Explora Journeys’ Franck Garanger.

Franck Garanger, Explora Journeys' head of culinary, on catering for a cruise ship

Author: Gary Peters

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Explora Journeys' head of culinary, Franck Garanger, lets us in on how the cruise line intends to stand out among the competition in the luxury cruise market.

What makes Explora Journeys’ culinary experiences unique?
First and foremost, the quality of the products we are sourcing. They will be key to the success of Explora Journeys’ culinary experience.

We are investing a significant amount of time and resources in extensive research into our products, meeting the producers in person to evaluate how products are produced and how livestock are raised to ensure we use high quality and sustainably sourced ingredients to curate memorable and enriching dining experiences.

As a new line, is there pressure to ensure the culinary experience matches and surpasses what is available on other luxury lines?
The luxury market is indeed highly competitive. The discerning traveller places a high emphasis on the culinary experiences available, which become an important factor in their decision making process.

Explora Journeys has conducted extensive global research with potential guests and partners prior to launching and we have incorporated the feedback into our development.

During the initial stages, we have continuously focused on challenging ourselves, seeking inspiration from global restaurants.

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

Sustainability is set to be an important part of what you do. What are the specific ways in which this will be achieved?
Deeply rooted in the company’s vision is the respect we have for the planet and our commitment to sustainability.

How this translates into the culinary experience starts with the producers and suppliers we work with, hence personally meeting several of them to review their supply chain process.

It is good practice to say this, but we wanted to personally ensure that what was being marketed was in fact what was being practiced. We are also looking to source more regional products to reduce the transportation required to get products to our ships.

Why do you think dining is becoming a more important part of the cruise experience?
Dining has always been a shared, social experience, whether with family or friends. Our on-board experience will reflect that community atmosphere and encourage shared experiences with both old and new friends.

Guests have become more and more conscious about the art of food and the products and preparation that go into a dining experience.

The Explora Lounge on Explora I. Credit: Explora Journeys

These culinary experiences are specific to Explora I. Do you envisage changing the menus and so on for future ships in the fleet?
This has been a topic we have discussed with our senior leadership team. It is important to first establish Explora I and by continuing to listen to the feedback of our guests and partners, we will adapt our offering to ensure we meet and exceed expectations while remaining true to our long-term vision.

We are a passionate team and we continue to challenge ourselves to elevate the guest experience so that our guests can discover and enjoy diverse flavours from around the world as part of their journey.

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About Gary Peters

Gary is an experienced cruise journalist and editor who has been at the helm of Cruise Trade News since 2019. In that time, the brand has focused on investigative journalism and long-form feature content. Gary has also overseen the launch of new digital publications. Prior to joining Cruise Trade News – initially as deputy editor in 2018 – Gary worked in music and sport journalism, and as a senior editor for B2B magazines in the transport and environment sectors.