New luxury cruise line, Explora Journeys, is part of the MSC Group. Credit: Explora Journeys

Boss of new, luxurious Explora Journeys line reveals what you can expect onboard

Author: Vicky Mayer

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MSC’s new luxury line will launch the first of four new ships next year. Here, CEO Michael Ungerer reveals what guests will find onboard.

Explora Journeys is a brand new venture for the MSC group to bring ultimate luxury to passengers. The luxury cruise line invites guests to immerse themselves in their various destinations and embrace an “ocean state of mind.”

With a variety of options for dining and ways to relax, a trip on an Explora Journeys ship delivers the utmost level of comfort.

CEO of Explora Journeys, Michael Ungerer, describes the expectations guests can have onboard from a wellness centre to a large amount of space per person.

Learn more about the thought that went into Explora Journeys and the stunning destinations you can look forward to from the CEO himself.

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What is the idea behind Explora Journeys?

Explora Journeys is the new luxury lifestyle brand of the MSC group. We will offer travellers a new kind of luxury at sea – one they have never experienced before.

Our aim is to help our guests enjoy an ‘ocean state of mind’ – a mindset that can only be achieved when we escape to the ocean, relax, create memories and reconnect with what matters most in our lives.

Will there be any similarities between MSC and Explora Journeys ships?

We have been working with the world’s foremost yacht designers, so Explora Journeys’ ships are being built to create a superyacht feel. We are also collaborating with noted global hospitality designers, so the ships’ interiors will provide a modern boutique hotel vibe.

- READ MORE: What to expect on luxury cruise ships -

Why do you think there is currently such an appetite for luxury cruising?

After all the challenges and disruptions caused by the pandemic, travellers are wanting to make up for lost time. For that reason, they are looking for new and ever more authentic and sophisticated experiences.

With an array of pools and dining available, you'll have an option for whatever your mood may be. Credit: Explora Journeys

What do you think guests look for in a luxury cruise?

Expectations of luxury consumers are constantly changing, and we have seen a diversification in the audience that luxury ocean travel appeals to. But the desire to travel the world more slowly, deeply and purposefully is paramount these days.

Explora Journeys will provide the perfect ocean escape, giving guests the opportunity to experience places they have never visited before, allowing them to fully immerse themselves in a country’s culture.

- READ MORE: Top 16 destinations to visit in 2022 and how to cruise there -

You’re planning to launch a fleet of four ships. Can you tell us a bit about the guest experience on board?

We want our guests to be spoiled for choice. From the nine distinct culinary experiences to the three swimming pools, plus a fourth indoor pool with a retractable roof, we’re aiming to make sure everything is tailored to suit personal preferences.

The desire for more space per person was a key outcome of our research, so we’ve also designed our ships with this in mind. Accommodation starts at 35 square metres and will comprise oceanfront suites, penthouses and residences, all featuring a generous private terrace and alfresco dining area, plus large floor-to-ceiling windows and comfortable daybeds.

We will also have a guest-to-staff ratio of 1.25 to 1, which is one of the best in the luxury category.

Get some peace of mind with lots of space and calming decor onboard an Explora Journeys ship. Credit: Explore Journeys

Wellness is currently a big trend in cruising. Will that be reflected on board?

Wellness will be a pivotal concept on board, and our luxurious spa and wellness centres will allow guests to be pampered and rejuvenated throughout their trip.

What sort of itineraries can guests expect?

From the moment our first ship sets sail in May 2023, there will be itineraries blending classic destinations with lesser-known ports for journeys that celebrate discovery. With voyages starting at 6 nights, our ships will range far north and south of the equator.

The itineraries in the inaugural collection will offer the ideal blend of celebrated destinations such as Saint-Tropez, Bordeaux and Reykjavik, and hidden gems such as the Greek island of Kastellorizo, the Turkish island of Bozcaada and the Lofoten archipelago in northern Norway.

- READ MORE: Best world cruises from adventure & culture to budget & luxury -

What one thing will surprise us about Explora Journeys?

Travelling the world will always be full of surprises, but Explora Journeys will offer a more authentic experience and a slower pace of travel. Our ocean voyages will inspire you to journey further, immerse yourself deeper and linger a little longer, creating lifelong special memories.

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About Vicky Mayer

Vicky began her career working on young women’s magazines before moving on to TV and entertainment titles. Her passion, though, has always been travel, so as Editor of World of Cruising, she combines her love of magazines with the chance to shout about cruise holidays around the world.