The third of six packages ordered by Mystic Cruises from West Sea, in Viana do Castelo, is already undergoing sea tests, said today the company of Mário Ferreira, who this year paid 110 million euros to those shipyards.
And In statements today to the Lusa agency, the businessman said that despite the “uncertainty” caused by the covid -19 pandemic , Mystic Cruises’ investment plan in shipbuilding remains unchanged as it considers that the segment of international luxury cruises will grow “exponentially” in the next year.
“We believe that this market will have an exponential growth. Those who did not make the trips this year, will be more cautious, but will definitely try to travel on more intimate and smaller ships.
That is why we are building with this strength and will, despite having to make an additional effort in a difficult year like this, maintaining this investment grade in shipbuilding. We were one of the few operators in the world that did not suspend shipbuilding during this period “, stated Mário Ferreira.
“It was possible for us to maintain these processes due to strict planning and financial effort. We maintained the 110 million euros foreseen in shipbuilding in Viana do Castelo for the year 2020, thus supporting such a vital sector of the Portuguese economy,” he said.
The businessman, who was speaking to Lusa the way to the start of sea trials phase of the ‘World Navigator’, the third of a total fleet of six shipping vessels to Mystic Cruises plans to put in activity until 2023, stressed that “in the sector of cruises, smaller vessels will be the first to be in greater demand because customers will increasingly seek fewer crowds and will not want to travel on ships with 5,000 passengers, preferring the one with a capacity of less than 200 “.
“For this reason, we did not delay the construction and the investment plan, running the risk of having, as we have, in the port of Viana do Castelo three packages, two finished and one in the final stage, and the fourth to enter the dock to be assembled”, he highlighted.
Mário Ferreira referred to the ‘World Explorer’, which began operating in August 2019 and stopped in April due to the pandemic of covid -19, the ‘Word Voyager’, which should begin later this month, but he saw an expedition canceled for the German market, with the first trip expected to take place in mid- September. The third in the fleet, the ‘World Navigator’, already in the testing phase, should start operating in the summer of next year.
“The blocks of the fourth ship are almost all made. In September , it will start to be assembled inside the dock. The fifth is in the cutting phase, followed by the last one”, he added.
In addition to those three, Mystic Cruises ordered from the West Sea shipyards a ship to the Douro, which has already been completed and has never sailed from Viana do Castelo.
“It hasn’t even been released. It is the most luxurious ship built for the Douro, which was supposed to start operating in April , and it hasn’t even left, nor will it leave Viana do Castelo. It won’t be used this year”.
With capacity for 200 passengers and 130 crew members, “the ship of nation – building, is prepared to navigate the Antarctic frozen seas and the Arctic as well as perform cruises transatlantic â nticos and exploration programs in some of the most ‘exclusive’ destinations world”.
” We invest in the construction of ships that allow us to offer a service more personalized onboard, and access to more restricted destinations where large passenger ships can not reach,” he said pointing destinations like MediterrÃ¡neo â neo , Egypt and the Holy Land, Black Sea with possibility to visit Chernobyl, and the trip transatlantic â semantics between Portugal and Brazil, as well as cruises in the waters icy Antarctica and the Arctic .