Explora Journeys, the luxury lifestyle brand of the MSC Group, has unveiled the design of its Ocean Penthouses and Ocean Residences on board Explora I. This will be the first of a planned fleet of up to six luxury ships. This is the second unveiling of the unique design philosophy for its 461 ocean-front ‘Homes at Sea’. This follows the cruise line sharing its plans for its entry-level Ocean Suites last year.

With a maritime heritage of over 300 years coupled with an innate understanding of luxury, the owners’ family has carefully curated the design of the suites, penthouses and residences to create the ultimate luxurious Home at Sea. The elegant design reflects the brand’s distinctive European DNA.

Explora I’s Ocean Penthouses and Ocean Residences boast elegant designs

These spaces have been thoughtfully designed to stimulate the senses and reflect the brand’s philosophy of creating an ‘Ocean State of Mind’. Their interiors prioritise and feature carefully considered elements such as natural light, colour, space, privacy, and connection with the sea. In designing these spaces, Explora Journeys has worked meticulously to ensure every guest experiences an opulent, yet intimate retreat as they embark on their own ocean journey.

“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.”

Jason Gelineau, Head of Product of Explora Journeys

Ocean Penthouses range from 43 to 68 sqm (463 – 732 sq ft), while Ocean Residences range from 70 to 149 sqm (753 – 1604 sq ft). This makes them among the largest in the industry. Explora has spent time on enhancing the fluidity and harmony of the suites and their spaces, implementing linear design principles to maximise space. Read on to find out more about these opulent designs.

Ocean Penthouses

The Ocean Penthouses of Explora I offer a sumptuous retreat with ocean-front floor-to-ceiling windows and expansive terraces to unwind. Each of the four penthouse types offers a distinctive private dining area for four and a large seating area. This provides an inviting space for guests to entertain in their suite. It also provides a calm, comfortable place to spend time and relax in.

Amenities offered within the penthouses include a walk-in wardrobe with a seated vanity area, heated floors in the bathroom, and personal binoculars for optimal views. Penthouses will also feature a personal mini-bar replenished according to the guests’ preferences, an espresso machine with bio-degradable pods, and a complimentary personal refillable water bottle for each guest.

The Ocean Penthouses provide stunning views through floor-to-ceiling windows

Ocean Residences

The spacious Ocean Residences will offer effortlessly elegant spaces with separate living, dining and sleeping areas. With optimal views at the forefront of the design, these residences offer a panoramic ocean-front terrace. This boasts a private outdoor whirlpool, a dining table and sun loungers. The materials used showcase the care, attention and calibre of the design. These include Calacatta Macchia Vecchia marble used in the bathrooms of Cocoon, Serenity and Retreat Residences. There are four unique types of residences to choose from: Cocoon, Cove, Retreat and Serenity. Their names and designs reflect the calming effects of the ocean and provide a Home at Sea feel. The Cocoon and Serenity Residences feature unique wrap-around terraces, while Cocoon, Serenity and Retreat Residences offer a separate bathtub and walk-in shower. All Ocean Residences are served by a dedicated team of Residence Hosts providing bespoke butler services 24 hours a day.

The Cocoon and Serenity Residences feature unique wrap-around terraces

In the vision of enhancing the home-away-from-home ambience, Explora Journeys has developed a further phase of its design project dedicated to art. Through their personal vision, the owners’ family has hand-selected notable artists and their work to be showcased on board. Each suite will feature a master artwork in its living room along with complementary pieces and carefully curated decorative elements.

Working with innovative suppliers

Fusing Swiss precision with the finest European craftsmanship and conscious, respectful design, Explora Journeys has worked with luxury brands such as Molteni&C, part of the Molteni Group, the leading independent group in the high-end furniture sector with 100% Italian production. The identity of Molteni&C lives in all the suites of Explora I. It can be found through iconic sofas and chairs as well as outdoor furniture for selected terraces. These are all marked by the core values of Molteni: tradition, quality, durability and reliability, supported by research and innovation. Molteni&C will be exhibiting at CSI 2023 on booth 569.


Further enhancing the magnificent outdoor spaces, suite terraces have been furnished with exquisite pieces by Manutti, one of the world’s leading luxury outdoor furniture brands.

The outdoor furniture has been provided by cruise supplier Manutti


Luxury bed and bath linens are from Frette, who use the most skilled Italian artisans to craft products that embody luxury, comfort and creativity.


The lighting throughout the suites has been styled to create an intimate light. Linear lights integrated with the suite’s furnishings offer an equally functional and design-led element. These mirror the linear flow throughout the suites, giving a clear perspective of the well-equilibrated spaces. Future thinking design and lighting brand Astep provided bedside sconce lights and elegant chandelier within the Ocean Residences.


For the ultimate workout, Explora I will feature in-suite fitness equipment by Technogym. Ocean Penthouses will be equipped with the Technogym Kit. Ocean Residences will have an additional Technogym Bench available for guests.

Explora I will be setting sail for her maiden voyage from Southampton, UK, on 17 July 2023.

About Explora Journeys

Explora Journeys is the privately-owned luxury lifestyle brand of the MSC Group. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, it stands at the heart of Swiss luxury hospitality. The brand stems from the owners’ long-held vision to redefine the ocean experience for a new generation of discerning luxury travellers. They draw on the family`s 300 years of maritime heritage. The brand’s aspiration is to create a unique ‘Ocean State of Mind’ by connecting guests with the sea, with themselves, and with like-minded people. Remarkable itineraries will blend renowned destinations with lesser-travelled ports, for a journey that inspires discovery in all its forms. 

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