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Explora Journeys’ Explora I – The First Step in Truly Redefining “Luxury at Sea”

As the July 17, 2023, Maiden Voyage of Explora Journeys’ Explora I approaches, and she has passed her sea trials with flying colors, I thought now would be a great time to not only give an update on what Explora Journeys is doing to redefine “Luxury at Sea”, but to encourage those of you that are interested in sailing on her, but have been recalcitrant due to the delays that have plagued other new-builds, to book your 2023-2025 journey now!  (I told you that with MSC shipping – privately owned by the Aponte family – the behemoth behind Explora Journeys you need not worry about delivery or financial issues!)

Explora I on Sea Trials – You have to be impressed with the superyacht paint job!

The concept behind Explora Journeys is to provide a true luxury travel experience that is far more integrated than merely being a cruise, focusing on the styling of a private superyacht, while at the same time being on the cutting edge of environmentally responsible technology and philosophies. Yup! That is a mouthful…and it has come together beautifully.

As you can see from the first photos of Explora I at sea, her superyacht-like styling starts with her hull and paint. While darker hulls are becoming more popular – and I know this from my years in the superyacht industry – obtaining a smooth (sexy) hull finish such that it reflects the sea like a mirror is not only extremely difficult, it is extremely expensive. While there can be a concern that “beauty is only skin deep”, here it is merely an indicator of the beauty and luxury inside of Explora I.

I have written a few articles on Explora I with many renderings of the Suites, Dining Venues, Lounges, Public Spaces, and Pools – that give details and are worth revisiting:

Please check this link to download a video flyover of Explora I. VERY COOL! 

What makes Explora Journeys unique, in my opinion, is its holistic approach to luxury. While it has some of the largest and most thoughtfully designed suites, creative and exclusive dining experiences, extraordinary lounges, creative and luxurious pool and open deck areas, THE most exclusive shops at sea (to be announced shortly), and more, Explora Journeys is focused on YOU, not IT.  There is no bragging about being the most expensive, the largest…the anything.  (OK, maybe the most environmentally responsible.)

In short, Explora Journeys is focused on being “classy” and “casually elegant”.  Explora isn’t going to tell you how incredible it is, but rather show you the elements it has put together…and allow you to personally come to that conclusion. For me, it is an impressive and refreshing approach.

Explora Journeys – Lobby Bar

The concept is, from a different angle, to be your European home away from home with a focus on authentic connections and mindful choices, as well as highly curated and individualized experiences. For example:

  • Other than Marble & Co. Grill (steakhouse) and Anthology (plus the Chef’s Kitchen) there are no reservations needed…and you need not necessarily dine in a restaurant, as many of the lounges will offer tapas or small bites, plus in-suite dining.
Explora Journeys – Mediterranean Yacht Club
  • There is no need to plan or rush through dinner in order to get to a  production show because you have entertainment of many types throughout the ship and throughout the day and evening. 
  • There are twelve (12) bars and lounges, each with its own style, size, and focus. 
  • Explora Journey – Deck 12 Pool
  • You are not relegated to a single pool, but rather have four unique pools (including one truly unique indoor pool) with 64 cabanas, unique lounges, and more.

For those who prefer a listing of some of Explora I’s statistics, including environmental efforts:

  • A total of 14 decks offering 16,000 sqm (178,680 sq ft) total public space, offering unrivaled space and privacy with one of the highest guest-to-space ratios in the luxury ocean category at 18.4 sqm (198 sq ft) 
  • 461 Ocean front ‘Homes at Sea’ with an average size of 42 sqm (452 sq ft): 1 Owner’s Residence, 22 Ocean Residences, 67 Ocean Penthouses, 70 Ocean Grand Terrace Suites, and 301 Ocean Terrace Suites.
  • A choice of 11 culinary experiences, 6 unique restaurants, 12 bars, and lounges
  • 248 meters long, 32 meters wide, and 56 m height above the water line
  • Ocean Wellness offering 1000 sqm (10,764 sq ft) of indoor and outdoor wellness and fitness facilities, 9 treatment rooms, 1 beauty salon
  • Unique entertainment concept offering ongoing entertainment across all lounges and bars
  • 3 outdoor pools, 1 indoor pool, 64 private cabanas
  • 1:1.25 Host to Guest ratio

EXPLORA I Environmental Supporting Technologies

As part of the MSC Group, Explora Journeys is committed to building ships for tomorrow, utilizing today’s latest technologies, and being ready to adapt to alternative energy solutions as they become available.

  • Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) System: Reduces nitrogen oxide emissions by 90 percent.
  • Advanced wastewater treatment system: Complies with the most stringent standards on the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO’s) MEPC 227(64) Resolution – the so-called ‘Baltic Standard’
  • Ballast water treatment system: US Coast Guard Approved with UV treatment to prevent the introduction of invasive species in the marine environment through ballast water discharges, in compliance with IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention
  • Shore-to-ship power connectivity: Allows the ship to minimize engine use at ports where shore-to-ship power infrastructure is available
  • State-of-the-art recycling and solid waste management: Comprehensive systems to reduce, recycle and reuse all waste aspects on board
  • RINA Dolphin certified underwater noise reduction with hull and engine room designs that minimizes acoustic sound impact, reducing their potential effects on marine fauna, most particularly on marine mammals in the surrounding waters.
  • Innovative hull design and optimized hydrodynamics – minimizes resistance through the water
  • Trim optimization – a software application to monitor and optimize trim, the ship’s stability, in real-time. This technology supports ship officers in keeping the vessel’s trim optimized to reduce fuel consumption and optimize performance
  • Anti-fouling paint – hulls are coated with special environmentally friendly paints which impede the growth of barnacles, algae, and marine organisms in order to reduce drag significantly.
  • Smart heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems (HVAC) – Automated energy recovery loops that redistribute heat and cold to reduce demand
  • LED lighting – high-efficiency appliances controlled by smart management systems to enhance further energy saving


I am thrilled and proud to announce that I have been invited to Explora I’s Naming Ceremony in Civitavecchia, Italy on July 7, 2023, as well as her voyage across the Mediterranean Sea to Southampton, UK for her Maiden and Inaugural Voyage. 

From there I will remain onboard and host the 2023 Goldring Travel Culinary & Cultural Journey heading to Belgium, crossing the Arctic Circle in the Norwegian Fjords, and ending in Copenhagen. (There may still be space on the Maiden Voyage, but unfortunately not as part of my C&C. Let me know if you are interested!)

While the 2023 C&C is sold out, there is still availability to join me on the August 2024 Culinary & Cultural Journey and Maiden Voyage of Explora II (with amazing culinary and cultural events already arranged in Rome (we overnight there!) and Corfu..plus more to come.  The 2025 Culinary & Cultural Cruise will be in February 2025 as the Explora II explores South Africa and Mozambique with pre-, post-, and during, safari opportunities and end with an amazing wine experience in Cape Town, South Africa.

Interested in a Cruise, Expedition or Land Journey?

Give me a call, drop me an email, or send me a Facebook message

 US: (877) 2GO-LUXURY (877-246-5898)
  UK: 020 8133 3450
 AUS: (07) 3102 4685
Everywhere Else: +1 530 562 9232

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