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Tuesday,  June 18, 2024 8:08 PM 

Patricia Di Benedetto promoted to new role at Explora Journeys

Patricia Di Benedetto promoted to new role at Explora Journeys
Patricia Di Benedetto is now Explora’s business relationship lead for national and key accounts in Canada. (Supplied)
Michael Pihach

Michael Pihach is an award-winning journalist with a keen interest in digital storytelling. In addition to PAX, Michael has also written for CBC Life, Ryerson University Magazine, IN Magazine, and Michael joins PAX after years of working at popular Canadian television shows, such as Steven and Chris, The Goods and The Marilyn Denis Show.

A familiar face in Canada’s travel industry has been promoted to a new role at Explora Journeys, PAX has learned.

Toronto-based Patricia Di Benedetto, who joined MSC Group’s new luxury cruise line in 2022 as a business relationship lead for Eastern Canada, is now Explora’s business relationship lead for national and key accounts in Canada.

She's now responsible for developing and maintaining strong relationships with key partners, acting as the primary contact for national, consortia, and key account partners in Canada, while managing all sales, marketing, and event-related matters.

“My goal is to identify and cultivate new business opportunities by proactively seeking and developing opportunities at the headquarters level to expand the brand's reach and generate new business,” Di Benedetto told PAX on Monday (May 27).

READ MORE: On Location: “Ocean state of mind,” activated - PAX, agents unpack EXPLORA I with Explora Journeys

Yacht-inspired Explora Journeys was born from a long-held vision of its founders, the Aponte Vago family, whose nautical heritage dates back more than 300 years.

EXPLORA I first set sail in July 2023. (Pax Global Media/file photo)

Guided by an “Ocean State of Mind” philosophy, the brand’s first ship, the 461-suite EXPLORA I, first set sail in July 2023.  

PAX had an exclusive opportunity to experience the 14-deck EXPLORA I in the Caribbean last year with a group of 40 Canadian travel advisors. (Click here to see our coverage from the ultra-luxurious voyage).

Full of natural light, EXPLORA I’s sprawling suites (all of which have ocean-facing balconies) are referred to as “Homes at Sea,” ranging from 377 sq. ft. in the Ocean Terrace category to up to 3,014 sq. ft. in the eye-popping Owners Residence.

Inside EXPLORA I. (Pax Global Media/file photo)

“Your own private yacht”

Explora Journeys (which operates separately from MSC Cruises) offers a mostly all-inclusive experience, without complex food and beverage packages, in a 24-hour, butler service-oriented environment.

The EXPLORA II is set to launch this August, while EXPLORA III and EXPLORA IV, powered by liquefied natural gas, will debut in 2026 and 2027 respectively. EXPLORA V and EXPLORA VI, both hydrogen-powered, will bring the fleet to six by 2028.

EXPLORA I's spacious suites are referred to as "homes at sea." (Pax Global Media/file photo)

“I love that we have introduced a new way of ocean travel, designing our ship to feel like your own private yacht with an all-inclusive experience,” Di Benedetto said. “As an ultra-luxury lifestyle ocean experience, we attract both loyal cruisers and newcomers from luxury hotels.”

VIDEO: “We needed something like this”: Agents unpack EXPLORA I's "homes at sea" with Explora Journeys

On board, guests enjoy “a boutique, cosmopolitan, European vibe,” Di Benedetto explained, “and the feedback has exceeded our expectations.”

Poolside on board the EXPLORA I. (Pax Global Media/file photo)

EXPLORA I, notably, has been recognized by Travel + Leisure Magazine’s 2024 It List as the best new ship launched in 2023, and Conde Nast Traveller has included EXPLORA I on the coveted 2024 HOT list within “The Best New Cruises in the World.”  

“Our momentum is building, and we encourage our travel advisor community to share this story with their clients and invite them to experience our new luxury ocean experience,” Di Benedetto said.

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