Middle East Cruise News

Dubai-based Cruise Master to advise Explora Journeys on Middle East market

Cruise Master Middle East has been appointed the preferred advisor for the Middle Eastern market by Explora Journeys, the new cruise line subsidiary of the MSC Group.

Explora Journeys is MSC Cruises’ luxury brand, and sees MSC joining the ranks of Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, all of which operate their own luxury subsidiaries.

Explora Journeys took delivery of its first cruise ship Explora I this year, with plans to launch a fleet of six ships by 2027.

Explora Journeys has six ships on order

Explora I embarked on her maiden journey on August 1st from Copenhagen, Denmark while her sister ship Explora II is already under construction.

As a luxury cruise line, Explora Journeys will primarily target the North American and European cruise markets, but will appeal to an international jet-set of cruise passengers, particularly the Middle Eastern market, which is known for its high-end preferences.

Cruise Master Middle East will help Explora Journeys target this local market in the Middle East through itinerary planning, marketing and so on.

“We are very excited with this partnership, Explora Journeys will take the next generation of luxury travelers on a journey that will offer them authentic experiences,” said Ashok Kumar, Founder & Managing Director,Cruise Master.

“The target audience will be the well-traveled and sophisticated audience that is looking at curated experiences,” he added.

Suzanne Kochen, Head of Sales Northern Europe and Middle East at Explora Journeys said the brand’s vibrant, cosmopolitan and relaxed European Luxury will appeal to an international market.

Rendering of pools and lounge aboard Explora I

“Explora I will offer impressive itineraries to renowned destinations with lesser traveled ports,” she said.

The ship has been designed in partnership with the world’s foremost superyacht and luxury hospitality designers to seamlessly blend elegant Swiss precision with modern European craftsmanship.

She features 461 oceanfront suites and residences, nine distinct restaurants, several indoor and outdoor bars and lounges, expansive pool and sun decks, a spa, gym, several lounges, and a near 1:1 guest/crew ratio.

Explora Journeys’ parent company MSC Cruises is already a well-established cruise brand in the Middle East market, with the line homeporting in the Arabian Gulf out of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha annually during the winter cruise season.

MSC Cruises also homeports annually in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, sailing Red Sea cruise itineraries between November and March every year.

Explora Journeys will similarly be establishing itself in the Middle East, with Explora II due to sail two separate 9-night roundtrip cruises out of Saudi Arabia in 2024 and 2025, while Explora II will sail the longest-ever roundtrip from Dubai during the 2024/25 season.

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