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Tired of predictable cruise ships? Welcome to a hotel at sea!

Explora Journeys and The Opulent Explorer
  • From venture capitalists in Silicon Valley to hedge fund portfolio managers in Manhattan, the majority of inquiries for Explora Journeys are from those who prefer the AMAN, Oberoi and Four Seasons Resorts when traveling.
  • Our partner Explora Journeys is about to shift expectations about what a cruise is, and who is likely to go on one.
  • Experience a luxury hotel at sea with all the amenities you would expect on land.
  • Explora has suites rather than cabins, guests rather than passengers, and destination experiences rather than excursions.
  • In addition to their full-size cruise liners, they also offer river cruises and luxury barges.
cruise ship Explora Journeys and The Opulent Explorer

Don’t go on a cruise; go on a journey.

Personally, I love the sea. One of my favorite travel experiences was circumnavigating the globe in 100 days starting in Vancouver and heading west. For 2 weeks of the trip we saw nothing but the open ocean and the tail end of 2 cyclones we managed to avoid. It was a unique and exhilarating experience. 

But I don’t think much of cruises, and nor do my clients or peers. The first thought that pops into my mind when a cruise is mentioned is 5000 people standing on buffet lines, and commercials with go carts and waterslides that could not be less appealing (before you even consider the environmental impact.) The world is ready to move on from this dated model to a new era of ocean-going experiences. Welcome to cruising reimagined in the 21st century. 

Lobby bar on Explora I

The story of Explora begins with Gianluigi Aponte, a Neapolitan ferry captain from a 300 year old line of sea-farers. Meeting his Swiss wife aboard one of his crossings, they set out to form the global shipping operation MSC Group, parent of the brand-new luxury liner fleet Explora Journeys. Their vision was to create a company marked by European efficiency and glamor that provides a five-star hotel atmosphere at sea.

Your experience with Explora will be marked with what they call “the ocean state of mind;” an ocean-inspired sense of calm, unity, elegance and joy that encourages inner and outer exploration and discovery. Their luxury service standards are unparalleled, with many of their staff joining after years of experience as Crystal Cruise employees, and a crew to passenger ratio of 1.25 to 1.

“We are transforming the classic cruise to true ocean escapes that inspire exploration in all its forms – all with the spirit of vibrant, cosmopolitan and relaxed European luxury” 

EXPLORA I and II are the first of six best-in-class ships designed by superyacht and upscale hospitality designers. They will set sail in 2023, with the remaining ships in the fleet launching in 2024 – 2028. Explora’s 461 oceanfront suites, all with private terraces, range from an impressive 377 sq feet to 1604 sq feet and feature floor-to-ceiling windows.

The ship will include four heated swimming pools, one with a retractable roof, 27,000-square-feet of outdoor deck space, hot tubs, a spa and fitness center, yoga and pilates studios, and an outdoor movie theater. Through a contract with Steinway & Sons, Explora has secured three Spirio player pianos, which will be used for guest artists and regularly scheduled entertainment.

EXPLORA I - The Conservatory Pool & Bar
EXPLORA I – The Conservatory Pool & Bar

 “Explora Journeys combines centuries old seafaring experience with superlative European refinement to deliver enriching ocean journeys that inspire exploration in all its forms” 

Eighteen artists will perform on each Explora journey, separated by theme in the ten indoor and outdoor lounges. Guests can enjoy themed events like rock night, jazz night, live DJs under the stars in the covered pool, and more.

Overnights are a significant distinction Explora makes. No more hustling back to meet the boat at 3pm. This means that in the Caribbean you can savor a relaxed night at Nikki Beach in St Barth, go back to the jazz club on the ship for a nightcap, and wake up in Turks and Caicos or Anguilla. 

Experiences off the ship are also a far cry from following someone holding up a flag guiding cruisers from site to site, then back on the bus to return to the cruise ship. Instead you will be doing things like having a one-on-one chat with a Broadway star, discovering secret underground caverns, viewing waterfalls from a helicopter, learning traditional crab and lobster fishing, and much more. 

Foodies will not go hungry aboard the EXLPORA

Foodies will not go hungry aboard the EXLPORA I. With 18 food venues including five all-inclusive restaurants, guests can enjoy high-end cuisine from around the world. In their Anthology restaurant Explora will host a residency for Michelin chefs, rotating chefs every 4 months for guests who wish to experience Michelin-star cuisine paired with wines by a master sommelier.

Families traveling with children won’t have to worry about keeping everyone entertained and provided for. Explora offers triple suites and connecting rooms to accommodate your whole family. Kids can rock the night away in the supervised kids lounge, open 9 – midnight, which provides arts and crafts, video games, music and more. 

 “Explora Journeys – a vibrant, cosmopolitan, European luxury, lifestyle brand is redefining ocean travel for a new generation of discerning travelers.

There are many other ways Explora distinguishes itself – complimentary gratuities, alcohol, high-speed satellite wi-fi, state-of-the-art environmentally sustainable ships, and more.

Explora’s itineraries began at around $4000 – which is incredible considering that onshore luxury hotels can easily go up to $1000 per night with none of the extra services and amenities of an Explora journey. Convinced? Check out our favorite upcoming itineraries below.

Explore the ItinerariesLink

Inaugural Iceland & Greenland Journey: Arctic Geysers, Calving Glaciers, and Firey Lands of Ice – 16 nights/ 17 days

Caribbean Escapes in European Outposts – 10 nights/ 11 days

Guest Benefits

  • Save 5%: book early and pay in full up to 180 days prior to departure for residences, and up to 105 days for all other suites
  • Flexible journeys: don’t cancel, simply move to a new date up to 120 days prior to departure free of charge
  • Single-occupant discounts for solo travelers start at 15%, the opposite of many accommodations that will penalize singles
  • Grand and extended journeys – combine multiple journeys and save up to 15%
  • Additional guests and younger explorers: childer 6 mo – 2 years are free; kids 2-18 are eligible for up to 50% off, & adults traveling with a 3rd guest can save up to 25%

 Contact us about your next dream holiday

The Opulent Explorer team!

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