Dig out your tuxedo and rustle up that passport. Details about the world’s newest cruise line, Explora Journeys, were announced today, promising to take travelers to the far corners of the globe in luxurious style.
The new company aims to launch its first of four new ships in 2023, the Explora I, and send it to both iconic destinations like the South of France and Iceland as well as more off-the-beaten-path ports including Bozcaada, Turkey; Kastellorizo, Greece; and the Lofoten Islands of Norway.
“Explora Journeys will bring guests to lesser-traveled harbors to enjoy a more authentic experience and a slower pace of travel,” the company says in a statement outlining its itineraries, which start at seven nights.
While the Explora Journeys brand is new, it has plenty of maritime heritage – centuries of it, in fact. The new line is part of MSC, the family-owned cruise and shipping giant that traces its legacy all the way back to 1675. Today, it’s probably best known among travelers for its bigger, crowd pleasing ships like the MSC Meraviglia that will sail from Miami beginning in August.
But while Explora shares some seafaring DNA with its sister brand, its new ships will be something entirely above and beyond, the company says.
“Building a luxury brand that will redefine the cruise experience and create a category of its own has been a long-held vision of mine and my family,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Group.
A big part of that vision starts with the still-under-construction fleet of four similarly designed ships. Each will have 461 guest suites, all with private terraces; nine restaurants; a massive indoor-outdoor spa and fitness facility; four pools, including an indoor one with a retractable roof; and 64 private cabanas for day-long sunbathing sessions.
One thing notably absent from the ships? Any single-use plastic, which Explora says won’t be stocked on board – or during shore excursions.
The ships will also have other technologies that aim to reduce the environmental impact of their operations including “provision for battery storage allowing future hybrid power generation.” Vessels will also use up-to-the-second scrubbers to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions and shore power systems to reduce CO2 output.
While further details about dining, destinations, and – importantly – prices are still hush-hush, Explora is aiming to make a splash not just among cruisers but the travel industry as a whole, says Michael Ungerer, the cruise line’s CEO.
“Explora Journeys will bring a new perspective to the travel industry [by] reinventing the classic cruise experience for the next generation of luxury travelers,” Ungerer said.