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Explora Journeys Unveils Details of Inaugural Set of Destination Experiences for EXPLORA I

Explora Journeys has announced details of its inaugural set of destination experiences for EXPLORA I, the first of up to six luxury ships to join its fleet.

The luxury lifestyle hospitality brand – which acts as the luxury brand of MSC Cruises – will offer eight individual sailings as part of its debut Northern European Inaugural Journeys Collection, showcasing a balanced blend of well-known destinations such as Copenhagen or Edinburgh, discovered through a different lens and lesser-known, rarely visited ports, such as Leknes in Norway’s Lofoten Islands and Ísafjörður in Iceland.

Explora Journeys aims to provide inspiring opportunities for its guests to discover breath-taking nature, authentic cultures, and culinary delights.

Experiences are tailored to small, intimate groups, from two to 25 guests; always with an emphasis on exclusive, off-the-beaten-path encounters and focused on a slower pace of travel to allow guests to fully immerse themselves in each destination, whilst not leaving their footprint on the places they explore.

Sacha Rougier, the Head of Itinerary Planning and Destination Experiences at Explora Journeys comments: “When creating our experiences, we first need to understand the very essence of each destination and then focus on unique ways to offer our guests the chance to immerse themselves into the local culture, taste authentic food and discover truly hidden gems. Our selected tour operators have been hand-picked and quickly realised that we at Explora Journeys want to clearly differentiate ourselves, by offering our guests an extremely wide range of experiences that go to the root of each destination. Under the umbrella of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) we partner with Travelife for Tour Operators, the internationally leading training, management, and certification program for sustainability in tourism.”

Norway: Guests will have the chance to discover some of Europe’s most dramatic coastlines, as EXPLORA I will sail deep into the Norwegian fjords. Crossing the Arctic Circle, an array of nature-focused adventures awaits in Leknes on the Lofoten Islands. In Geiranger, a guided Nordic-walking tour will combine exhilarating sportive adventure with breath-taking vistas overlooking cliffs and waterfalls. From the port of Molde, a Viking ship will bring guests to an 18th century fishing village, while other experiences include a gourmet dinner paired with the finest Norwegian spirits in Trondheim or a tour on the iconic Flåm Line in Flåm.

Denmark: Where iconic design meets peaceful nature, Denmark will enchant travellers with its diversity. Taking city sightseeing to a new level, guests can embark on a kayak tour of Copenhagen, while nature takes centre stage in Skagen, with highlights including a visit to the magnificent migrating dune in Grenen. In the Faroe Islands, experiences such as open-air yoga sessions or a magnificent hike to the floating lake in Leitisvatn await.

Iceland: The land of fire and ice is a paradise for all active travellers. Once-in-a-lifetime adventures can be experienced in Reykjavik, during a helicopter flight over dozens of volcanic craters or a swim in the famous blue lagoon, while in Ísafjörður guests can enjoy a thrilling whale watching. From the port of Akureyri, guests will have the chance to embark on a journey to the remote Grimsey Island, known for its rich wildlife and spectacular landscape, with other destination highlights in Akureyri including a visit to the waterfall of gods or a unique Icelandic horse experience.

Sweden: This northern kingdom, will captivate guests with its focus on mindfulness and the unique balance between calm nature and glittering city lights. During a mindful forest hike and meditation session in Goteborg, guests will have the chance to reconnect with nature in an ancient nature reserve in Sweden’s lush countryside, followed by a healthy lunch in the woods. A dreamy day of remote spa experiences and the finest seaside cuisine on one of Sweden’s most windswept places awaits on Hamneskar Island, a private island paradise to relax and unwind.

Netherlands: EXPLORA I will allow travellers to immerse themselves into a country known for its unique perspective on art, business and innovation; In Rotterdam, guests can indulge in the cosmopolitan flair of the city and admire the diversity of architecture or join a unique soul tram ride pairing sight-seeing with unique musical experiences. For all art lovers, Explora Journeys has curated a private after-hours visit to the Mauritshuis in Rotterdam, where an expert curator is guiding guests through the museum that houses some of the world’s most acclaimed masterpieces, such as the Girl with a Pearl Earring, the most famous oil painting by Dutch Golden Age painter Johannes Vermeer. In the magnificent Golden Room, a three-course gourmet dinner will be served, while admiring paintings of Pellegrini and listening to exquisite live classical music.

United Kingdom: Guests can embark on a series of unique adventures and experiences as diverse as the country itself; in the United Kingdom lush landscapes, a proud royal heritage and unique musical discoveries await. Guests can enjoy VIP access to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, one of the most significant celebrations of musical performance in the world. Other experiences include a private visit to one of the premier Scottish Whisky distilleries, a cooking class in Lerwick in the Shetland Islands, using some of the finest local seafood or a private visit of Strawberry Field in Liverpool, John Lennon’s childhood playground.

Greenland: Truly off the beaten path, Greenland offers guests the chance to immerse themselves into the stillness of vast landscapes, while embarking on thrilling adventures from the port of Qaqortoq, such as a helicopter tour with a landing on a glacier or a trip to the Uunartoq Hot Springs for a dip in the sumptuously warm waters. In Nuuk, travellers can interact with the locals by attending one of their traditional Kaffemik gatherings. Every golf aficionado’s dream will come true during a round of golf on the world’s only arctic grass course.

Explora Journeys Northern European Destination Experiences can now be booked as part of the Inaugural Journeys collection with departures starting from 17 July 2023. Additionally, guests can enhance their journeys with pre- and post-luxury hotel stays, offered in the journey enrichment programme.

EXPLORA I will be officially named on 8 July 2023 in Civitavecchia near Rome, Italy before heading to Southampton, UK to depart for her maiden journey on 17 July 2023.

A seamless and efficient booking process is available for guests via their preferred travel advisor, using the digital booking suite: www.explorajourneys.com/traveladvisors, or the Explora Journeys website: www.explorajourneys.com, with a team of multilingual Explora Experience Ambassadors available to personally assist.

Geoff Percival
Geoff Percival
Geoff has worked in business, news, consumer and travel journalism for more than 25 years; having worked for and contributed to the likes of The Irish Examiner, Business & Finance, Business Plus, The Sunday Times, The Irish News, Senior Times, and The Sunday Tribune.

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