Cruise & Ferry Review - Autumn/Winter 2023

20 MARKETWATCH Explora Journeys begins sailing first cruises Explora Journeys’ Explora I set sail on its maiden voyage from Copenhagen in Denmark on 1 August, as the new cruise line began operating fully for the first time. “We offer our guests a new style of transformative ocean travel,” said Michael Ungerer, CEO of Explora Journeys. “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. “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 a shakedown cruise. “Our suites have an incredible sense of space, with light colours and floor-toceiling windows. It’s not just a room to sleep in, it’s a room to live in.” Bespoke music related to the ship’s destination will play in different areas onboard, created by music directors Music Concierge. These include the ship’s 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 will rotate menus curated by a range of acclaimed chefs, beginning with Mauro Ulliasi. “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.” The ship will 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. Explora 1’s departure from Copenhagen marked the beginning of the luxury cruise brand’s full operation