First take a look at World Voyager, the trendy new expedition cruise ship from Atlas Ocean Voyages

You possibly can inform rather a lot about an expedition ship from the best way it handles tough seas and storms.

World Voyager, the third ship for fast-growing newcomer Atlas Ocean Voyages, was put by its paces throughout a tempest of wind and waves on its current nine-day maiden voyage to Antarctica.

It dealt with it with ease.

That is because of the ship’s new, state-of-the-art stabilizing twin Rolls-Royce retractable fins and superior hydrodynamic design.

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Crossing the fearsome Drake Passage — the violent confluence of three seas between the tip of South America and Antarctica — the ocean pitched, rolled and yawed. It was the dreaded Drake Shake. Waves lept to 39 toes, however we have been buffered towards the worst of it as we zig-zagged to briefings, polar gear fittings, welcome drinks and dinners.

I obtained to see these stabilizers in motion once more within the white continent, flying on the coattails of 100-knot winds. Snow fell sideways. Spectral winds chased jitterbug seas. Onboard, there was nothing however easy crusing, even on the treadmill within the gymnasium.

Introducing World Voyager

World Voyager in Antarctica. BELINDA LUKSIC/THE POINTS GUY

World Voyager is an intimate ship designed for what Atlas Ocean Voyages likes to name “expedition yachting” in a number of the most distant pockets of the globe. Proper now, that is Antarctica. Like sister ice-class ships World Traveller and World Navigator, this ship has state-of-the-art sonar that enables it to journey deep into polar areas and Zodiac inflatable boats on board for exploring off the ship.

However the ship would not provide immersive journey solely in far-flung locales. Within the coming months, World Voyager will head north for warm-weather sailings within the Mediterranean, northern Europe and the British Isles; there, it can swap the Zodiacs for Jet Skis, kayaks and paddleboards.

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The ship can maneuver into small harbors and slender rivers that greater ships cannot. That is one thing Atlas is eager to capitalize on through the coming 12 months with warm-water sailings that invite a deeper connection to meals tradition and historical past. New Epicurean Expeditions might be centered on meals excursions, cooking demonstrations, native cooks and vintners, and wine tastings. I obtained to pattern a few of these wines — together with a Miraval rose from Provence, France — and might vouch for his or her excellence.

One of many greatest variations between an expedition ship and a number of the greater luxurious cruise ships is the professional crew of marine biologists, ornithologists, glaciologists and historians onboard; they enrich day by day outings with talks and day by day recaps. World Voyager travels with as much as 14 expedition leaders. Nonetheless, its program is lighter than what you will discover on the expedition vessels of extra established gamers within the house, corresponding to Lindblad Expeditions, Silversea Cruises and Quark Expeditions.

Nonetheless, the enrichment choices from World Voyager’s expedition crew are simply a part of a wider leisure program. This system consists of afternoon tea, trivia, night motion pictures, late-night cabaret reveals and an always-open and full of life Dome observatory bar — an array of diversions you do not at all times discover on expedition ships.

On this means, the ship straddles big-ship leisure and small-ship journey. It is early days, and the crew remains to be discovering its sea legs — common for a brand new ship. Nevertheless, there may be speak of getting the expedition crew to dine with visitors.

Associated: The last word information to Atlas Ocean Voyages

It is good worth


Touring to far-flung locations with an intimate coterie of like-minded vacationers is among the luxuries of expedition cruising. Atlas Ocean Voyages’ World Voyager is among the smallest ships of its type. The 9,935-ton ship has the capability for 198 passengers, however that quantity drops to a mere 178 individuals in Antarctica, with cabins given to visitor lecturers and entertainers. Our maiden voyage had solely 138.

For such a big-ticket cruise, the group was comparatively younger. I put this all the way down to Atlas’ present provide that enables the second visitor to sail free; the deal consists of in a single day lodging and return personal constitution flights from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, Argentina. It is a hanging worth for a nine-night Antarctica journey, beginning at simply $10,599 per particular person.

Like most ships on the excessive finish, Atlas features a lot in its base value. Onboard lodging, all meals, most drinks, gratuities and shore excursions are a part of the ticket value, plus round-trip airfares from choose U.S. and Canadian gateways. Emergency medical evacuation insurance coverage can be included — one thing few different expedition corporations provide.

What’s not included in Atlas fares are shelf liquors (a shot of Belvedere vodka will set you again $7), premium wines or Champagne. Shipboard Wi-Fi additionally comes at a steep value (500MB for $45, 1GB for $80 or 5GB for $350) and might solely be used on one gadget. It is an irritation when you think about most ships allow you to swap between gadgets — and that many luxurious expedition ships in the identical house provide shipboard Wi-Fi free of charge.

Associated: I jumped off a cruise ship in Antarctica and lived to inform the story

World Voyager is made for design lovers


Cruise ship decor switches from cookie-cutter magnificence to such dizzying colours and patterns you would be forgiven for considering a toddler was let unfastened within the craft cabinet.

Not World Voyager. The ship exudes sophistication.

Inbuilt 2020, the ship initially sailed for Germany-based Nicko Cruises, owned by the identical Portuguese firm that owns Atlas Ocean Voyages. When the ship switched allegiances, it additionally obtained a design refresh.

The result’s a meet-cute of Scandinavian minimalism and artwork deco gorgeousness that would not look misplaced in a boutique resort.

It marks a departure for Atlas, which partnered on its first two ships with Portuguese design agency Oitoemponto. The shiny mahogany wooden paneling and ornamental European materials are gone, traded for a lighter, extra pared-back look; it favors Scandi-inspired blonde wooden, black and white marble flooring, geometric carpets, wealthy rust velvet function lounges, gilt highlights and superb pops of gemstone colour.

The ship is simple to navigate, with a flooring plan that flows seamlessly between venues. Deck 4 is house to the primary public areas, together with the lecture auditorium, lounge bar, foyer, cafe (a fast cease for juice pictures, smoothies, espresso espresso, pastries and hearty snacks), a small store and the primary eating room.

A small, well-equipped gymnasium is tucked away on the port aspect. In the meantime, the aft is house to a tiny L’Occitane spa with two therapy rooms, the gifted fingers of masseur Akom, a chill lounge and a sauna with a glass wall.

The ship provides views for days

Statement lounge on World Voyager. BELINDA LUKSIC/THE POINTS GUY

Nature is the star attraction on any expedition cruise, one thing Atlas is aware of nicely. The complete ship is dripping with indoor and outside areas that ship dress-circle views of icebergs, whales, birdlife and dazzling sunsets.

The Dome observatory lounge provides views in spades. Located on the entrance of the ship, on the best deck, the lounge boasts curved floor-to-ceiling glass and a wonderful wraparound viewing platform, each of which serve up spectacular 270-degree views.

Two decks beneath is Water’s Edge: one other beautiful spot on the ship’s bow, with magical views on three sides and a heated wraparound bench (a welcome seat on chilly polar days). Three different viewing platforms — on the rear of Madeira restaurant on Deck 4 and on passenger decks 5 and 6 — make for a simple exit each time nature beckons.

Associated: Antarctica gear information: What you should pack for a visit to the White Continent

Cabins provide entrance row seats to the motion outdoors

Horizon Stateroom on World Voyager. BELINDA LUKSIC/THE POINTS GUY

In polar climates the place the temperature usually dips beneath 32 levels, a non-public balcony would appear pointless. No shock then that the ship’s Horizon Staterooms — the kind of cabin that I skilled whereas on board — earn factors for his or her beneficiant 270 sq. meters of temperature-controlled bliss. A step up from the Veranda Staterooms with their commonplace cruise ship balconies, these rooms claw again 55 sq. meters of icy outside house for just a bit more cash.

The Horizon Staterooms function what Atlas calls a Juliette balcony — a wall of floor-to-ceiling glass with an electrical top-drop window, simply managed by the contact of a button. (Some river cruise ships have these, and so they’re akin to the “infinite verandas” on Superstar Cruises’ Edge Class ships.)

The expertise was like being in an IMAX Theatre. From my room, I had a front-row seat to Antarctica’s larger-than-life pure drama. Window down, I watched petrels coast the Drake Passage, the roar and tang of the ocean outdoors delivered to me in 3D to counteract the pitching swell. I noticed whales, cartwheeling penguins and an iceberg greater than an residence block.

Cabins include a queen-size mattress and Portuguese linens, a stocked minibar (beer and tender drinks solely), Ksumi teas, nonetheless and glowing water in reusable glass bottles, and a Nespresso machine. In-room binoculars are a pleasant contact.

Loos function L’Occitane toiletries and a walk-in mosaic glass bathe with a rain head, handheld wand and physique jets. Storage general appeared on the small aspect for 2 individuals, however the primary downside was noise. My room was portside within the again, and it was so noisy that the clanking of the engine usually woke me up.

World Voyager provides two- and three-person Horizon and Veranda staterooms, together with three classes of one-bedroom suites. These upgraded rooms function additional flooring house, a big balcony, a luxuriously deep bathtub, extra wardrobe house and the best luxurious of all: a private butler.

Associated: The whole lot you need to learn about cabins and suites on Atlas Ocean Voyages ships

The meals onboard is sustainable — and scrumptious

Restaurant on World Voyager. BELINDA LUKSIC/THE POINTS GUY

I discovered rather a lot to like in regards to the meals on board World Voyager, together with the plant-based and zero-waste menus rolled out throughout the fleet.

It is the type of sustainable eating that’s on pattern with luxurious vacationers eager to tread extra evenly.

Austrian-born govt chef Rene Aflenzes is behind the holistic menus discovered all through the ship that champion sluggish meals, molecular gastronomy and zero-waste rules. It is actually a root-to-stem and peel-to-core mindset about meals prep. Vegetable skins are dehydrated and become soup seasonings and garnishes. Complete fruit is magicked into delectably candy concoctions.

It is a part of an bold long-term plan to deliver a real nose-to-tail meals philosophy to the excessive seas.

Juice pictures, smoothies, house-made Bircher muesli, vegan oat slices, nutritious muffins and hearty snacks are the mainstay on the grab-and-go cafe, Paula’s Pantry; it additionally provides espresso espresso, donuts and pizza slices.

The buffet lunch within the Madeira eating room includes a devoted vegan salad station. Madeira turns into an a la carte restaurant within the night. Together with a contemporary menu, it provides a number of plant-based starters, mains and desserts, an “at all times accessible” plant-based steak and sprinkling of zero-waste dishes. Most have been good. The salads have been a bit hit-or-miss.

In a nod to Atlas’ Portugal-based dad or mum firm, Mystic Cruises, the menu additionally includes a handful of typical Portuguese dishes.

Meat lovers will get pleasure from meals in the primary eating room and at Deck 7’s poolside 7Aft Grill, the place meat is seared over Josper coals till smoky. In a coup for Atlas, the meat is from the identical butcher as Argentina’s famed Don Julio restaurant, ranked quantity 19 on the 2023 record of the World’s 50 Finest Eating places.

Backside line

Atlas Ocean Voyages’ new World Voyager is constructed for journey, with out the stuffiness that may come from extra severe expedition ships. It strikes the best steadiness between an expedition cruise vessel and a extra conventional luxurious ship, with late-night leisure and day by day Zodiac outings. Give it a go whereas fares stay one of many higher values in expedition cruising.

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