Explora Journeys expands leadership team onboard EXPLORA I

Explora Journeys has announced the appointment of seven new positions as EXPLORA I, the first of its six ships set to make her maiden Journey in summer 2023.

Explora Journeys continues to build its management team in parallel to sourcing a team of hospitality experts from around the world as part of its global recruitment programme and is on target to reach an optimum level of 640 hosts for EXPLORA I to create an `Ocean State of Mind` for each guest.

Michael Ungerer, Chief Executive Officer, Explora Journeys, said, “We are a step further forward in our vision to create a team of diverse and multicultural, luxury hospitality professionals. Embracing a customer centric mindset and culture, we are poised to provide intuitive and respectful hospitality as we continue our vision to transform luxury ocean travel. I am extremely proud of our team who are leading this critical phase of our journey and wish all our team members every success on their journey with us.”

Heike Berdos has been appointed General Manager of Explora I. Heike formerly was Hotel Director with Azamara Cruises where she spent fifteen years as part of the starter team to launch the new brand. Prior to this, she used to work for MSC Cruises as Shore Excursions Manager and held various guest service positions with Celebrity Cruises over 23 years culminating to her appointment as Hotel Director. Heike was born in Germany and raised in Algeria, Canada and Germany.

Simone Canessa, the new Staff Captain on EXPLORA I, started his career with MSC on board of MSC Rhapsody in 2005. The past seventeen years during his tenure with Costa Cruises, Simone held various position both onboard and ashore before being promoted to Staff Captain in 2021. He was born and raised in Italy.

Antonio Iaccarino has been appointed Chief Engineer on EXPLORA I. Antonio formerly was Chief Engineer for five years as part of a 27-year career with the MSC Group where his career began as 2nd Engineer leading to promotions to 1st Engineer and Chief Engineer in both the Cargo and Cruise Divisions. Antonio was born and raised in Piano di Sorrento, Italy.

Salvatore Ciampa will be Chief Engineer on EXPLORA I. Formerly he was Chief Engineer for 3 years as part of a 20-year career with the MSC Group where his career began as a Cadet Engineer, progressing through 3rd, 2nd and 1st Engineer in the Cruise Division. Salvatore was born and raised in Vico Equense, Italy.

Strengthening the culinary experience

Further to the recent unveiling of the culinary philosophy, Explora Journeys has appointed a further three key positions to bring Head of Culinary, Franck Garanger`s, culinary vision to life throughout eighteen food and beverage experiences including eleven culinary across six distinct and vibrant restaurants, multiple bars and lounges, in-suite dining and a Chef`s Kitchen.

Frederic Godineau has been apointed Senior Executive Chef. Frederic was formerly with Oceania Cruises where he spent six and a half years. Most recently spending five years as Senior Executive Chef, having been promoted from Executive Chef. Prior to joining Oceana Cruises, Frederic spent nineteen years in hospitality commencing at Le Crillon and The Four Seasons, George V and other prestigious hotels in France. Frederic was born and raised in Chemille, France.

Christophe Sapy is the Corporate Executive Pastry Chef Explora Journeys. Formerly with the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group where Christophe was Executive Pastry Chef for three years at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong and previously as Executive Pastry Chef for 3 years at Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, Thailand. Prior to this Christophe spent ten years in the Middle East with luxury properties at Le Meridien Dubai, Shangri La Qariat al Berry Abu Dhabi as well as being part of the opening of St Regis Saadiyat Island. Christophe was born and raised in Saint Étienne, France.

Jérôme Toumelin is the new Corporate Executive Chef. Formerly Corporate Travelling Chef de Cuisine for The Apollo Group for seven years, specifically working at sea with Regent Seven Seas and Oceana Cruise Lines. Prior to this, Jérôme spent six years as Executive Chef at Market by Jean-Georges in Paris. Jérôme, who was born and raised in the Loire Valley, France also spent his earlier career in St. Barts, Sydney, Ho Chi Minh and London.

Franck Garanger, Head of Culinary, Explora Journeys said We continue to attract and build a stellar team of award-winning professionals to bring our vision to life. Remaining true to our commitment to provide distinct and sophisticated culinary experiences where ingredients are hand selected to ensure only sustainably sourced are selected, we place integrity at the core of our vision. I am so excited to be working with a dynamic and creative team, focused on showcasing a culinary `Ocean State of Mind` for our guests”.

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