Explora Journeys: World-Class Culinary at Sea
Explora Journeys: World-Class Culinary at Sea
Where can you find world-class culinary at sea? Let me suggest the world’s newest 5-star cruise line: Explora Journeys.
Carol and I are currently sailing with Explora Journeys on a 10-day cruise from Quebec City to New York City.
We just spent several glorious days exploring the north shore of the St. Lawrence River, and now we have two sea days as we make our way down to Halifax.
We’re currently hugging the northern shore of Prince Edward Island, and as Explora Journeys also offers world-class Internet aboard their ship, I thought I would share my first impressions of the culinary experience onboard the Explora I.
Carol and I were having lunch in the Med Yacht Club, and it dawned on me as Carol was enjoying an Osso Bucco Ravioli, and I was noshing on a melt-in-your-mouth Lamb Shank on a bed of Orzo, that the cuisine on this ship is outstanding.
We’ve now enjoyed all of the dining options on the ship, except for Anthology (renowned guest chefs brought aboard the ship), which we will enjoy in a few days.
Carol and I have sailed with most of the luxury cruise lines that cater to North Americans, and when we sailed with Oceania Cruises this past February, who claim to have the “finest cuisine at sea,” we became believers in their claim.
Well, you see, it was Franck Garanger, now Head of Culinary with Explora Journeys, who helped build the culinary program on Oceania Cruises. And now, he’s here with Explora.
Here’s this from a February 2022 press release:
Explora Journeys, the luxury brand of MSC Group’s Cruise Division, has appointed Franck Garanger, as Head of Culinary to curate and define nine distinct culinary experiences on board their new ship EXPLORA I.
Focused on healthy, delicious food from local, sustainable sources, Explora Journeys has a mission to ensure its guests can immerse themselves in the ‘Ocean State of Mind’, and with Franck Garanger’s appointment, the culinary experience is set to be no exception.
Michael Ungerer, CEO of Explora Journeys, said: “Explora Journeys isn’t just an opportunity to discover the world, we also see it as a way for our guests to taste it too, actively discovering new cuisines and experiences. Franck’s pedigree in European luxury, combined with his passion for true cooking will shape an evolution of how dining at sea can be transformed. Blending flavours from all over the globe with ingredients that have been hand-selected and sourced by Franck himself will ensure that every guest leaves their journey not just with memories from the places they have visited but from some of the finest cuisine at sea.”
From a young age, Franck Garanger discovered his passion for cooking and began his culinary career. Born in Angers, located in the Loire Valley, he grew up helping his is father in his patisserie-boulangerie. Despite a love of pastry, at 16, Franck decided it was time to broaden his culinary horizons and trained at the Michelin Star restaurant, Le Vert D’Eau in Angers as an apprentice for two years under the French Master Chef Jean-François Piers. It was there, that his culinary mastery already began to shine, becoming nominated as one of the best ten young chefs of his generation, an achievement that only showed a glimpse of what was to come. Franck has also worked at numerous world-renowned locations alongside some of the most notable culinary names including Paul Bocuse, Alain Passard and Thierry Marx.
Combining his love for cooking and his desire to explore the world, Franck became Chef de Partie onboard Silversea Cruises, where he was quickly promoted to Executive Chef onboard and then to Fleet Corporate Chef, a position he held for 4 years before he took a position as Culinary Director for Oceania Cruises.
Now Head of Culinary at Explora Journeys, Franck was lured by “a level of European Luxury that offers a different perspective in the world of luxury ocean experiences.” Franck sees his move as both a new challenge and opportunity to start from a “blank canvas and show the world what food at sea really can be.” When asked how will achieve success, Franck says “you can see it not just in the food but in the eyes of the chefs. Once a team is proud, they will deliver at their best.”
Set to deliver exceptional dining experiences, that celebrate culinary talent and local cultures, Explora Journeys nine distinctive dining options, will embrace authenticity, with every detail curated by Franck.
Franck has a clear mission for his role with Explora Journeys, “to earn recognition for serving the best food at sea and building a story, through traveling the world and tasting it”. Franck understands that culinary preferences are continuously evolving, from the rise in wellness, to the aspiration to eat more sustainability, as well as the renewed desire to explore bolder flavour profiles and discover cuisines that they have not tried before.
These are trends that are more prevalent than ever and have a direct impact on culinary dining experiences both out at sea and on land. Franck believes that matching menus to meet the mood of the guests onboard as well as incorporating an array of plant-based and vegetarian dishes, an aspect of cooking he specializes in personally, will be paramount to bringing personality, sophistication and integrity to dining at sea.
Having now sampled the cuisine aboard the Explora I, by the guy who helped build “the best cuisine at sea,” I can tell you that the most discriminating foodies are going to love the food and beverage options with Explora Journeys.
As they have been sailing now for just a few months, did we notice a few bumps in our culinary experience?
But they have been minor, and I’m convinced that as the culinary team has more time together under their belts, I fully expect the culinary experience with Explora Journeys to be the best culinary experience available at sea.
And I don’t know about you, but food and beverage is an important part of my travel experience. And I am very pleased with our culinary experience so far on this cruise.
Bravo, Explora Journeys!
How to Book an Ocean Journey with Explora Journeys
Explora Journeys is a part of our Virtuoso Voyages program.
Book with us, and we’ll add €300 in shipboard credits to your booking.
This means that when you book any Explora Journeys cruise with Roaming Boomers Travel Services, you will receive exclusive complimentary amenities on all sailings that you wouldn’t get by booking directly with the company.
Additionally, you will also enjoy our hands-on expert service and care for your booking.
And, the price is exactly the same whether you book with us or directly with the company. Therefore, take advantage of our expertise and perks.
For more information or to book a fun Explora Journeys cruise, please call Roaming Boomers Travel Services at (480) 550-1235 or use our convenient online information request (click here), and we’ll reach out to you.
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Virtuoso® is the leading global network of agencies specializing in luxury and experiential travel, with over 20,000 advisors. We partner with over 1,800 of the world’s best companies such as hotels, cruise lines, tour operators, and more. Our advisors use their personal connections and firsthand expertise to craft bespoke trips for clients, including unique experiences, special values, complimentary perks, VIP treatment, and rare access.