New cruise line Explora Journeys staffs up ahead of 2023 launch
Float out of EXPLORA I in May 2022 | Photo credit Ivan Sarfatti

New cruise line Explora Journeys staffs up ahead of 2023 launch

TORONTO — Explora Journeys, owned by MSC Group and with the first two of four new cruise ships now under construction, is staffing up in anticipation of its 2023 launch.

The new cruise line’s Head of Product, Jason Gelineau, is a dual Canadian / Australian national who joined Explora Journeys in late 2021, is set to lead the entire onboard guest experience and operations.

Gelineau was Brand Performance Manager for MSC Cruise Division for three years overseeing MSC Cruises’ U.S.-based ships and private island destination, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve. Before that he was with Seabourn as Hotel Director for three years, Oceania Cruises as General Manager for eight years and has also worked onboard The World of ResidenSea and Silversea Cruises.

This week Explora Journeys unveiled its Guest Experience team with seven new appointments as part of a growing team “set to define and deliver a highly curated guest experience” under Gelineau’s leadership, says the company. The new appointments include senior hires in F&B, spa, hotel operations, entertainment and enrichment, and more.

Says Michael Ungerer, CEO, Explora Journeys: “We continue to attract the highest calibre of hospitality thoroughbreds, which is a further proof point of the appeal our brand has to the luxury labour market. With our belief in customer centricity at our core, these new appointments under the leadership of Jason Gelineau play a crucial role in leading our guests on a journey of self and social discovery, fulfillment, and enrichment, easing them into an Ocean State of Mind.  With two ships under construction, we remain firmly on track and committed to delivering inspiring and sustainable tourism as we and our guests, strive to leave a positive footprint on the communities we visit.”

Explora is aiming to create an ‘Ocean State of Mind’ for its passengers, by connecting guests with the sea, with themselves, and like-minded people, according to the cruise line. Itineraries will blend top destinations with lesser-travelled ports.

A fleet of four ships, two of which are under construction, will be launched from 2023 to 2026, equipped with the latest environmental and marine technologies.

EXPLORA I will offer 461 oceanfront suites, penthouses and residences designed to be ‘Homes at Sea’. All have ocean views, a private terrace, nine culinary experiences, 10 indoor and outdoor bars and lounges, four swimming pools, extensive outdoor decks with private cabanas, wellness facilities, and entertainment.

The maiden voyage for EXPLORA I will take passengers from Barcelona to Athens, departing in May 2023. In its first year, EXPLORA I will visit 132 ports in 40 different countries, including two destinations, Kastellorizo, Greece and Saint Pierre, Martinique that have not been visited by cruise ships before.

The cruise line’s itineraries are set to include the Med, Northern Europe, the UK, Iceland, Greenland, Canada, the U.S. East Coast, Caribbean, South America, and Hawaii. Durations range from six-night journeys to an epic 44-night Northern Europe Grand Journey.