Explora Journeys’ first ship, the Explora I, will offer top-notch accommodations along with a wide selection of bars, lounges and dining options

Explora Journeys is introducing a new style of luxury ocean travel this summer with its first cruise ship, Explora I. After being officially named on July 8, 2023 in Civitavecchia (near Rome), she will sail to Southampton, England, for her maiden journey on July 17. Eight different sailings will comprise the Northern Europe inaugural program.

The Explora I, the first of six ships in Explora Journeys’ luxury fleet, offers 461 oceanfront suites, penthouses and residences. She offers 11 distinct culinary experiences across five restaurants, with in-suite dining available as well. 

The new luxury cruise ship has 12 bars and loungeseight indoors, four outdoors.  There are four swimming pools, along with extensive outdoor decks, private cabanas, wellness facilities and refined entertainment. 

Med Yacht Club

Med Yacht Club

This Luxury Cruise Ship Abounds with Dining Options

Dining options on the Explora I include Marble & Co. Grill, Med Yacht Club, Sakura, Emporium Marketplace and Fil Rouge. The variety and visual excitement of these luxury dining experiences on this ship and on the line’s future newbuilds can be attributed to the leadership of Franck Garanger, Explora Journeys’ head of culinary, and his talented team.

Marble & Co. Grill, with soft lighting and a relaxed environment, refines the European steakhouse concept.  Providing exceptional cuts of sumptuous and sustainable meats, it has an in-house dry ager and a cellar stocked with fine wines. 

The Med Yacht Club offers regionally-inspired dishes, with tastes and textures of Italy, Spain, France, Greece and North Africa in sharing plates that include plant- based ingredients. These are accompanied by wines from the vineyards of the Mediterranean. 

Sakura, inspired by the ancient tea rooms of Kyoto, means “cherry blossom.” Chefs follow traditional Japanese techniques, creating an authentic pan-Asian experience. Besides embracing Japanese cuisine, the menu includes Thai, Malaysian and Vietnamese specialties. A sommelier is on hand to advise guests on sake and other Asian-influenced drinks.

At Emporium Marketplace, cooking stations serve destination-inspired dishes, including sushi, meats and seafood cooked to order, alongside pasta and freshly baked pizza. Guests can also enjoy charcuterie, bread and pastries. Smoothies, fresh juices and acai bowls are served at breakfast.

Fil Rouge

Fil Rouge

Fil Rouge offers French-inspired international cuisine in an intimate atmosphere. The decor features intricate hexagon shapes contrasting with clean white walls, a tribute to timeless elegance.

Female Captain Will Helm the New Cruise Ship

Explora Journeys recently announced that Captain Serena Melani will be the Master of the Explora I. She was born and grew up in the port city of Livorno, Italy. After graduating from the Nautical Technical School, Captain Serena gained experience working as a bridge officer on cargo ships. In 2010, she became a bridge officer with a luxury cruise line and was promoted to Master in 2016, becoming the first female cruise ship captain. In 2020, Captain Serena became the first female captain to bring a cruise ship out of a shipyard. 

Ocean Penthouses and Residences on the Luxury Cruise Ship

Explora I will have Ocean Penthouses, which range from 463 feet to 732 square feet, and Ocean Residences (753 to 1604 square feet). 

Ocean Penthouses offer guests a sumptuous retreat with floor-to-ceiling windows and expansive terraces. The four different penthouse types feature a distinct private dining area for four people and a large seating area that provides a beautiful space for entertaining and relaxing.

Cocoon Residence Terrace

Cocoon Residence Terrace

All of these Ocean Penthouses include a walk-in wardrobe with a seated vanity area and feature a Dyson SupersonicTM hairdryer, heated floors in the bathrooms, personal binoculars, wireless bed-side charging and a personal mini-bar replenished according to guests’ preferences. Other amenities: an espresso machine with bio-degradable pods, a kettle and teapot, a complimentary personal refillable water bottle for each guest and 24-hour guest services.

The spacious Ocean Residences offer separate dining, living room and sleeping areas. They have a panoramic oceanfront terrace with whirlpool, sun loungers and dining table. Names of the four types of Residences—Cocoon, Cove, Retreat and Serenity—reflect the calming effects of the ocean and a home-at-sea feeling. Cocoon and Serenity Residences feature wrap-around terraces. Cocoon, Serenity and Retreat Residences have marble bathrooms with a separate bathtub and walk-in-shower. All the Ocean Residences are served by a dedicated team that provides butler services 24 hours a day.

Cruise Itineraries and Destination Experiences 

Guests sailing on Explora Journeys will be able to enjoy breathtaking destinations with specially crafted activities. Created in a partnership with experiential travel company Pelorus, these destination experiences will immerse travelers into the heart of local cultures and landscapes. Pre- and post-cruise, land-based adventures will be available. 

Northern Europe itineraries will include the fjords of Norway.

Northern Europe itineraries will include the fjords of Norway.

The Explora I’s inaugural, 15-night voyage, “A Maiden Journey into Epic Fjords and the Arctic Circle,” will call on 12 ports in four countries. Sailing from Southampton on July 17, she will visit Belgium, Norway and Denmark. The ship will then offer a program of diverse itineraries.

Explora Journeys’ Future Luxury Ships

The Explora I is the first in Explora Journeys’ fleet of six luxury cruise ships. The Explora II will embark on her maiden voyage in the summer of 2024, with four sister ships scheduled to launch through 2028.  Equipped with the latest environmental and marine technologies, Explora Journeys is introducing a new style of ocean travel.

Offering luxury ambiance, unique destinations and specially crafted experiences, Explora Journeys is definitely one to consider when organizing your next group cruise. The debut of the Explora I showcases how Explora Journeys is transforming ocean travel.

For more information on cruise opportunities for groups, you can subscribe to Leisure Group Travel for FREE

By Cindy Bertram

Cindy Bertram has 15+ years of cruise industry expertise in marketing, content creation, sales and training as well as social media. Her MBA from Loyola University Chicago complements her high creative edge and liberal arts BA.