Explora Journeys Launches Italian Fine-Dining Experience

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Explora Journeys, owned by MSC Group, has announced the launch of a new fine-dining restaurant, Anthology. The restaurant aboard Explora I offers guests a unique culinary experience that showcases the diverse landscapes of Italian cuisine. 

Curated by Chef Franck Garanger, who began his career as an apprentice at the Michelin-starred Le Vert D’Eau in Angers, France, Anthology offers dishes designed to highlight Italy’s regional ingredients and flavors.

Explora Journeys
Explora Journeys (Photo Credit: Gail Heaton / Shutterstock)

Key dishes include Mediterranean seabass with Arabica coffee and tonka bean and scallop cannelloni with black truffle. Plant-based options are available for each course, as well.

Garanger, who has also worked alongside culinary legends Paul Bocuse, Alain Passard, and Thierry Marx, is noted for crafting dishes that reflect the cultural and culinary heritage of the regions he draws inspiration from.

He said of the new specialty restaurant, “Anthology is more than just a restaurant; it’s a voyage through Italy’s gastronomic landscape. For me, Italian cuisine is about respecting the people, the ingredients, and the traditions that have been passed down through generations.”

He continued, “It’s about sharing the soul of Italy, one dish at a time. This will be a culinary reflection of the rich tapestry of the sights, scents, and flavors of Italian cuisine, which I am deeply passionate about.”

Anthology’s ambiance is contemporary and refined, with an intimate yet elevated dining atmosphere. Guests can watch chefs behind glass prepare dishes or elect to dine outdoors, overlooking the waters of the Western and Eastern Mediterranean aboard the 63,900-gross-ton Explora I as it spends the summer sailing the Mediterranean. 

Anthology Adds to Extensive Culinary Options

Open for dinner only, Anthology seats 48 indoors and 22 outdoors and joins Explora I’s five additional signature restaurants, bringing the total dining options aboard the ship to 18.

Additional standouts include the Med Yacht Club, which offers locally sourced Mediterranean cuisine, and Marble & Co. Grill, which serves prime cuts of meat in an elegant steakhouse setting.

The ship also features Emporium Marketplace, a culinary hub of international dishes, and Sakura, a Pan-Asian restaurant. Twelve indoor and outdoor bars are also available.

Explora II Sea Trials
Explora II Sea Trials (Photo Courtesy: Explora Journeys)

The 922-passenger Explora I, which debuted in August 2023, is currently traveling to Chania, Crete, for an adventure that will call in Naxos, Piraeus (Athens), Volos, Thessaloniki, and Kavala, Greece, as well as Istanbul, Turkey.

Read Also: Launch of Explora Journeys’ New Ship Delayed By Several Weeks

Joining Explora I in September 2024, Explora II will also take passengers around the Mediterranean with cruises between Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy, and Barcelona, Spain.

Anthology will be available on the ship, as Explora II will offer an identical selection of restaurants to its sister ship. Explora II recently completed a successful set of sea trials on June 12, 2024. 

Explora Journey’s passion for culinary experiences also includes a unique 12-seat Chef’s Kitchen. Here, culinary experts guide guests through a discovery of new ingredients, flavors, and culture in a private, oceanfront setting. After guests learn new skills, they can sample the finished product in a private, adjacent dining room.

Explora Journeys is set to expand its fleet with six ships launched by 2028. Explora III is scheduled to enter service in 2026, while Explora IV and Explora V will arrive in 2027. Explora VI will be the last of the fleet to debut in 2028.

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