Explora I is the first of multiple vessels due to join the Explora Journeys fleet
Explora Journeys’ Explora I set sail on its maiden voyage from Copenhagen in Denmark on 1 August, marking the new cruise line operating fully for the first time.
Explora 1 arrived in Copenhagen at 9:00 local time on 1 August after a shakedown cruise from Portsmouth, UK, with Explora Journeys staff, travel professionals and members of the media onboard. Guests were then welcomed onboard for the first time later the same day.
“We offer our guests a new style of transformative ocean travel,” said Michael Ungerer, CEO of Explora Journeys. “The next generation of luxury travellers are craving authentic connections, actively seeking out the new. Explora Journeys aims to create unique and emotional connections that are powerful, transformative and universal, which we call the ‘ocean state of mind’. Everything we do is rooted in that philosophy.”
Explora 1 has 461 suites, all of which include ocean-facing balconies. These range from the 35-square-metre Ocean Terrace Suites to the 280-square-metre Owner’s Residence, which has a dedicated private butler service, a panoramic ocean-front terrace and a welcome bottle of Dom Pérignon champagne.
“Welcome to our home, a dream that we’ve been working on for over three years,” said Jason Gelineau, head of product at Explora Journeys, during the shakedown cruise. “We feature elegant spaces that really connect you with the sea. Our suites have an incredible sense of space, with light colours and floor-to-ceiling windows. They have been fitted out with high-quality products such as the Dyson supersonic hair dryer, the Illy coffee machine, and the complimentary bottle of champagne found in every suite. It’s not just a room to sleep in, it’s a room to live in.”
The ship includes six restaurants and 12 bars and lounges. These include the pan-Asian dining venue Sakura, European steakhouse Marble & Co. Grill, the French-inspired Fil Rouge and Med Yacht Club, which offers a menu of Mediterranean dishes. In addition, the Anthology restaurant offers a menu curated by chef Mauro Uliassi, whose restaurant in Senigallia, Italy, has received three Michelin stars. The restaurant will rotate menus curated by a range of acclaimed chefs, and all dishes will be paired with wines selected by the cruise line’s sommeliers.
“We’re all more educated in food and beverages today, and we wanted to make sure that we provided our guests with choice,” said Gelineau. “Each restaurant has its own personality, with none being inferior to the rest. Our culinary team is truly top class, and we work alongside incredible chefs who are still passionate about cooking. They use high-quality, authentic ingredients, and are able to cater to today’s lifestyle choices, whether it be vegetarian or vegan.”
Explora 1 will now sail from Copenhagen to Reykjavik, Iceland, with stops at Lerwick in the Shetland Islands and Kirkwall on the island of Orkney over the course of a seven-night voyage. The ship will spend several weeks sailing itineraries in Northern Europe before crossing the Atlantic Ocean via Greenland to spend the autumn in North America, the winter in the Caribbean and spring on the West Coast of America and in Hawaii. It will then return to Europe in Summer 2024. Itineraries will range from seven to 11 nights in length, with guests able to combine multiple voyages in a single stay.
“We don’t look to do the same itinerary more than once,” said Norbert Stiekema, chief commercial officer at Explora Journeys. “This means not only that every itinerary is different, but that every journey is different, as guests can combine multiple journeys without visiting the same port. This allows us to offer a wide range of experiences for guests to discover.”