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Mystic Invest's Mário Ferreira first cruise executive in space

PHOTO: BLUE ORIGIN CRUISE_Astronaut_Mario_Ferreira.jpg
Mário Ferreira, third from left, is also the first person from Portugal to fly to space
Mystic Invest Holdings' Mário Ferreira became the first cruise executive in space as an astronaut aboard Thursday's Blue Origin flight.

He also made history as the first person from Portugal to fly to space.

Mystic Invest includes Mystic Cruises, the parent of Douro Azul that developed and leads the Douro River cruise business, Germany's Nicko Cruises and North America's Atlas Ocean Voyages.

Blue Origin

Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin on Aug. 4 successfully completed its sixth human spaceflight and the 22nd flight for the New Shepard program.

Besides Ferreira, the astronaut crew included Coby Cotton, Vanessa O’Brien, Clint Kelly III, Sara Sabry (the first person from Egypt to fly to space) and Steve Young. O’Brien became the first woman to reach extremes on land (Mount Everest), sea (Challenger Deep) and air (pass the Kármán line), completing the Explorers’ Extreme Trifecta, a Guinness World Record. 

'Early pioneers'

'It’s an honor for our team to provide our customers with a life-changing shift in perspective of our fragile planet,' said Phil Joyce, SVP, New Shepard. 'It's been just over a year since New Shepard’s first human flight, and we have now flown 31 humans above the Kármán line.'

Joyce thanked these 'early pioneers in helping us realize our vision of millions of people living and working in space for the benefit of Earth.'


Mário Ferreira on the cover of Seatrade Cruise Review in June 2019

Ferreira — Seatrade Cruise Personality of the Year in 2020 — is a self-made man who rose to become a national figure in his native Portugal.

Cunard crew member to entrepreneur

After moving to London on his own at age 16 to study at hotel school and work in a restaurant, he went to sea with Cunard for five years. Returning home to Porto, he bought a Douro day cruise boat, then a historic chateau he turned into a hotel and winery. Next he converted a day-cruise vessel into a hotel ship for Uniworld, which led to establishing his Douro Azul as the key builder and operator of Douro vessels for a host of brands.

Ferreira subsequently acquired Nicko Cruises and branched into building expedition ships for his own brands and for charter (Quark Expeditions is a client) with a growing fleet that's due to take delivery of World Traveller in the coming months for Atlas Ocean Voyages.

BLUE ORIGINCRUISE_Mario_Ferreira_Blue_Origin.jpg

From left, Sara Sabry, Steve Young, Coby Cotton, Vanessa O'Brien, Clint Kelly III, Mário Ferreira


Man of many facets

Ferreira is also a chef, a published photographer, editor, author, rally racer and helicopter pilot.

Now add to that astronaut.

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