Explora Journeys bolsters team with seven new hires

Five fresh faces for EXPLORA 1, two chefs for brand

Explora Journeys has named seven new recruits as the ultra-luxury cruise line continues to build its management and executive teams ahead of EXPLORA I‘s debut in mid-2023.

The MSC Group’s fledgling cruise line has sourced talent from around the world as part of its global recruitment program and is on target to reach an optimum level of 640 hosts for EXPLORA I to create its so-called ‘Ocean State of Mind’ for guests.

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.”

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Effective immediately, these new appointments are:

Heike Berdos, General Manager, EXPLORA I.
Formerly Hotel Director with Azamara Cruises where she spent 15 years as part of the starter team to launch the new brand. Prior to this, Heike worked 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.

Heike Berdos, General Manager, EXPLORA I, Explora Journeys

Simone Canessa, Staff Captain, EXPLORA I,
Canessa started his career with MSC on board of MSC Rhapsody in 2005. The past 17 years during his tenure with Costa Cruises, he held various positions both onboard and ashore before being promoted to Staff Captain in 2021. He was born and raised in Italy.

Antonio Iaccarino, Chief Engineer, EXPLORA I
Formerly Chief Engineer for five years as part of a 27-year career with the MSC Group, Iaccarino’s 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, Chief Engineer EXPLORA I.
Ciampa was previously 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.

Further to the recent unveiling of the culinary philosophy, Explora Journeys has appointed a further three key positions to bring Head of Culinary, Franck Garange’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.

New team members.

Frederic Godineau, Senior Executive Chef, EXPLORA I
Godineau was formerly with Oceana 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 19 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.

Frederic Godineau

Christophe Sapy, Corporate Executive Pastry Chef Explora Journeys.
Formerly with the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group where Sapy 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 Sapy 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.

Christoph Sapy

Jérôme Toumelin 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, Toumelin spent six years as Executive Chef at Market by Jean-Georges in Paris. He was born and raised in the Loire Valley, France also spent his earlier career in St. Barts, Sydney, Ho Chi Minh and London.

Jerome Tourmelin

“We continue to attract and build a stellar team of award-winning professionals to bring our vision to life,” said Franck Garanger, Head of Culinary, Explora Journeys. “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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