Mystic Cruises Announces Trio of Captains for World Explorer

Mystic Cruises has announced three experienced captains for the new World Explorer, which launches service for Nicko Cruises this May.

Mário Ferreira, owner of Mystic Cruises and Nicko Cruises, introduced the three experienced captains who have been working with him for the last year, developing a sophisticated and technological advanced series of hybrid propulsion expedition ships.

The World Explorer will be the first in a series of at least three 200-guest ships, with sisters following in 2020 and 2021.

The captains are: Alex Zakalashnnyuk from Russia, Filipe Sousa from Portugal and Terje Willassen from Norway.

“The World Explorer will take passengers to unique locations of great beauty and unspoiled landscapes, such as Antarctica, the Arctic or the Norwegian Fjords. These are also very demanding destinations in terms of navigation that require great knowledge and trained skillsets,” Ferreira said.

Mystic Fleet

Added Captain Willassen: “These kind of expedition vessels are special in everything, but I like in particular the very secure maneuverable small size vessel and the luxurious modern style of design.”

The company also announced the ship will be christened on April 6, and it will open a sales office in Ft. Lauderdale ahead of placing the World Navigator into the North American market in 2021.

Captain Sousa noted: “I joined this project because I like the challenge of steering smaller ships into beautiful scenery. They offer unique challenges in terms of navigation skills and time seems to run faster. I love working on the cruise industry, meeting new passengers each week, and this is a project that will allow me to continuing doing so, and travel to some more new destinations”.

Captain Zakalashnnyuk said he was looking forward to commanding “an ultra well-equipped ship for expedition and exploring style cruises, with the latest and more advanced equipment, that was included in its construction, all the knowledge and sophisticated technical improvements developed on the last decade in the maritime industry are onboard giving us a feel like we are on the bridge of a large yacht”.

For Mystic Cruises, recruiting these three experienced captains represents a significant long-term investment.

“We’re very happy with the team we built. We’ve got three exceptionally experienced captains, that will ensure our ship is in the best hands, but that will also help us develop our fleet, something they’ve already been doing for about a year, and train the next generation of Mystic Cruises captains,” added Ferreira. 

Willassen brings more than 30 years of experience to Mystic, and is a veteran of the Norwegian Fjords and Nordic Sea sailings. A safety specialist, he has worked with several high profile companies during his long career.

Captain Sousa hails from Portugal and brings 25 years of experience at sea, with considerable experience in the cruise industry.

Finally, Captain Zakalashnyuk brings 21 years of Polar Region experience to Mystic.

Top photo (from left): Willassen, Sousa and Zakalashnyuk.

Cruise Industry News Email Alerts

Cruise Industry News Email Alerts



Get the latest breaking cruise newsSign up.


51 Ships | 109,838 Berths | $35 Billion | View

New 2024 Drydock REPORT


  • Mkt. Overview
  • Record Year
  • Refit Schedule
  • 120 Pages
  • PDF Download
  • Order Today
New 2024 Annual Report


  • 2033 Industry Outlook 
  • All Operators
  • Easy to Use
  • Pre-Order Offer
  • Order Today