Explora Journeys, the luxury brand of MSC Cruises that will debut its first ship in July 2023, announced a partnership that will create the industry’s first Rolex boutique at sea. The Swiss company’s ultra-luxe timepieces will be offered for sale in a dedicated shop onboard Explora I.
Classic Luxury Brand Will Open Shop on Explora I
Rolex, one of the world’s top retail brands in the luxury space, will sell its classic timepieces to guests sailing aboard Explora Journeys’ first ship, Explora I, the cruise line announced on June 7.
The partnership with Rolex is an industry first, and ties in with the luxury lifestyle theme that Explora Journeys has cultivated since parent company MSC Cruises announced the brand in 2021.
The 922-guest ship will be christened in Rome on July 8 and sail her inaugural voyage on July 17. The Rolex boutique will be in place by the time the ship launches.
“We are elated to be partnering with Rolex, a like-minded Geneva-based Swiss luxury brand that very much shares our values and our long-term sustainable vision,” Michael Ungerer, CEO of Explora Journeys, said.
“It enables us to offer our discerning travelers the opportunity to purchase Rolex watches while sailing on board Explora I. We believe that this new retail location will be a must-visit destination for anyone looking to add a touch of luxury to their journey experience,” he added.
Rolex, a company founded in London in 1905 (it later moved to Switzerland), is renowned internationally for the craftsmanship of its timepieces. The company’s watches are prized for their design, precision, performance and reliability.
Onboard Explora I, the Rolex boutique, will be staffed with hosts trained by Rolex. The cruise line said staff also will manage the allocation of watches per suite, but did not elaborate on how or why purchases would be affected by an allocation policy.
Retail Sales a Key Focus Onboard Cruise Ships
High-end and luxury brand retail spaces where guests can shop are common on cruise ships, particularly luxury level vessels. Cruise lines typically sell their own branded products (think Carnival Cruise Line Fun Ship hats and Disney Cruise Line’s princess dresses) as well as a wide range of goods from top retail names.
MSC Cruises’ MSC Euribia, a new ship entering service this week, recently revealed it will offer guests a massive retail space called Luxury Plaza, featuring jewelry and watches from luxe brands such as Baume & Mercier, Bvlgari, Hublot, IWC Schaffhausen, Montblanc, Panerai, and others.
And Carnival Cruise Line unveiled its largest-yet retail space on Carnival Celebration when the ship entered service in fall 2022. The space features products from the watch brand, Gorilla, founded by noted watch designer Octavio Garcia. The ship also has a shop selling luxury timepieces created by the Cuban company Cuervo & Sobrinos.
Onboard Explora I
Explora I was constructed at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. Her inaugural voyage, “A Maiden Journey into Epic Fjords and the Arctic Circle,” will depart from Southampton and call at a dozen ports in four countries.
The ship, featuring six dining venues and a dozen lounges, will spend her inaugural summer sailing Northern Europe and Iceland itineraries.
The cruise line recently unveiled the luxury details of Explora I’s Owner’s Suite, an opulent, 3,000-square-foot accommodation that features a private outdoor terrace extending the full width of the ship.
Luxury amenities that Owner’s Suite guests will enjoy include butler service, and an infinity whirlpool on the 1,345 square-foot terrace. Explora I is the first of six planned vessels to be operated by Explora Journeys.