Patagonia, Antarctica, Macaronesia or Greenland… This new company created by former Ponant workers promises an adventure allowing French-speaking passengers to go where others do not go.
French maritime tourism is on the rise! After the announcement last week of the launch of the French Cruise Companyexpedition cruise lines are holding their breath this time with the arrival on the market ofExplore, a new 100% French company directed by Philippe Videau. And it is a return to his roots that this passionate about the sea makes. In 1988, he founded with a dozen young officers from the Merchant Navy the first expedition cruise company in the world, Ponant. Nearly 35 years later, here he is repeating the adventure with the creation of Exploris. At his side, a team of recognized experts in the world of cruising and above all in expedition.
The idea? It was necessary to offer passengers a unique experience aboard small-capacity ships with top-of-the-range services, but above all to best meet the expectations of nature lovers. Thus, cruises and expeditions have been meticulously prepared in Antarctica, on the Atlantic islands, in the Norwegian and Chilean fjords, in the Arctic, in Iceland, in Canada on the St. Lawrence, or even in the Amazon! “Even in less remote regions, we have plenty of surprises in store for our passengersassures Isabelle Vareille, production manager. And all landings are made by zodiac.»
Priority has therefore been given to exploration and protection of the environment and its riches. All with a common point between the passengers and the crew: the Frenchman. From the butler to the expedition leader, from guides to lecturers, from sailors dedicated to logistics and safety to specialist naturalists on board and on land, having a staff speaking the language of Molière changes a trip. ” Francophonie is one of our strongest promisesannounces Eric Lustman, sales and marketing director, also ex-Ponant. Even if you are comfortable with English, it is more comfortable to benefit from all this programming in French. »
ExplorisOne to the assault of the glacial lands
How does Exploris intend to stand out in this segment? First by buying a luxury ship, the Silver Explorer, currently operated by the American company Silversea (Royal Caribbean group). The boat is known to be among the best in expedition cruising today and has the particularity of being able to navigate the most demanding waters on the planet, both in open water and in those of the polar regions. Equipped with a reinforced hull (Ice class in 1A), it is ideal for exploring glacial lands. Built in 1989, it has already undergone several facelifts. The company will affix a french touch “when she takes possession of the ship, in October 2023.” It is a ship that will accommodate a maximum of 140 passengers, and 120 for polar cruises says David Blouin, Exploris Director of Maritime Operations. Renamed ExplorisOne, the boat will then accommodate 60 cabins and 12 suites from 15m² to 67m² spread over 4 decks, 30% of which have terraces or balconies. Nine categories will be offered, from the “premium cabin” to the “owner’s suite”. Explorers will be able to take advantage of two restaurants, a conference room, a medical center, a fitness and well-being area, a panoramic deck and lounge, as well as outdoor jacuzzis. The great luxury.
Services and rates
In terms of services, the company promises ” excellent service on board », sold on an all-inclusive basis. Excursions will also be included (Zodiac outings, kayaking, hiking, paddleboarding, etc.), as will all the activities offered on board – including a photography workshop – and drinks. On the price side, Exploris is in the middle of the segment it invests, with a cruise costing 800/900 euros per day and per person in the polar zone, and 600 euros per day for the least remote cruises. Thus, the inaugural cruise of the ExplorisOne in December 2023 from Valparaíso, Chile, to Ushuaia, Argentina is announced from €6,750 (1). More than 3000 km of channels and sublime nature, from the fine sandy beaches of Isla Mocha to the deep fjords of Patagonia. A first trip to the heart of wonder and excess, between tropical forest and subpolar fauna.
Info, brochures and reservations on the site explore.co. Such. : 01 87 12 32 32.
(1) Price based on a double cabin, including the “Discovery Offer -25%” promotion valid for all reservations made before December 31, 2022.