Immediate boarding for an unforgettable cruise
Since 2001, Rivages du Monde has been committed to offering its passengers exclusive and increasingly original destinations on the world’s waterways. Between river cruises on the Mekong or the Danube, maritime cruises in the Azores or in the Far North and coastal cruises in Croatia or Costa Rica, the company presents a rich programme: exceptional itineraries taking travellers off the beaten track.
Cruise ships, yachts and river vessels offer luxurious comfort and the best facilities: relaxation areas to ensure travellers’ peace and quiet, observation decks and restaurants with panoramic views of the floating landscape. These top-of-the-range ships are human-sized, accommodating less than 200 passengers and promoting conviviality on board.
For a total immersion in the culture of the visited regions, lecturers, present on the ship, bring their historical, geopolitical, ecological or cultural insights. These enthusiasts, geographers, historians or ethnographers, share their knowledge with an educational approach. A fully French-speaking accompaniment for the comfort of everyone.
For more than 20 years, Rivages du Monde has been contributing to an ever more innovative, but also responsible tourism. Indeed, the company is committed to various actions to offset its impact and promote humanist and sustainable values, which Thomas Huertas will detail in the following interview.
Villas Décoration is a magazine that is very committed to sustainable development and the environment. Can you tell us about the environmental features of this boat?
The World Explorer is a luxury cruise ship built in 2019 in Portugal. It complies with all the latest certifications and regulations regarding environmental protection.
In practice, on a daily basis, this means fighting against the use of plastic on board, cardboard and paper. Moreover, the logbook is entirely digital.
This boat has been designed to limit its environmental impact. The boat does not emit particles (smoke) from the chimneys, all of which is filtered.
A modern system, found in the best water treatment plants, recycles and purifies the water. To supply the cabins with drinking water, we desalinate sea water.
The primary objective was therefore to build the most environmentally friendly ship. A commitment that constitutes the founding values of the company and allows us to sail in new places where other ships cannot, such as Antarctica, Spitzbergen or the east coast of Greenland.
This boat can also stay in place without dropping anchor thanks to a stabilisation system that respects the underwater flora. Indeed, dropping the anchor, weighing several hundred kilos, damages the seabed, reefs and coral. With the help of small hybrid motors, operated by GPS, the boat corrects its parking itself.
What would you say to Villas readers if they had to choose between going on an expedition trip on the World Explorer or staying in a 5-star hotel?
You are on board a 5-star hotel. A floating hotel, upscale and environmentally friendly. The success of this boat comes from the combination of luxury, relaxation and escape.
The passenger, who wants to cruise in the Azores and who wants to rest and enjoy the sun, will find himself perfectly at ease in this boat.
But for those who want to experience a real expedition, this ship will meet their expectations. The World Explorer is a category 1B icebreaker, capable of sailing in the most remote areas of the world. Although it is possible to leave on board a zodiac, which is less comfortable, Rivages du Monde offers an experience beyond the expedition. When the passenger returns on board the World Explorer, he or she will have all the comforts of a 5-star hotel to recover from the emotions experienced outside.
All in all, it is a boat that can be experienced both in terms of expeditions and more classic cruises.
On board, passengers are very aware of the decoration (contemporary decoration, noble materials and attention to detail). Who is behind this welcoming design?
This comes from the company’s owner Mário Ferreira. This Portuguese businessman owns several 5-star hotels in Porto and many restaurants in Portugal, including a monumental and extraordinary sushi bar.
In all his establishments, you find this warm atmosphere, beige tones, shades of brown, and a lot of refinement… He is a man with good taste and is very attached to decoration.
I’ve had the chance to work on various ships, especially river ships, and I’ve always found the same warmth and friendliness. His World Explorer ship is a real success.
You are attached to the brand, the brand name and the quality of the boat, so we would like to ask you a slightly more personal question: what were the determining factors that made you decide to take over the management of this boat?
Let’s just say that Rivages du Monde is a family business. We are a small team of about forty people and we all know each other. We are far from the large structures where the passengers number 3,000 or even 4,000 on big boats and the guides don’t really know each other. In the same way that travellers on the same cruise cannot all exchange.
Here, in our small units of about 100-150 passengers, we know all the passengers after a week, as well as the crew. This makes it possible to work in a friendly manner. And this is reflected in the passengers.
So that’s why I agreed to take over the management. But it’s also a choice of comfort, because working on a 5-star floating boat is wonderful. We don’t have to worry about little details that might go wrong. We offer a quality service where the crew makes sure that the experience is 5-star.
To go on an adventure on board the World Explorer :