Luxury Cruise Line Partners With Acclaimed French Chef

MSC's Explora Journeys announces a partnership with Chef Claude Le Tohic to curate an unparalleled culinary experience for guests.

An award-winning and Michelin-starred French chef will soon delight guests sailing aboard Explora Journeys’ luxury ship Explora I. Claude Le Tohic is the third guest chef invited by the upscale brand to create a unique dining experience at one of the ship’s specialty restaurants.

Chef to Join Explora I For 3-Month Visit

Explora Journeys, the new luxury cruise brand owned by MSC Group, continues its tradition of featuring world-renowned chefs in Explora I’s specialty dining venue called Anthology, as it will soon host Claude Le Tohic from March to June 2024. MSC Group also owns MSC Cruises.

Designed as a venue where the world’s top chefs can showcase their global cuisine on a rotating basis, Anthology has already hosted Swedish Chef Emma Bengtsson and Italian Chef Mauro Uliassi since Explora I entered service in August 2023.

Le Tohic is known for his three-Michelin star Joël Robuchon Restaurant, located inside the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and for the one-Michelin star O’ by Claude Le Tohic, in San Francisco.

As we continue to redefine luxury ocean travel, Anthology stands as a testament to our commitment to delivering unparalleled culinary experiences at sea. Chef Claude Le Tohic’s presence elevates this series to new heights, bringing a harmonious fusion of French sophistication and West Coast flavours onboard Explora I,said Alban Gjoka, Vice President of Food and Beverages at Explora Journeys.

Guests sailing aboard the 922-guest ship while Le Tohic is onboard can expect to dine on extraordinary dishes such as cannelloni of scallop with black truffles, Parmesan foam, and pastoral salad, or the chef’s signature dish, A5 Japanese Wagyu. 

Guests who dine at Anthology will pay 190 euros per person for the tasting menu ($210) and an additional 75 euros ($82) per person for a wine-pairing experience.

Chef Claude Le Tohic
Chef Claude Le Tohic

Le Tohic is enthusiastic about the collaboration with Explora Journeys and is keen to create his special menu for the luxury ship.

My passion for regional flavors and responsibly sourced ingredients align perfectly with the ethos of the brand. I anticipate infusing Anthology with innovative culinary methods intertwined with time-honored recipes, promising an exceptional dining venture imbued with heartfelt passion,said Chef Le Tonic.

In March, Explora I will sail Southern Caribbean itineraries from Barbados before transiting the Panama Canal and heading to Los Angeles. From there, starting in April, the ship will traverse the US West Coast and operate Central America voyages as well as Pacific Northwest itineraries. 

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The ship will sail to Hawaii in late April and remain there until May, when it sails to Vancouver and Los Angeles. The ship will sail a transatlantic cruise in June, in advance of her summer season in Europe.

Ship is the First of Four Planned for the Brand

Explora I, the first of four ships planned for the cruise brand, was constructed with state-of-the-art environmental and marine technologies, and was designed with the line’s “Homes at Sea” theme, which promises a residential-style quality to accommodations and services.

The ship, built at a cost of about $600 million, has 461 oceanfront suites and penthouses, all with private terraces, and features six restaurants, a dozen bars and lounges, four pools, 64 private cabanas, and a wide range of spa and wellness facilities.

Chef's Team

Explora I departed on her maiden voyage on August 1, 2023, from Copenhagen, following a delayed handover from the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. Citing supply chain issues and the need for further enhancements, the delivery of the ship had been pushed back from its originally scheduled July 5 handover to July 20.

Explora Journeys’ second ship, Explora II, is under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa, Italy, and is due to enter service in August 2024. Two more ships, Explora III and Explora IV, will be delivered in 2026 and 2027, respectively. Both of those ships will be powered by liquified nitrogen gas (LNG).

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