EXPLORA JOURNEYS UNVEILS ITINERARIES FOR EXPLORA II INAUGURAL SEASON
Geneva, December 6, 2022 – Explora Journeys, the luxury lifestyle brand of the MSC Group, today announced the inaugural itineraries of its second ship, EXPLORA II, launching in summer 2024, are now open for booking.
A new unique set of journeys and new destinations will allow guests to explore renowned and off the beaten path locations in the Mediterranean, the Middle East, India, the Indian Ocean and Africa marking the first time the luxury lifestyle brand will sail in these regions.
Featuring 25 journeys and 14 extended journeys between August 2024 and end of April 2025, the itineraries will include 82 unique ports across 26 countries. At each stop, guests will have opportunities to discover the local nature and culture through exclusive activities, while exploring exotic ‘bucket list’ destinations and delving into the locations through sustainable and tailored experiences. All journeys are designed for the discerning traveller who wants to stay longer, leave later and travel deeper.
The brand provides guests with a slower pace of travel, unconventional arrival and departure times and the opportunity to spend more time in each destination with overnight stays while in port to ensure they feel fully exhilarated and immersed in the local culture and environment.
Michael Ungerer, the Chief Executive Officer, Explora Journeys, commented, “This is a new chapter for the brand, we are extremely proud to unveil EXPLORA II and these new itineraries. Our portfolio of destinations is constantly expanding, and we look forward to welcoming guests on board our ships to enjoy once-in-a-lifetime experiences in incredible countries where they will be able to reconnect with themselves, while connecting with the people they meet, the surroundings and the local communities.”
EXPLORA II will first traverse the Mediterranean reaching ports in Italy, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Israel and Croatia, where guests will immerse themselves in the ancient history of each country, enjoy their traditional and signature culinary flavours, and soak up the surrounding art, colours and architecture.
An incredible array of activities awaits EXPLORA II’s guests who will be able to visit some of the most beautiful cities and islands in the Mediterranean such as the eternal city of Rome, Sicily, Menorca – the gastronomy capital of 2022 – to then reach the Eastern Mediterranean with the islands of Mykonos, Santorini, Kalamata and Corfu, lands of mythical gods, architecture, food and ancient culture.
After exploring the magnificence of Israel, EXPLORA II will pass through the Suez Canal and allow its guests to enjoy the beauties of Egypt, the pharaohs’ land, with its heritage, time-honoured traditions, immense deserts and vibrant oases. The ship will then sail onto the Arabian Peninsula towards Saudi Arabia, cruising the coastline of the Red Sea and visiting the world-heritage sights of Al Ula and Hegra. EXPLORA II then sails to the Arabian Gulf to visit the innovative, new and vibrant cities such as Doha, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, known for their tall skyscrapers contrasting old palaces and beautiful mosques.
EXPLORA II will then reach the coast of India where guests can explore everything from the steamy evergreen forests of the Western Ghats, a primordial lost world of thundering waterfalls and emerald tea plantations, that climb from the beaches of Goa to the Keralan hinterland beyond Kochi, and on to the insatiable energy of Mumbai. In this land, tradition and modernity unite in a wide range of colours and the natural and man-made environments coexist in harmony to inspire imagination.
The voyage of discovery will continue to the islands of the Indian Ocean including Seychelles and Maldives to then reach the natural sanctuaries of Africa with stops in Mozambique, Tanzania, Madagascar, Kenya, Mauritius and South Africa. Relaxing white sand beaches and crystal waters will give way to the Serengeti savannah where guests will be able to experience eco-tented safaris with elephants and leopards. While sailing the southern equatorial current guests can soak up the sounds of nature, experience wow-factor wildlife, enjoy local crafts markets or a tribal immersion that will satisfy even the most demanding travellers’ expectations.
During each stop, guests are invited to ‘linger longer’ and delve into some of the oldest cultures. A combination of old and modern cities, wild flora and fauna, music, festivals, crystal-clear water, desert experiences and UNESCO sites, all accompanied by incredible cuisines featuring old classics, spices, herbs, teas and recipes passed down through generations.
As with EXPLORA I, EXPLORA II’s guests will reside in carefully curated ‘Homes at Sea’ designed to stimulate the senses and enhance the connection with the ocean. Featuring elegant Swiss precision, modern European craftsmanship and vibrant design, the suites are spacious, serene and luxurious homes-away-from-home for the discerning travellers.
The culinary offering on board of EXPLORA II will comprise twelve bars and lounges as well as six restaurants for an exclusive choice of food and drinks. Curated by Chef Franck Garanger, Head of Culinary at Explora Journeys, guests will be spoiled for choice with incredible and original menus featuring local and fresh ingredients taking inspiration from the destinations visited. The outlets will offer varied and healthy options to allow every guest to embark on a gastronomic journey whilst on the ship.
Committed to its pledge to the environment, Explora Journeys will continue to utilise the latest in environmental-supporting technologies. Comparably to the first ship of the fleet, EXPLORA II features the latest selective catalytic reduction technology, enables a 90% reduction in nitrogen emissions, is RINA DOLPHIN certified and has been built with ship to shore power capabilities to avoid CO2 emissions while at berth.
Explora Journeys is constantly innovating and adapting to alternative energy solutions as they become available. Aiming to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the brand recently announced that EXPLORA III and EXPLORA IV will feature LNG engines, whilst EXPLORA V and EXPLORA VI will feature not only an LNG engine, but will be hydrogen powered with industry-first features. The ships will have new generation technologies on board and tackle the methane slip issue effectively, including a containment system for liquid hydrogen that will enable them to use promising low-carbon fuel. The Hydrogen fuel will power a six-megawatt fuel cell to produce emissions-free power for the hotel operation and allow the vessels for zero emissions operations while in port.
These innovations will bring Explora Journeys’ investment in its fleet of six ships to €3.5 billion.
Bookings for EXPLORA II sailings from August 2024 to end of April 2025 are now open. Please visit www.explorajourneys.com, call your preferred travel advisor or an Explora Experience Center Ambassador.
About Explora Journeys
Explora Journeys is the privately-owned luxury lifestyle brand of the MSC Group, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, created at the heart of Swiss luxury hospitality. The brand stems from the long-held vision of the Aponte-Vago family to redefine the ocean experience for a new generation of discerning luxury travellers, drawing on the Aponte family`s 300 years of maritime heritage. The brand’s aspiration is to create a unique ‘Ocean State of Mind’ by connecting guests with the sea, with themselves, and like-minded people, while remarkable itineraries will blend renowned destinations with lesser-travelled ports, for a journey that inspires discovery in all its forms.
A fleet of six ships, two of which are under construction, will be launched from 2023 to 2028. Equipped with the latest environmental and marine technologies, Explora Journeys will introduce a modern style of transformative ocean travel. EXPLORA I offers 461 oceanfront suites, penthouses and residences designed to be ‘Homes at Sea’ for our guests, all with sweeping ocean views, private terrace, a choice of nine distinct culinary experiences, ten indoor and outdoor bars and lounges, four swimming pools, extensive outdoor decks with private cabanas, wellness facilities, and refined entertainment. Inspired by the company`s European heritage, Explora Journeys will provide guests with an immersive ocean experience and respectful and intuitive hospitality.
See more from Explora Journeys here.
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