MSC Cruises and Explora Journeys brought under same UK & Ireland structure

MSC Group is to bring its soon-to-launch luxury line Explora Journeys under the same umbrella as MSC Cruises in the UK & Ireland under managing director Antonio Paradiso.

The group said its cruise division was “enhancing support to trade partners” through the move, adding it would create “greater synergies which will benefit the travel trade community”.

MSC Cruises UK & Ireland managing director Paradiso will assume in-market responsibility for Explora Journeys, which will continue to have dedicated teams for sales, marketing, contact centres and public relations.

The luxury line’s first ship Explora I will make its maiden journey from Southampton on July 17, with a 15-night sailing to the Norwegian fjords, the Arctic Circle and Copenhagen in Denmark.

The company said commercial agreements would remain in place with trade partners and commercial conditions for the two brands would also “remain distinct and unchanged going forward”.

Previously, Explora Journeys’ UK & Ireland functions reported to US-based chief sales officer Chris Austin.

Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Group’s cruise division, said: “This is another demonstration from MSC Group of how we aim to grow and develop further the relationship with the travel trade community which has played such a vital role in our growth to date, and continues to do so with both our brands.

“This more simplified structure will provide easier access for our trade partners, especially travel advisors, leading to mutual and rewarding benefits for all sides.

“Most importantly, it will allow the travel trade community to benefit from the continued investments we are making in both brands, thus providing travel trade partners with expanded opportunities for growth.”

The same structure will also be adopted in Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, South Africa, Brazil, China and Japan, the company confirmed.

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