The new luxury cruise line is set to debut its first ship, Explora I, in July, with a vast range of culinary options on board.
MSC Group’s new Explora Journeys luxury cruise line will launch Explora I, the first of six ships, in July. The vessel, which is being built by Fincantieri in Italy, will feature 461 ocean-front suites, private terraces that are said to be among the largest in cruising, and an impressive 18 dining and drinking destinations, including six restaurants.
This year, the ship will embark on maiden voyages to visit 132 ports in 40 countries, including lesser-visited destinations like Kastellorizo, Greece and Saint Pierre, Martinique.
Dining venues aboard Explora I
New details have been announced on five of the six restaurants aboard Explora I, which will be under the direction of head of culinary, Franck Garanger. Each will offer all-inclusive menus and signature dishes with international influences.
Said to be inspired by the ancient tea rooms of Kyoto, Sakura will serve as Explora I’s pan-Asian dining establishment with menus influenced by Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, and Malaysian cuisines. Signature dishes will include a wakame salad with Wagyu beef tataki and Madagascan pepper.
Marble Co. & Grill will take its cues from the European steakhouse, providing passengers with high-quality cuts of meat served in relaxed surroundings. An in-house dry ager will be used to create signature dishes like the grilled prime rib (using Jersiaise beef from the Loire Valley), aged for 30 days, with cherry tomatoes and Hollandaise.
Recalling the beachside restaurants of the Mediterranean, Med Yacht Club will offer regional ocean-inspired sharing plates infused with the flavours of Spain, Italy, Greece, France, and North Africa. Passengers can sample signatures like grilled octopus with Taggiasca olives, green beans, parsley, and San Marzano tomato sauce.
Fil Rouge will be an intimate French-inspired restaurant that emanates timeless elegance. A signature dish is bluefin tuna tataki with crispy tomato-olive tart, vegetables, and vanilla white pepper.
Emporium Marketplace is the fifth dining spot to be announced for Explora I. The minimalist spot will feature cooking stations serving different types of international cuisine, from sushi to pasta, pizza, charcuterie, and more. Breakfast will feature fresh juices, smoothies, and acai bowls.
With MSC’s European heritage, the company has opted for a modern and cosmopolitan design, engaging accomplished British designer and architect Martin Francis as part of the design team.
Conceptualised by De Jorio Luxury & Yachts and London-based NenMar Studio, guest suites, penthouses, and residences will feature floor-to-ceiling windows with neutral colour palettes and furnishings from luxury European designers like Italian brand, Molteni&C.
Explora Journeys is a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. In July 2022, the company announced that it had signed an MOA for the construction of two hydrogen-powered luxury cruise ships, Explora V and VI, set to debut in 2027 and 2028, respectively.
Additionally, Explora Journeys announced that its ships Explora III and IV will be powered by LNG, the cleanest marine fuel currently available.