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Luxury at sea

New luxury Explora Journeys ship celebrates maiden voyage

Explora Journeys has celebrated its latest milestone as brand new luxury ship EXPLORA I celebrates her maiden voyage.

EXPLORA I, the inaugural vessel to grace the Explora Journeys fleet – the new luxury lifestyle brand in the MSC Group’s portfolio – officially embarked on its maiden voyage on August 1.

The seven-night expedition will treat guests to a captivating journey, traversing the breathtaking landscapes of Lerwick in the Shetland Islands, Kirkwall in Orkney, and Reykjavik in Iceland.

Marking the first of a forthcoming series of itineraries that will span three continents, this initial venture across northern Europe has been crafted to embody the brand’s intrinsic ethos – the “Ocean State of Mind”.

Aiming to invigorate guests on physical, intellectual and spiritual planes, Explora Journeys cruises promise immersive encounters.

Beyond the opulent onboard experience, this includes such thrilling activities as kayaking through Copenhagen’s waterways, discovering the cultural heritage of Shetland through its unique pony breed, and indulging in an overnight sojourn within Iceland’s Golden Circle, exploring sites that rejuvenate the soul.

As for the ship itself, EXPLORA I presents 461 exquisite oceanfront suites, penthouses, and residences conceived as ‘Homes at Sea’ for guests, each boasting sweeping vistas of the ocean, complemented by a secluded private terrace.

The vessel is also home to eleven culinary experiences – across six dynamic restaurants as well as in-suite dining – alongside twelve bars and lounges, including eight indoor retreats and four al fresco sanctuaries plus Chef’s Kitchen.

EXPLORA I guests can also indulge in four swimming pools, expansive outdoor decks complete with 64 exclusive private cabanas, wellness facilities and high-quality entertainment.

Michael Ungerer, the CEO of Explora Journeys, said of the launch: “It is our absolute honor to welcome the very first guests onboard our extraordinary ship and share this special moment with them as we embark on the maiden journey of EXPLORA I from Copenhagen.

“Our guests will be able to experience the very best European hospitality at sea and our vibrant, cosmopolitan sense of luxury while discovering some of the world’s most remarkable destinations. A new era of transformative luxury ocean travel begins now with the first sailing of EXPLORA I.”

The festivities held in Copenhagen on August 1, 2023, included a time-honored maritime tradition – the exchange of crests – a ceremonial act celebrating a ship’s inaugural port visit [below].

In attendance were Captain Serena Melani, the ship’s master, alongside esteemed maritime personalities: Johan Hoganfalt, Deputy Port Captain; Sune Christensen, Chief Commercial Officer of Copenhagen Malmö Port; Klaus Bondam, Director of Cruise Baltic and Cruise Copenhagen; and Michael Ungerer, CEO of Explora Journeys.

EXPLORA I is cruising the landscapes of Northern Europe on an array of diverse itineraries.

EXPLORA I will subsequently cross the Atlantic, sailing the winter waters of North America and the Caribbean, before returning to European shores in the summer of 2024 for voyages across the Mediterranean.

Hot on the heels of the new luxury ship, EXPLORA II is currently being built in Italy, poised for a grand debut in August 2024.

What’s more, third ship EXPLORA III will be the first of Explora Journeys’ fleet to harness the power of liquefied natural gas (LNG) propulsion.

Set to be delivered in 2026, it will be followed by the arrival of EXPLORA IV in 2027, solidifying the brand’s commitment to a voyage of unparalleled luxury and environmental responsibility.

Published 08.02.23