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Explora Journeys: A New Luxury Cruise Line With a New (Resort) Approach!

The details are now coming out on Explora Journeys – a new luxury cruise line with a new approach; one that is more akin to a Resort at Sea combined with Destination Immersion.   I am pleased to finally be able to share them with you!

Explora Journey’s EXPLORA I

You may recall my “teaser” article last month: Explora Journeys: A New Luxury Cruise Line…And “An Ocean State of Mind”!  Explora Journeys is a new luxury brand, separate from its sister-brand MSC Cruises, with a strong financial backing and big plans with its first ship of four ships, EXPLORA I, which starts, well, its first journey on May 16, 2023.  

Notice I did not say “Inaugural Cruise” because Explora Journeys is focused not only on the onboard luxury experience but, well, the journey (destination immersion). So it will have eight (8) unique Inaugural Journeys; one for each new area of the world it travels to:

  • Mediterranean
  • Norwegian
  • United Kingdom
  • Iceland/Greenland
  • East Coast North American
  • Caribbean
  • South American
  • Hawaiian

Explora Journeys is also focused on more longer stays in port, more overnights, and more unique ports. There is more on this coming very soon!

But, alas, at least equal to the “travel” part of an Explora Journey is the luxury you will be enjoying along the way.  So in this article let’s get into the Resort at Sea as opposed to the traditional luxury cruise line!
I am going to address the elephant in the room right up front!  I know! I know! Many of you are thinking 900 guests. “That’s just too many for me.”\ Think of the lines at the main lounge, for breakfast, etc.” Well, let me give you some perspective…without drowning you in numbers:  Regent Seven Seas Splendor and  Seabourn Ovation have about the same amount of space per guest as EXPLORA I (and much more than Oceania Marina). That’s right! You will have as much space (and, as you will see below, with even larger accommodations).  And the guest-to-crew ratio is 1.25:1…just the same or better.
OK, now think “intimacy“. Huh?  That’s right! 
Explora Journeys has gone away from the traditional large spaces and toward more diverse, brilliantly designed, smaller, more experience-focused, spaces that draw you in rather than wow you with a fleeting moment of grandeur.  
Explora I Aft View - Two Outdoor Pools, Cabanas & Top Suites
EXPLORA I Aft View – Two Outdoor Pools, Cabanas & Top Suites
To start with, there is no traditional main restaurant, but again a more Luxury Resort approach; something that will most certainly disburse guests while providing a much more dynamic culinary experience onboard the ship. EXPLORA I will have nine (9) different Dining Venues which are more associated with the “cuisines of travel”:
  • Mediterranean;
  • Pan-Asian;
  • Steakhouse;
  • Italian; 
  • Chef’s Kitchen (private dining); 
  • A Concept restaurant (dedicated to visiting up and coming chefs – very cool);
  • Casual (including al fresco dining);
  • Coffee Lounge  and, of course,
  • In-Suite. 
EXPLORA I – Culinary Locations

There are four  (4) Swimming Pools on EXPLORA I…and not a central pool creating more intimate spaces should you so desire. There is a large Indoor Pool with a sliding glass roof plus three unique outdoor pools; all with a very Resort feel.

EXPLORA I Indoor Pool
EXPLORA I- Deck 12 Pool

Lounges? There are quite a few (10+) including a Whisky Bar and a Cigar Lounge. There is an Observation Lounge, a Lobby Bar (very hotel-eque), a number of poolside bars and lounges, the Coffee Lounge, and more.

Interested in the Fitness Center? There is a 2,900+ square foot facility in addition to 7,500+ square feet of indoor and outdoor Spa and Relaxation facilities which are coupled with an extensive onboard and onshore Wellness Program including nutrition and sleep programs. 

EXPLORA I will also have a Culinary Studio, a Casino, Main Lounge for shows, etc., as well as an Art Gallery.  Well, ya gotta have some traditional venues and amenities even on an untraditional ship!

When it comes to your AccommodationsExplora Journeys has actually taken the exact opposite approach. The Suites are large…and I mean overall the largest in the luxury cruise market.  No, I am not talking about one huge suite that is basically used for marketing while at the same time offering staterooms and calling them suites.  I am talking about every suite being spacious and well-designed.  

All suites have all that you would expect, including in-suite dining, complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi with multiple sign-ons, and bedside wireless charging stations (USB charging ports will be so passe in 2023!).

Two interesting changes in the standard philosophies: There are only a limited number of suites that can accommodate a third guest and most of the suites will only have walk-in showers; although some suites in the various categories will have bathtubs (so be sure to specify if you desire one.)

So with that…

EXPLORA I-Ocean Terrace 1
EXPLORA I -Ocean Terrace 2

Ocean (301) and Ocean Terrace (70) Suites are the smallest, but not small, accommodations. They are 377 square feet; all with 301 square feet of interior space plus seriously large 75 square foot or 118 square foot, respectively, terraces (Explora Journeys does not use the term “balcony”…again to emphasize the Resort concept).  Each suite has an Espresso Machine and Tea Maker (not merely a coffee pot). The terraces are so large that they have both dining areas and daybeds rather than lounges. (Blame me if you don’t like them. It was my idea!)  You will find they are a bit wider than what is offered on the other luxury cruise lines.

There are a number of interconnecting suites, so for families traveling together, they are not hunting for a rare commodity, while those not wanting interconnecting suites won’t be forced to accept one.

EXPLORA I-Ocean Penthouse

Ocean Penthouses (67) come in a variety of sizes ranging from 366-506 interior square feet plus 97 to 226 terrace square feet; placing many of them in a category at or above other luxury cruise line’s penthouse suites. More space, a truly separate bedroom, and a dining table are standard. As the Ocean Penthouses are disbursed around the ship on Decks 6-10 which, when coupled with the variations in sizes, it can make Ocean Penthouse selection a bit confusing, but as details rollout it should become clarified.  (Again, there is very limited ability to have additional guests in a Penthouse, with only a few having a sofabed allowing for two children under 18 years of age.)

EXPLORA I-Ocean Residence

There are no Owner’s Suites on EXPLORA I, but there are Ocean Residences (22) ranging from 603-797 interior square feet and 151 – 807 terrace square feet.  While you cannot buy one to live on (OK, maybe you could book one for a year or so! LOL) you do have private butler service, a panoramic terrace with a private outdoor whirlpool, and a separate dining room seating 4-6 guests. 

EXPLORA I -Owner’s Residence 1
EXPLORA I-Owner’s Residence 2

There is one Owner’s Residence, located overlooking the stern, with 3,014 square feet of living space (1,668 interior and 1,345 on the terrace).  The separate living area comes complete with a fireplace and the terrace – which covers the width of the ship includes an outdoor infinity-edge whirlpool.

Now, how and when can you book a cruise…I mean Journey…even an Inaugural Journey…on EXPLORA I?  As Goldring Travel is a Preferred Travel Partner of Explora Journeys, you will have the ability to book your suite well before the public can. In fact, you will be able to book your Journey sooner than you might think!

Interested in a Luxury Journey by Cruise, Expedition, or Land?

Contact Goldring Travel For Truly Expert Advice!

Email: eric@goldringtravel.com 

US: (877) 2GO-LUXURY or (530) 562-9232

UK: 020 8133 3450

AUS: (07) 3102 4685

WhatsApp: +1 732-693-8797

Facebook: Goldring Travel

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