Explora Journeys is the new luxury journey at sea (they don’t want to call it a “cruise”) that will actually meet – better exceed – what you know as a luxury cruise. And, No, this isn’t hype! Heck, just as started writing this article, yet more great news from Explora Journeys arrived!
But before I get into the new details, let me remind you about Explora Journeys and Explora I: Explora Journeys: A New Luxury Cruise Line With a New (Resort) Approach!
Plus, at the end of this article, I will give you some information on the Goldring Travel 2023 Culinary & Cultural Journey departing Lisbon, Portugal on July 2, 2023, visiting Porto, the west coast of France, Bordeaux, and disembarking in Southampton, England!
Now, I want to again set the stage…especially in these times of there being some turmoil in the cruise industry. MSC owns Explora Journeys; not the cruise line – which is a sister brand- but one of the world’s largest shipping companies. That company is, incredibly, privately owned and last year had billions of dollars in profits. (That is not a typo.). So be comfortable that Explora Journeys is not part of a highly leveraged entity trying to get into the market (like Genting/Crystal Cruises) or one of the “old boy” behemoths that is borrowing huge sums, issuing more stock, and open to selling off one or more of its cruise lines (like Carnival Corp.).
Alas, Explora Journeys is more than a “passion project” for MSC. It is a huge opportunity for Explora Journeys to fill a niche in the luxury travel market that has not truly been tapped. I have long had the discussion about the differences between “travel” and “cruise“, but Explora Journeys adds a third and fourth element: “resort” and “home at sea“. As Chris Austin, Explora Journey’s Chief Sales Officer (a longtime friend of mine) said, “We’re going to be the ideal home-away-from-home for those travelers that love the Belmond hotels of the world, the Six Senses, the Aman Resorts, One&Only, etc.”.
Those are pretty big words and a truly high standard, but how the heck is Explora Journeys going to meet those extremely high standards?
But before we get to that, let us take a look to see that there is also a difference between “a vision” and “reality”! Having been an observer (and even a participant) of ship new-builds for decades I can be a bit jaded. And, over the past two years there have been plenty of delays in new ship delivery (some with the reasoning being anything but transparent) and that does create a bit of deserved skepticism. But the building of Explora I has been transparent, impressive…and on time!
Meanwhile, with Explora I and II’s construction well underway, Explora Journeys has just announced that Explora V and Explora VI will be powered by liquified natural gas (LNG) – as will Explora III and V, but when in port, they will also use hydrogen fuel cells; significantly reducing environmental impacts and zero emissions in port. Explora V and VI will be 19 meters longer to provide room for the new systems…and that allows for yet more creativity when it comes to its residences. Yes, there will be six Explora Journeys ships by 2028…and its commitment to embracing the developing environmentally responsible technologies as they become available!
However, there is more to know and see! Just released are some new, more refined, computer images of the Ocean Terrace suites. There are also more details as to what these “entry-level” (I’d be happy to enter at this level!) suites include:
As well as some of the Premium suites:
But there is so much more that goes into a ship that makes your Ocean Journey more livable; remembering you are staying on a luxury resort at sea – or your home away from home…not just a cruise ship.
Explora Journeys is also focused on “Conscious Luxury” as is reflected in the choice of materials and Explora Journeys’ commitment to sustainability. Dedication to responsible sourcing of materials, and eco-friendly details such as refillable bathroom amenities and no single-use plastic on board is paramount.
Seemingly more important every day is the internet. Explora Journeys will provide complementary, high-speed, reliable, and uninterrupted Wi-Fi, no matter how remote the location. How is this possible? Explora Journeys has no commitments to old technology or satellites as it has no older ships. So with the newest technology combined with the newest, far more sophisticated, satellites, it is possible.
Soon there will be some very exciting information coming out about one of the nine restaurants onboard Explora I. I wish I could share it now, but I can’t! What I can share is that the nine restaurants – overseen by Head of Culinary Franck Garanger, who has experience with Silversea and Oceania Cruises, will include International, Pan-Asian, Mediterranean, and Steakhouse venues. There will also be a Chef’s Kitchen with private dining and a Culinary School. All dining venues (except one) will be available at no extra charge.
I have previously let you know about Explora I’s eight Inaugural sailings and now most all of the itineraries are published…plus it was recently announced that Explora Journeys is heading to Alaska as well!
But not everything happens on ship!
Explora Journeys is developing “Destination Experiences” which are exclusive small group (2-25 guests) designed to allow fully immersive, off-the-beaten track experiences. But, alas, as with everything with Explora Journeys, it is not that simple. These curated experiences will be divided into five different interest types ranging from a journey of self, social involvement, enrichment, fulfillment, or active discovery.
Goldring Travel’s 2023 Culinary & Cultural Journey
There is no better way to truly enjoy all that Explora I has to offer than to join me on the Goldring Travel 2023 Culinary & Cultural Cruise departing Lisbon, Portugal on July 2, 2023, on an nine-night journey, visiting Porto, Portugal (can anyone say “port wine”), the west coast of France, with an overnight in Bordeaux and ending in Southampton, England. (Note: You can join the ship early in Barcelona and/or extend to include Explora Journey’s Norwegian Inaugural Cruise immediately following.)
Planning is well underway and, thus far, our journey will include:
In case you are new to the Goldring Travel events, all of this is provided with our compliments…PLUS you also receive special pricing on this journey! Space is extremely limited due to the events in Bordeaux, so please book today to avoid disappointment!