Explora Journeys Luxury Cruises

I love Explora Journeys every bit as much as I thought I would.  I really think they have done an amazing job at making the experience feel cruise-y enough for luxury cruisers while also converting land travelers like myself.  I am sailing with people who have been on every cruise line, and they say that the dining is the best at sea. All specialty dining and drinks are included, so there are no extra packages to add on – the only thing to add to the cruise fare are experiences.  Y’all know how I love that word, right? And we can’t ignore the fact that Explore and Explora sound pretty similar!  I am meant to champion this luxury cruise brand!

Explora Suites

Explora has described it’s product as a floating luxury resort, and let me just say this, they nailed it!  I love that the entry-level category cabin, I mean, suite, has a balcony, I mean, terrace!  All the cruise vocab is different on Explora, and I am here for it!!!  

I LOVED my walk in closet with makeup vanity.  It has a little drawer that perfectly fits a Dyson hairdryer and all of it’s bits and pieces!  I LOVED how comfy my bed was.  I LOVED turn down service every night.  I LOVED opening my sliding door and listening to the ocean.  I LOVED everything about this luxury cruise experience.

An Ocean State of Mind

Explora’s goal is to help you connect to an ocean state of mind, and I definitely connected.  How can you not feel connected with these types of surroundings?  There is water at every turn and even the pools take advantage of the ocean views.  The outdoor spaces remind me so much of lounge areas at the resorts I love in Greece.

Explora Dining

And let me tell you about the dining venues … not only are they gorgeous, the food and wine is divine.  I must say, I feel quite classy dining on caviar topped with gold flakes!

Explora Experiences

To be honest, I was particularly excited about this sailing because it involved 3 days at sea.   That may seem strange coming from a travel advisor with a focus on destination experiences!  However, I really wanted to spend time on the ship and learn more about it as I had already visited all but one of the destinations we visited.  I had hoped to enjoy the luxury cruise ship like a floating resort, but I ended up spending a lot of time in my office at sea in the Explora Lounge with my travel advisor friends! 

Don’t worry, I still had time to enjoy the ship.  I did not get out of my comfy bed each morning as early as I do at home, I sat down for three long meals a day where I socialized with new and old friends, spent time at the complimentary hydrotherapy pool and salt room in the spa, spent time at the pool, and even saw one of the most beautiful sunsets of my life while in one of the many the ocean facing hot tubs.

Nova Scotia was the destination I had not visited before so I opted for a tour organized through Explora.  Here are a few of my favorite snaps from that tour:

At the other destinations that I had previously visited, I did my own thing which involved 17,000 steps in Boston!  Embarrassing admission – I forgot to bring a credit card each time I ventured out by myself because I was so used to not needing it on the ship!  Thank goodness for Apple Pay!

Explora Naming Ceremony

Let me take this opportunity to say how amazing it felt to not only witness the christening of the ship, but also to be in the room with so many important people.  
Explora Journeys is the newest project from the Aponte family.  Gianluigi Aponte founded the international shipping line, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), in Italy in 1970.  Growing up in the port town of Savannah means I am familiar with MSC.  One of their cargo ships happened to sail right past us one day!
You may know that Explora is not MSC’s first cruise line.  MSC Cruises are known as a no frills cruise line popular with more budget minded travelers.  Explore More does not sell their product.  I mention this because if you have sailed MSC and were disappointed, I don’t want you to worry that the Explora experience is anything like it.
The Aponte family is one of the wealthiest in the world, and they have created Explora Journeys to mirror the yacht vacations their family has taken over the years.  While Explora Journeys is privately owned by the MSC Group, it is run by the Executive Chairman of MSC Group’s Cruise Division Mr Pierfrancesco Vago, his wife Alexa Aponte Vago and the Aponte family.  
One thing that I really appreciated while listening to the Aponte and Vago families speak at the naming ceremony was their commitment to the world’s oceans.  It seems that they have taken many steps to grow their business while considering the health of the oceans.  MSC has a goal to be a net zero greenhouse emissions company by 2050.
In addition, the MSC Foundation has made strides towards repairing damage already done to the world’s oceans.  One such example is MSC’s Ocean Cay Marine Reserve in the Bahamas which has been formally designated a ‘Hope Spot’ by Mission Blue, the non-profit organisation founded by renowned oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle to promote the protection of marine ecosystems.
Speaking of Dr. Sylvia Earle, she was also in the room during the naming ceremony because she is the godmother of Explora I.  What does that mean exactly?  Being a ship godmother is a longstanding naval tradition for new ships to be sponsored by a civilian — typically a woman. With this honorific title, the cruise ship godmother is selected to bring good luck and protection to the vessel. The duties are simple; godmothers attend their ship’s ceremonial ship launch and naming ceremony, where they bless and officially name the ship. In past years, they would crack a bottle of Champagne on the hull of a new ship for good luck. Today, due to sheer size and logistics, that usually means the godmother pushes a button or pulls a lever that triggers a bottle of bubbly to swing down and crash on the bow.
I can’t help but believe that a renowned scientist and oceanographer who has dedicated her life to the oceans would not agree to associate with Explora and MSC if she did not truly believe they were taking strides to cruise in a more sustainable way.  
I think this video that Explora put together really captures the vibe of the naming ceremony. I will end with a few photos of the evening, compliments of Explora.  It was an honor to be invited to this event, and I am so thankful to have been part of this momentous occasion introducing the world’s newest luxury cruise experience!

photo credit:  Explora Journeys

And don’t forget that when you let Explore More book this fabulous luxury cruise opportunity for you, you will be treated to onboard credits that the general public do not receive!  Not to mention the knowledge of someone who has sailed on Explora Journeys and has contacts at all levels at the organization to ensure your voyage is fabulous!

follow us!