Back

View all destinations
  • Africa

  • Asia

  • Caribbean

  • Central America

  • Europe

  • Middle East

  • North America

  • Oceania

  • South America

Africa

Through its extraordinary wildlife safaris, environmental majesty and ancient traditions, Africa is an epic storybook adventure. Experience unparalleled luxury via rainforest, coastline, dessert and mountain.

Asia

Intoxicatingly beautiful and rooted in custom, Asia reveals a heightened mysticism and generosity of spirit throughout each celebrated region. Discover centuries of culture and engaging hospitality with every step.

Caribbean

Choose from an ever-increasing portfolio of luxury resorts and private islands along the azure waters of the Caribbean. Marine adventure, culinary perfection and complete seclusion all have a spot on the day’s agenda.

Central America

Soothing vistas and diverse eco-adventure await in Central America. See the sun rise over the rim of a volcano, roam the ruins of the Mayans, ride through nature conservatories and paddle through jungle mangroves.

Europe

A multitude of environs– coast, country and city – make for a feast of diversity in Europe. The unique histories, gastronomic extravagance and cultural riches bring a deluxe profusion of Old World elegance.

Middle East

Ancient cultures and modern pleasures coalesce in the fascinating nations of the eastern Mediterranean and those ringing the Persian Gulf. Encounter pockets of immense historical significance, refined opulence and breathtaking beauty.

North America

For enjoying a stateside sojourn, drinking in Canada’s natural wonders or exploring the magnitude of Mexico, this continent offers spectacular diversion. Find flavours to arouse every taste bud and an array of cultures to match.

Oceania

A world of exotic wonder awaits in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific islands. Drift through romantic nights and endless days of natural splendour, aquatic adventure, decadent resorts and epicurean delights.

South America

From the beaches of northern Brazil to the southern tracts of Patagonia, this continent is the sum of a thousand parts. Experience ancient cities and heritage haciendas, volcanic hot springs and vibrant café cultures.

Explore a world of luxury

View all destinations

Cruise Destinations

Whether you dream of island-hopping your way down Caribbean island chains, connecting the ocean waters with a Panama Canal cruise, or sailing into an exotic Mediterranean port at cocktail hour, our expert Travel Designers can curate the luxury cruise vacation of a lifetime.

Explore a world of luxury cruising

Search all cruise types

Safari Destinations

What can you expect from a Tully Luxury Travel safari? In a word: magic. You will witness extraordinary wildlife amid untamed beauty and unparalleled luxury. You will take a thousand pictures – and make a thousand more memories.

Podcasts

Luxury travel’s most inspiring stories told by its most celebrated icons. From wildlife experts, fashion designers and artists, to historians, chefs and more, this inspiring podcast series is designed to show you the world’s most exclusive travel experiences through the eyes of the people that know them best.

See all Podcasts

Explore our media

View all media

Our Partners

What is the Tully Difference? The most satisfying travel experiences are the ones that captivate and transform you as a person and that deepen your connection to the world around you. It is that belief that fuels our desire to create rewarding travel experiences for people who are passionate about discovering the essence and heart of a destination.

View all Preferred Partners

The Tully Difference

Learn more

Seatrade Cruise News: Explora Journeys sales doubling weekly, pricing will go up: Ungerer

By Anne Kalosh | 10-24-2022 |

Press & Media

Since Explora I entered service, sales have doubled every week, and pricing will be going up, Explora Journeys CEO Michael Ungerer told Seatrade Cruise News.

After the ship's introduction was delayed several times — and this followed the repeated delays for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection's first ship — luxury customers were taking a wait and see approach to this new brand, according to a key US retail partner. Many wanted their advisor to go first and tell them if it's worth it.

So bookings lagged for this particular retail group even though Explora I has 'delivered beautifully by all accounts' and 'the sales team is working incredibly hard,' the travel partner said. On a recent eight-day Canada/New England cruise the 922-passenger ship was at just 25% occupancy, according to Cruise Week.

Ungerer is confident this will change, especially given the number of influential travel partners experiencing Explora I and the positive word of mouth.

'It takes a bit of time,' he said, for a new brand to get traction.

Seeing is believing

Ensemble Travel Group held its annual conference aboard Explora I's Aug. 1 inaugural cruise, and Ensemble President Michael Johnson was back aboard for Thursday's naming festivities in New York. Other leading retail figures included Virtuoso's Matthew Upchurch, Internova Travel Group's JD O'Hara, Signature Travel Network's Ignacio Maza and Tully Luxury Travel's Mary Jean Tully, among others.

'We're very travel-advisor-focused and we cherish long-term partnerships and we want to get as many [advisors] on board as we can as long as we have space,' Ungerer said.

Advisors have been hearing about 'the ocean state of mind' for several years, but nothing beats first-hand experience.

They're telling Ungerer 'Now we understand' what sets Explora Journeys apart. It offers a luxury resort at sea, with 18 food and beverage choices, four pools and tony boutiques including the first Rolex shop afloat (which, unlike shops ashore where customers have to order the watches, is permitted to sell up to four a day on Explora 1).

Suites start at a very ample 377 square feet/35 square meters and have a bevy of lavish touches.

Ungerer said Explora's European heritage also 'plays a big role' in differentiating the brand.

The company sources about half its guests from the Americas and half from the rest of the world. Fifty to 60 nationalities have been on the initial voyages. And many have been new to cruising.

Prices going up

Explora has no plans to nudge up occupancy by discounting.

'I don't have to price to fill, and I won't,' Ungerer insisted. 'That was one of my prerogatives from day one. And we've raised prices twice since last year and we will raise them again.'

He put the starting per diem at €650, or €1,300 for two in a suite. 'Everything is included. It's great value for money,' he said.

(There is a charge for one dining spot, Anthology, which brings aboard top guest chefs, many with multiple Michelin stars; the price is €175 for a 12-course menu plus €90 for the wine pairing.)

Adding sales clout

In addition to the recent move of MSC Cruises powerhouse Achille Staiano to chief commercial officer at Explora Journeys, the brand has added business relationship leads in New York, Miami, the US West Coast and in Canada, reporting to Saul Fonseca, head of sales, USA East and the Americas, based in Miami, and Aimee Price, head of sales, USA West and Canada, based in Seattle. They report up to Chris Austin, chief sales officer.

Other markets will be getting additional sales support in 2024.

Six-ship fleet

MSC Group came through the pandemic stronger and richer than ever thanks to its container business, and has made a €3.5b commitment to build Explora Journeys into a six-ship fleet.

'No one else could do that at this time,' Ungerer said.

He added that's how the privately held MSC has always operated, quickly building scale to dominate sectors. By 2028, when the sixth Explora ship arrives, this will be the luxury brand with the most capacity, according to current known industry supply growth plans.

The last four ships will be LNG-powered and the last two will also have hydrogen fuel cells to supply power needs in port. All this should make Explora the most environmentally advanced of the luxury cruise operators.

This is 'extremely important to me personally and also to the [Aponte-Vago] family,' Ungerer said, adding that Explora is a beacon for the Group, which has committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

'The more the marrier'

Ungerer thinks it's great that new luxury brands are entering the cruise sector. 'I love it. The more the merrier,' he said.

He began his career at Ritz-Carlton and remembers the company talking about getting into cruising in the early 1990s. He considers Ritz, Four Seasons and Aman's Orient Express fantastic brands that validate cruising for people who may never try it otherwise.

A growing addressable market

In 2019, when Explora Journeys was doing its research, the team identified a market of 28m affluent customers worldwide.

Ungerer pointed out that at Virtuoso Travel Week in August this year, the luxury consortium said its target clientele, individuals with more than $1m in liquid assets, is growing in every market around the world at a faster clip than projected.

This will generate 16m additional high-net-worth customers between 2021 and 2026. That's 60% more than Explora's projections, a massive boost, Ungerer noted.

He's not concerned about macroeconomic or geopolitical issues, even rising oil prices.

Very privileged

'We're very privileged in our segment,' Ungerer maintained. 'We have assets that move and MSC is truly global. No one is global like MSC in sourcing and distribution.'

As for fuel cost, ships next year will also start paying an EU emissions tax.

'If you want to travel, it's not going to get any cheaper, that's for sure,' Ungerer said.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Inspiring travel ideas and advice from our travel designers delivered straight to your inbox.

Submit

Subscribe to our Newsletter

And gain access to travel promotions exclusive to Tully Luxury Travel through our vast network of some of the largest service providers in the travel industry.

We hope to show you the Tully difference on your next journey.

Tully Luxury Travel | Newsletter Subscription

  • Send

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

false