Explora Journeys, a privately-owned sub-brand of the MSC Group, is applying a “luxury lifestyle hotel” ethos to its Millennial-friendly cruise ships, which will feature Ocean penthouses and residences, in addition to entry-level Ocean suites. 

Setting sail on July 17, 2023, Explora 1 will be the first in a series of as many as six new cruise ships from Swiss company Explora Journeys (the second will debut in 2028). The inaugural vessel will feature 461 cabins that have been designed to be “homes at sea”. 

In an attempt to make the penthouses and residences distinct to those found in a hotel, Explora Journeys has attempted to imbue the passenger experience with an “ocean state of mind,” prioritising natural light, color, space, privacy, and a connection with the sea (all cabins have outdoor space and ocean views). 

With Ocean suites measuring from 300 square feet (plus extra space on the terraces), Ocean penthouses (across four categories) are larger, going up to 730 square feet, while Ocean residences (also in four types) have footprints of up to 1,600 square feet. 

All penthouses have a lounge with a dining table for four people and Italian Molteni&C sofa, adjacent to a separate bedroom. Residences on the other hand have separate living, dining and sleeping areas, and expansive terraces with room for Molteni&C loungers and even hot tubs on the terraces of the largest ones. 

A premium room on an Explora Journeys ship
A suite on an Explora Journeys ship, a privately-owned sub-brand of the MSC Group.

All penthouses and residences have hand-picked artwork, walk-in wardrobes with a seated vanity area and bathrooms with heated floors. Amenities include Dyson Supersonic hairdryers, binoculars, wireless bed-side charging, personalised minibars, espresso machines with bio-degradable pods, kettles, teapots and refillable water bottles. Bed linens and towels are by Italian textile company Frette. 

Guests staying in Ocean residences also have access to a team of Residence Hosts who provide butler services around the clock. 

Tapping into the in-room workout trend, penthouses will be equipped with the Technogym kit, while residences will have an additional Technogym bench so passengers don’t have to go to the gym. 

Jason Gelineau, head of product for Explora Journeys, says that the company has also made efforts to lower its planetary impact. “Environmental respect and sustainability have been key in design choices, ensuring a balance between the tactile and visual experience of every material used. 

“Eco-friendly details such as refillable bathroom amenities have also been weaved into the suite offering and where feasible, we are sourcing sustainable products including B Corp-certified items. We will also have a no single-use plastic policy on board,” he says.

Tags: guest experience, msc cruises