Explora Journeys, a new cruise line debuting in May 2023, is what lux cruising truly means, with spacious rooms and private terraces, lots of wellness experiences and dining options, and—what truly stands out—diverse destinations (think: Greenland, the Arctic, the coast of Brazil) and longer journeys, giving you the chance to experience everything they have to offer.
Explora’s inaugural journeys start in the spring of 2023, with varied itineraries that touch so many corners of the world. Here’s what we mean: An 11-night Mediterranean cruise stops in Rome, but also in smaller ports, like St. Tropez in France and Fiskardo in Greece. On the 16-night Iceland and Greenland Journey, you start in Reykjavik, making multiple stops throughout Iceland and Greenland, before heading to Canada and ending in New York City. With the 16-day South American Journey, which starts in Barbados, you head down the coast of Brazil—during Carnival, no less. And there’s more too, including week-long Caribbean cruises, two sailings in Hawaii, another along North America’s East Coast (visiting smaller cities, like Newport), and a 12-night summer Norwegian Journey that takes you to the tip of the Arctic Circle.
The brand plans to launch a new ship every year between 2023 and 2026, to complete its four-ship fleet, with Explora I and Explora II currently in the works. And the 14-deck ships, which are being built by the shipbuilding company Fincantieri in northern Italy, have a lux, sophisticated vibe. The thoughtful design is thanks in part to both consumer input and experience—the ship’s architect’s usually design superyachts—in mind. This is evident in the onboard venues, of course, including the multiple pools and restaurants, but truly shines in their accommodations. There are a total of 461 suites, penthouses, and residences for some 900 guests, all of which have private terraces (and include a welcome bottle of champagne). What you’ll notice first? The size of the rooms, which starts at close to 400-square-feet and includes floor-to-ceiling windows and a lounge area. And it only goes up from there, with Ocean Penthouses that boast separate bedrooms and dining tables that seat up to four. When you really want to go all out, consider one of the 22 Ocean Residences. They vary in size and style, with the biggest of the group, the singular, 3,000-square-foot Owner’s Residence offering the works: a huge terrace with pool and outdoor shower, private bar, steam room, large living room, and dining area for up to eight.
There’s so much we love about what Explora is offering, starting with the fact that they’ll be stopping at often-skipped smaller ports—places like St. Tropez and Newport, as we mentioned earlier—as well as lesser-known spots, like Paamiut in Greenland and Devil’s Island in French Guiana. And the sailings—called journeys here—will range from 7 to as long as 58 (!!) days, with longer stays at each destination, allowing you much more time to explore and experience. For example, on the inaugural Caribbean journey, the ship docks in St. Barth’s from 9 am to 11:30 pm; the same goes for the stop in Rome, which is from 8 am to 8 pm. That means less rushing from site to site or coming back to the ship exhausted after one excursion—and missing all the onboard fun.
And speaking of on-board fun, there’s plenty of that. Ships will feature 9 culinary experiences (plus en-suite dining), including pan-Asian and Mediterranean restaurants, poolside dining, and a coffee lounge as well as private dining and a culinary school. Plus, there are also 10 bars and lounges, including a whiskey and cigar room, as well as a casino and art gallery on the entertainment front. From a wellness perspective, you’ll find lots to enjoy, from hanging out at one of the four pools (the indoor pool has a retractable roof) to the outdoor spa to the fitness facility and running track. And we’d be remiss not to mention Explora’s sustainability and eco-forward aspects, such as selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology, that cuts nitrogen oxide emission by 90 percent and ship to shore power, along with high-efficiency appliances, robust recycling programs, and more.
Right now, clients aren’t able to directly book rooms on Explora ships, but F1S advisors can, thanks to Eplora’s exclusive “By Appointment” service. This service lets advisors put rooms on hold for clients on one of the Inaugural Journeys.
When you really want to tap into vacation mode, take advantage of their nutrition and sleep program, try a treatment at the salon, or lounge in one of the private cabanas available.