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How a luxury cruise with Explora Journeys promises to engage the senses!

Of the various players in the luxury cruise space none intrigues me more than Explora Journeys. The luxury cruise space has many players that all deliver an outstanding travel experience in their own ways. Starting this month, however, a new player is on the scene: Explora Journeys.

Who might this newcomer be and what do they aim to deliver above and beyond the existing options? Explora Journeys is a special project of the Aponte family, the owners of the MSC Group. The family has been a part of seafaring for several centuries and, since 1970, began a shipping line in the Mediterranean that has grown to include logistics firms and mainstream cruise line MSC Cruises. Explora Journeys was borne of the desire to create a completely new ultra luxury experience that reflects what they would look for in the type of journey that allows them to do more, experience more, and be a part of an exceptional journey.

Here are five ways that Explora Journeys will captivate the senses of discerning travelers aboard:

1) Visual Delights. The design and layout of the current and coming vessels must be seen to be believed. Walking aboard transports you into what might appear to be the lobby of a contemporary luxury property in Barcelona, Spain. In fact, they refer to this central gathering area as The Lobby. The Lobby Bar awaiting travelers is a work of art in and of itself. In a previous podcast I described how Explora Journeys' choice of colors in the public areas, the suites, and residences both draw people in while pushing them out to be captivated by the sea outside. This is that "it" that I look for in design and Explora 1, their first vessel, possesses this "it" brilliantly.

2) Culinary Excellence. I am giddy with excitement about this. Now, all who play in the luxury cruise space execute well on dining. There is a critical distinction though: do they merely execute or do they also bring you along on a sensory culinary journey? Case in point: most of the other ultra luxury cruise lines have an American steakhouse aboard. Explora Journeys, however, has a European steakhouse: Marble & Co. Here the quality of the meats and the sauces/herbed butters will shine forth. Imagine, if you will, being in a Parisian steakhouse and yet you are at sea. This is just one of the many culinary delights aboard. In a future blog post I will describe the restaurants and bars aboard in greater detail.

3) Serenading Sounds. All cruise lines from mainstream to luxury offer onboard entertainment from production shows to bands in the lounges and everything in between. Explora Journeys promises something much more immersive, something they simply refer to as Experiences. Every lounge will have a performance theme that, according to the cruise line, will be immersive and lavish. Imagine being in a Parisian jazz club and then transitioning to another lounge and being taken to New Orleans, complete with an absinthe cocktail and a creole vibe. The tie-in here between France and Louisiana is both captivating and ingenious. As with the culinary scene this is the tip of the proverbial iceberg for the entertainment options, something I'll address in future blog posts in greater detail.

4) Luxurious Touch. It's expected that no item will be overlooked when it comes to tactile response when sailing luxury. Explora Journeys will deliver above and beyond here. From heated floors in all bathrooms of the suites and residences to Frette linens on all beds plus furniture sourced form Moltani & C in the residences the engagement of the physical senses cannot be minimized.

5) Aromas Of Luxury. Luxury cruise ships often pay attention to creating pleasant scents and aromas throughout the ship. Aside from the restaurants this is clearly evident in the spa and thermal suite aboard. Explora Journeys promises to deliver an amazing thermal suite experience for their guests. I've been fortunate to experience several thermal suites aboard several cruise ships from mainstream to luxury and none have been so thought through quite like what awaits guests that sail Explora Journeys. Imagine the specially curated aromatic oils setting the tone in the relaxation room, the Hammam, and the experiential rain showers, just to name a few. I will delve into the thermal suite and spa experience aboard Explora Journeys in greater detail in a future blog post.

So here they are: five ways that Explora Journeys promises to delight and enthrall you aboard. I cannot recommend Explora Journeys enough to the discerning traveler and will gladly discuss the many itineraries they have available in different parts of the globe.

Marc Armbruster

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