters.

World Explorer's operating speed will be 16 knots and the ship will have a IB ice class/Polar Class C rating.

According to Ferreira, from an environmental perspective, it will meet the highest emissions, waste treatment and no-discharge standards for operations in the polar regions, Alaska and the Baltic.

The ship will fly the Portuguese flag and carry 111 international crew.

Quark Expeditions has chartered World Explorer for the 2018/19 and 2019/20 Antarctica seasons. The rest of the year it will sail for Germany's Nicko Cruises, a company owned by Mystic Invest.