Bernhard Schulte Ship management’s (BSM) project management unit Schulte Marine Concept (SMC) has secured a contract from Portugal-based Mystic Cruises to provide technical consultancy and newbuild supervision services.

The services to be offered by SMC are expected to support the construction of Mystic Cruises’ new ocean-going expedition cruise ship, MS World Explorer.

The 126m-long vessel will be built in accordance with the latest Polar Code operating requirements and will be able to accommodate 200 passengers and 111 crew members upon completion.

MS World Explorer will also feature hybrid power and propulsion technology, which will allow the ship to cruise in environmentally sensitive areas.

The vessel’s construction is already underway at the West Sea shipyard in Viana do Castello, northern Portugal. It is planned to enter service by next year.

SMC managing director Krzysztof Kozdron said: “Schulte Marine Concept is pleased to enter the expedition cruise newbuilding segment with an innovative vessel such as the World Explorer, which will be the ultimate benchmark for environmental sustainability and luxury cruising in remote areas.”

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The company is working with Bernhard Schulte Cruise Services (BS Cruise) to carry out a variety of works under the newly awarded contract.

“Schulte Marine Concept is pleased to enter the expedition cruise newbuilding segment with an innovative vessel such as the World Explorer.”

Mystic Group currently operates 16 vessels on the Douro River in Portugal via its river cruise arm DouroAzul.

The company also owns Germany’s Nicko Cruises, which operates 20 river vessels worldwide, ranging from the rivers Danube, Rhine and Elbe to Yangtze, Mekong and Nile.

Both DouroAzul and Nicko are expected to expand their fleets with new vessels by next year.

Mystic Group is also planning to add at least three new vessels into service over the next four years.