The Atlas Ocean Voyages launch was highly anticipated for August 2021. It's a unique cruise line for several awe-inspiring reasons.
What immediately appealed to us was its sleek design and its singular itineraries. But as we learned more and more about this luxe-adventure cruise brand, its appeal simply kept growing.
All images and renderings are courtesy of Atlas Ocean Voyages.
About Atlas Ocean Voyages
Atlas Ocean voyages is a North American brand that debuted in 2018, under Europe's incredibly successful Portugal-based Mystic Cruises company. The World Navigator, its premiere ship, is scheduled for an inaugural voyage in July 2021. She will have four sister-ships join the fleet before the end of 2023: The Atlas Ocean Voyages lineup will be: World Navigator, World Traveller, World Seeker, World Adventure and World Discoverer.
The World Navigator is 413 feet long and 62 feet wide. She was built at West Sea Viana Shipyard, in Viana do Castelo, in northern Portugal.
Where the Ships will Travel
Atlas Ocean Voyages small expedition cruise ship luxury brand will deliver once-in-a-lifetime adventures in unforgettable and secluded destinations. World Navigator will sail seven to 24-night itineraries in the Holy Land, Black and Mediterranean Seas in the summer 2021. This will be followed by nine to 13-night itineraries in the Caribbean, South America and Antarctica in winter 2021 and 2022.
Their cruise ships are Polar Category-C and Ice Class-1B certified expedition ships. This means the ships can navigate through moderate ice conditions year round, such as those it travels through in Antarctica. They also have the most-modern hygiene and cleanliness measures incorporated into their design.
Overview of Onboard Accommodations
There are 98 luxe suites and staterooms onboard, all with an ocean view and most with a private balcony. And that's not all that's outstanding and notable about Atlas Ocean Voyages! (Read on for more detailed in formation and additional photos.)
Dining Aboard the World Navigator
There are six onboard dining options:
- Porto, named after the brand's Portuguese roots, is the main dining room serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is an option to dine indoors or outside, al fresco, and the seating is open.
- Alma, which means, “soul.” This dining experience will feature soulful Portuguese recipes and bakeware, including classics like salted cod with onion, potatoes, olives and eggs from Lisbon, or “Bacalhau a Bras,” in Portuguese.
- 7AFT Grill, is a unique and intimate chophouse onboard. Chefs will use a gourmet charcoal oven preparation technique called “jospering,” which originated in Barcelona in 1969. They will prepare proteins like Black Angus filets, shrimp, lobster, lamb saddle and New York strip steaks with the jospering method. The World Navigator will be the first shipboard venue in the world to feature this style of cooking.
- The Dome is the perfect location for a light, late lunch with a view. Its floor-to-ceiling windows and 270o, forward-facing, observation lounge take inspiration from the horizon and sky in its design. Enjoy things like tea with a specialty sandwich, or coffee and a piece of cake here.
- Paula’s Pantry is named for Mrs. Paula Ferreira. She is the Mystic Invest executive, co-owner, and wife of Chairman Mário Ferreira, the founder of Atlas Ocean Voyages. Here, sustainable and eco-friendly products and food are top of mind. For instance, bamboo straws and biodegradable plates and cups will be used for this grab-and-go experience. They'll feature coffee and espresso drinks, detoxing juices, soups, salads, cold sandwiches and cupcakes.
- In-room dining has an “always available” menu for all guests, featuring options like tomato cream soup, club sandwich or a vegan eggplant burger. Two options are available for breakfast as well.
1. Atlas Ocean Voyages has All Inclusive, All the Way Sailings
Atlas Ocean Voyages sailings are deemed, “All Inclusive, All the Way.” What exactly does this mean and include?
All Inclusive, All the Way includes:
- Roundtrip airfare to get to your cruise departure destination from major US and Canadian cities
- Unlimited premium alcohol (cheers to that!)
- L'Occitane bath products
- Onboard Wifi
- Emergency Medical Evacuation (we expand on this, below)
- Shore excursions in select ports
- Butler service for suite guests
- Onboard binoculars
- Prepaid gratuities
2. The World's First L'Occitane Luxury Spa at Sea
Speaking of L'Occitane products, Atlas Ocean Voyages is the first cruise ship to not just have L'Occitane bath products in guest cabins, but also the first cruise line to have a L'Occitane spa at sea! Which is why it's called the SeaSpa by L'OCCITANE.
L'Occitane has over 100 spas in 30 countries. Although they offer many land-based opportunities to experience their spas around the globe, this is their first venture to the open waters.
You may recognize the name “L'Occitane en Provence” (mais oui, c'est Francais!) from their retail shops. But their world class spas will really wow you. They use sensory techniques in conjunction with top quality products to create ultimate massage experiences, whether targeting your body or face.
The 947 square foot SeaSpa will be on Deck 4 and the two treatment rooms will be in high demand. We recommend making your spa appointment as soon as possible, even before you board with the help of an Atlas Ocean Voyages reservation specialist.
When your appointment arrives, plan to spend more than simply your treatment time at the spa. For example, you'll want to allot time to detox inside the infrared sauna. Or, spend time relaxing on their serenity lounge chairs as you gaze out to the expansive seascape before you.
3. They're the First to Include Emergency Medical Evacuation
If health isn't already on the mind of all travelers (even if in the back of one's mind) the pandemic of 2020 may have brought it into focus. Additional medical options are always welcomed, even if precautionary, for those “just in case” instances.
Atlas Ocean Voyages includes Emergency Medical Evacuation and Return to Home Insurance with each booked sailing.
Additionally, they have an “Atlas Assurance” program, which provides a variety of emergency services and support, around the world. This is included for all guests as part of their, “All Inclusive, All the Way” pricing.
Legal services are even included in Atlas Assurance's network of professionals who are ready to provide guests support, wherever they may be on during their journey. It includes things you may never have thought you'd need…until you do:
- Lost document assistance
- 24-hour emergency travel arrangements
- Embassy and consular assistance
- Traveling companion transportation
- Worldwide legal coverage and bail bonds assistance
4. Its State-of-the-Art Technology is Less Harmful to the Environment
Atlas Ocean Voyages will have the best technology onboard; even may feel or hear its effects, even in places they can't see. This is significant in the world of cruising and, most vitally, to the environment.
The World Navigator – and all additional Atlas Ocean Voyages ships – will use hydro jets manufactured by leading German propulsion company, SCHOTTEL.
The Chairman of Mystic Invest, the holding company of Mystic Cruises and Atlas Ocean Voyages, Mário Ferreira, said: “Our goal is to build the cleanest, safest and quietest expedition ships that meet and exceed the strict requirements of the regions where our ships sail. We designed our cruise ships to ensure that we do our part to help sustain these unparalleled places for future generations to enjoy. These SCHOTTEL exclusive thrusters are perfect for bringing guests closer to more marine wildlife – safely and sustainably. We can stop our ships’ propellers and engage the pump jets to quietly cruise up to five knots in wildlife-rich waters and not frighten away the beautiful fish. SCHOTTEL’s Pump Jets are very effective aboard previous Mystic Cruises ships, and we have again opted for SCHOTTEL’s system for Atlas Ocean Voyages’ expedition ships.”
Atlas Ocean Voyages is also able to do anchorless stopping with dynamic positioning, which is based on satellite connections, partially thanks to their hydro jets. For those familiar with ship engineering, the hydro jets act like Azipods (which is a gearless, steerable propulsion system that fully rotates) without actually have Azipods onboard. The captain can turn the hydro jets 360 degrees, which allows for increased maneuverability.
The Benefit of Using Hydro Jets
Hydro jets minimize underwater noise, which scare and stress wildlife. Some fish even die from this stress! Atlas Ocean Voyages ships will be able to cruise, virtually silent, for up to five knots closer to sensitive marine habitats without scaring away the wildlife. (#4 on our list of 8 Unique Things about Atlas Ocean Voyages goes into more detail to explain how this is possible.)
The hydro jets, along with a hybrid power management system, result in decreased fuel consumption. Because of this, the ship consumes as low as one-fifth the fuel that some of the ships it may pass by in the water consume.
They are the Only Class of Cruise Ships with Alternate Silent Propulsion Drive
Are you ready for a lesson in ship engineering? It's very interesting!
Regular cruise ship propellers spin and create millions of bubbles, in an action called cavitation. (It's actually how submarines track ships.) You're probably familiar with the term, “propeller,” which is on the exterior of a vessel, including most ships. But hydro jets are “inpellers,” meaning they are located on the interior of a ship. The technology is derived from ferries and some jet skis.
Hydro jets suck water from in front of them and push it out the back. This creates less bubbles in the water, similar to how a jet engine operates.
The issue with propellers is that the millions of little bubbles they create pop and scare off fish. With inpellers, like the hydro jets used on Atlas Ocean Voyages ships, significantly less bubbles are produced. They are remarkably quiet and less disturbing to the ocean. And this is why Atlas Ocean Voyages ships can roll into a sensitive water habitat and not alarm the wildlife as much.
If you're a visual person, like us, check out this SCHOTTEL company video to further understand how hydro jets move and operate:
5. Atlas Ocean Voyages Offers Guests Vacations within Vacations, with “Max Shore”
“Max Shore” adventures are complimentary overnight excursions for three to five nights at a time. They allow guests to take advantage of inland experiences that they would need more than a few hours in port to experience.
You'll know if a cruise you're looking up on their website includes this option because it will have a MAX SHORE notation for these offerings. An example of a Max Shore experience is going glamping (that's glamorous camping if you're new to the term) under the Jordanian stars, then catching the sunrise over Petra the next morning. Wow!
6. They're the First Cruise Line to Offer Legal Weddings in Antarctica
Atlas Ocean Voyages announced a first in the cruise industry: if you sail on their February 14, 2022 Antarctica cruise, they're offering engaged couples the chance to wed on the illusive seventh continent, complimentary. They hope to be able to offer this to couples in the future, beyond the February 2022 sailing, as well.
There is no location more unique than the Antarctic to start the next chapter of your lives together. However, Atlas Ocean Voyages promises to make the occasion extra special. Personally for us, this beautifully melds our worlds together: our passion for travel and small format cruises, for marketing and for destination wedding photography.
Can you imagine saying “I do” with penguins and seals as your guests and turquoise blue icebergs as your backdrop for wedding photos?
How cool would it be to have a marriage license stating you got married in Antarctica? (The marriage license will be issued by Britain and will say Antarctica in terms of geography. (There's reciprocity between England and United States marriages, so there's no need to file additional paperwork back in your home country.)
If you want to be married with the officiant offered by Atlas Ocean Voyages, it will likely their Cruise Director, which would be extra special! If you want to bring your own officiant, you're welcome to at your own expense.
7. They Have the Industry's Lowest Forward Observation Bow
The World Navigator has a forward observation bow that is about 30 feet above the water, bringing guests as close as possible to ocean life.
It's called “Water's Edge,” and is the lowest observation bow in the industry!
It also has the only heated wraparound bench on any cruise ship's bow. (Trust us, when you're in a cold place it's such a wonderful welcome luxury to have some heat warming your body. We wish we had that on our Maine Windjammer sailing adventure as the cold wind was hitting us, or on our Tromso boat excursion in the Arctic Circle!)
8. They're Offering Solo Suites
If you're a solo traveler you have to pay a solo supplement to sail onboard most ships. We know – it sucks! Why be “punished” with an additional fee for being fierce and strong enough to travel solo?
Starting in March 2022, Atlas Ocean Voyages is offering solo suites without any supplemental cost. The solo suite will be an option amongst their World Navigator ship's four suite categories.
The solo suite will feature a plush queen size bed within its 183 square feet. And for the ultimate luxury and “treat yourself” experience without leaving your stateroom, you can hop into your mosaic-tiled rain shower, complete with soothing body jets.
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