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Seeing the world with fresh eyes: the WORLD EXPLORER

The new WORLD EXPLORER by nicko cruises is setting off to discover the world: a small expedition ship that explorers and cruise fans will love equally. We take a look around on board and meet the people who have already lost their hearts to the ship – the crew.
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The far north and the Baltic, the coasts of western Europe and the Mediterranean, South America and Antarctica: the new WORLD EXPLORER will be more than living up to its name. Its itinerary includes 25 countries and 16 routes specially chosen for this expedition ship with compact dimensions that allow it to leave the beaten path. Its cruises will take it through the Norwegian Inside Passage, enable it to sail under London’s Tower Bridge to moor on the Thames next to HMS BELFAST, access the city centre cruise terminals in St. Petersburg and Hamburg or moor in the Puerto Banús marina in Marbella. At 126 metres long, 19 metres wide and with a modest draught of only 4.7 metres, the WORLD EXPLORER was designed to explore the world’s most beautiful and fascinating places.

Clear sailing for explorers:
Amadeu Albuquerque, Capitan of the WORLD EXPLORER

“I grew up in Cascais, just outside Lisbon, on the seafront, and have always been fascinated by the sea. By the time I was 16, I knew that I wanted to work on a ship. I have been a captain for 37 years now. I spent many years working for a large American cruise line, steering gigantic ships. When I first came on board the WORLD EXPLORER, I had to adjust to the smaller dimensions. This size of this vessel makes it truly special: it is cosy and intimate, and it enables us to take unique routes and stop off where larger ships cannot go. I took the position as captain of the WORLD EXPLORER because for me it restores the joy of being a captain. The ship is equipped with the most advanced technology, including a pioneering engine system and innovative waste incineration. But, ultimately, the most important instruments on the bridge are our brains.”

It’s not just the routes that make this newbuild ship so unique: with a maximum of 200 guests and a crew of 105, the WORLD EXPLORER guarantees an intimate travel experience, something that many cruise passengers miss on the larger ships.

Welcome on board:
Isabella Sommer, Chief Purser on the WORLD EXPLORER

“My job as Chief Purser includes managing the reception. The first point of contact for our guests is the check-in on the day they come aboard. On the WORLD EXPLORER we use state-of-the-art-technology. Our guests are given a key card that gives them access to their cabin and is also used as a kind of ID card on board. A picture of the guest is saved on the card and a barcode records when they leave the ship. This means that my team and I always know which guests are on board and which are on shore. We are also there to help our guests at any point during the journey. On a ship the size of the WORLD EXPLORER this makes for a wonderfully intimate level of contact and atmosphere.”

Small but exquisite is the motto on board. The cabins, staterooms and public areas of the WORLD EXPLORER offer a deluxe 5-star hotel experience with plenty of space to enjoy. The cabins are between 17 and 41 square metres, the design is tastefully modern with a cool Nordic style featuring blonde wood and subtle coloured details. Highlights include walk-on balconies and the wonderful surprise of the windows in the “Infinity cabins”, which have floor-to-ceiling glass elements where the top section can be lowered to form a Juliet balcony.
In the public areas on the WORLD EXPLORER, nicko cruises has used the impact of open spaces, natural daylight and the stunning views to create an elegant and yet inviting ambiance. The Observation Lounge has wrap-around windows and a glass dome, offering unsurpassed views of the sky, the stars and – naturally – the coastlines, peaks and mountain tops, providing a truly cinematic experience, whether it happens to be sailing past the coast of Greenland or any other the ship’s other fascinating routes. The comfortable, open-plan Main Lounge also features large panorama windows and a mirrored ceiling. For guests who want to indulge, the stylish Cigar Lounge is the perfect place to smoke and contemplate. Body and soul will love the wellness and fitness facilities, which include a sauna, heated outdoor pool and whirlpool on deck, a gym with the latest cardio equipment, with yoga and Pilates classes, massages and spa treatments.

The well-being factor:
Anke Ulisch, Cruise Manager on WORLD EXPLORER

“A cruise manager is always the first port of call for guests on board. On small ships like the WORLD EXPLORER, I have plenty of time to interact with guests and take care of their needs. I work in a close team with the captain and the hotel manager, and together we ensure that our guests feel utterly and completely at home on board our ship. I also organise our shore excursions and do everything I can to ensure that our guests take back home unforgettable memories from the WORLD EXPLORER’s incomparable routes.”

Carefully curated excursions are part of the experience: using the ship’s own Zodiacs, passengers can enjoy close encounters with flora and fauna in selected regions – and with a bit of luck may be able to observe the local wildlife at close quarters. Guests also benefit from the expertise provided by an experienced team of lecturers and expedition leaders, particularly for excursions to the polar regions.

The fascination of travel:
Marieluise Erhart, Lecturer on board the WORLD EXPLORER

“I started working on ships in 2002, and have had the opportunity to see many destinations. Travelling to different countries and immersing myself in local cultures has always fascinated me. As a lecturer, I try to bring the guests closer to the country and its people and prepare them for the next port of call by providing as much information as I can. The small WORLD EXPLORER has a wonderful auditorium that gives me the perfect setting to share with our guests the fascination of travel and the beauty of our earth.”

In sensitive regions, like for instance the far north, sustainable, low-impact travel is essential. The WORLD EXPLORER is the result of several years of research, development and close attention to detail, for example the propulsion technology. The ship has an environmentally friendly propulsion system and can glide through the waters almost silently and with reduced emissions.
For nicko cruises, the WORLD EXPLORER is the ideal stepping-stone from river to ocean. The design brief for the sea cruiser was based on passenger wishes and the cruise line’s extensive experience with river cruises: not too many passengers, only outside cabins with balconies, German spoken on board and on shore excursions. On top of this, pre-bookable excursion packages, easy arrival and departure packages and excellent value for money add to the appeal of the cruises on this stunning ship. For the cruise line, the new ship marks the start of a new chapter in sea cruises. And, very soon, the WORLD EXPLORER won’t be the only expedition cruiser setting out to exciting destinations: the sister ship, the WORLD VOYAGER, is currently under construction.

A new era:
Marion Hilbrich, Head of Operations and Product Development at nicko cruises

“I look back on many years in the cruise industry. Before joining nicko cruises four years ago, I worked for another major German cruise line. Helping nicko cruises to grow from being a river cruise operator to a cruise specialist is an enormously exciting role. What makes WORLD EXPLORER and the sister ship WORLD VOYAGER, which launches next year, so special is their compact size. This allows my team and I to put together really fantastic routings, call in on ports and cruise through unique regions that the larger ocean-going vessels can only dream of reaching. One absolute highlight, for example, is the Corinth Canal on the 11-day cruise from Athens to Dubrovnik. We are currently working on the 2021 itinerary, and I can already reveal that we are adding a large number of attractive new destinations to the programme.”

Well worth discovering: the technology on board

The WORLD EXPLORER has been awarded Ice Class 1 B (for an ice thickness of up to 0.6 m) and meets the requirements of Polar Code 6. The ship’s diesel-electric propulsion system has significantly reduced fuel consumption. The two main Bergen diesel engines C25-33L8P à 9000 kW, one auxiliary Bergen diesel engine C2533L6P (two generators) and the PROMAS propulsion system were built by Rolls-Royce and allow the ship to be kept in one position without using the main engines. In calm waters, for example along the coasts of Norway or Greenland and in the Antarctic, the new technology makes it possible to travel with significantly reduced emissions using only the electric motors. The WORLD EXPLORER has a speed of 16 knots (29.6 km/h).

Pictures: Nicko Cruises