Explora Journeys has been granted ABTA membership as the luxury brand prepares to launch with its first ship next year.

The new line, a sister brand of MSC Cruises, will set sail with the Explora I and plans to have four ships on the seas by 2026.

Chief executive Michael Ungerer said joining ABTA was an “important next step” for Explora Journeys.

Chief sales officer Chris Austin added that it was “a significant move for our vision and purpose” and would help provide agents and their clients “with ultimate confidence and guidance” when booking.

The luxury lifestyle travel brand was launched by the MSC Group with the ambition to ‘redefine the luxury cruise’.

It promises to offer vibrant, cosmopolitan and relaxed European luxury at sea with visits to destinations both on and off the beaten track.

ABTA’s head of membership Danny Waine praised the move and said the organisations was “delighted” to welcome Explora Journeys onboard.

“We look forward to working together across their upcoming journeys, which guests can book with confidence,” he added.

Guests can expect relaxed luxury onboard the Explora Journeys fleet which aims to create “a home at sea”.

Built by Fincantieri, the first of four ships will launch in 2023, with the remaining ships ready in 2024, 2025 and 2026.

Each will benefit from the latest in cutting-edge maritime technology, with the highest level of service and amenities onboard.

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

Its 461 oceanfront suites and residences will start at 35 square metres, with 14 decks providing ample indoor public space.

Outdoor decks will boast more than 2,500 square metres overlooking the sea, with 64 private cabanas across three outdoor pools.

A fourth pool, with a retractable glass roof, will allow swimming and poolside relaxation in any weather.

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