Franck Guaranger Moving From Oceania to Explora Journeys

Franck’s pedigree in European luxury, combined with his passion for true cooking, will shape an evolution of how dining at sea can be transformed.’

Explora Journeys, the luxury brand of MSC Group’s Cruise Division, has appointed Franck Garanger, as Head of Culinary to curate and define nine distinct culinary experiences on board their new ship EXPLORA I.

Focused on healthy, delicious food from local, sustainable sources, Explora Journeys has a mission to ensure its guests can immerse themselves in the ‘Ocean State of Mind’, and with Franck Garanger’s appointment, the culinary experience is set to be no exception.

Michael Ungerer, CEO of Explora Journeys, said: “Explora Journeys isn’t just an opportunity to discover the world, we also see it as a way for our guests to taste it too, actively discovering new cuisines and experiences. Franck’s pedigree in European luxury, combined with his passion for true cooking will shape an evolution of how dining at sea can be transformed. Blending flavours from all over the globe with ingredients that have been hand-selected and sourced by Franck himself will ensure that every guest leaves their journey not just with memories from the places they have visited but from some of the finest cuisine at sea.”


From a young age, Franck Garanger discovered his passion for cooking and began his culinary career. Born in Angers, located in the Loire Valley, he grew up helping his is father in his patisserie-boulangerie. Despite a love of pastry, at 16, Franck decided it was time to broaden his culinary horizons and trained at the Michelin Star restaurant, Le Vert D'Eau in Angers as an apprentice for two years under the French Master Chef Jean-François Piers. It was there, that his culinary mastery already began to shine, becoming nominated as one of the best ten young chefs of his generation, an achievement that only showed a glimpse of what was to come. Franck has also worked at numerous world-renowned locations alongside some of the most notable culinary names including Paul Bocuse, Alain Passard and Thierry Marx.


Combining his love for cooking and his desire to explore the world, Franck became Chef de Partie onboard Silversea Cruises, where he was quickly promoted to Executive Chef onboard and then to Fleet Corporate Chef, a position he held for 4 years before he took a position as Culinary Director for Oceania Cruises.


Now Head of Culinary at Explora Journeys, Franck was lured by “a level of European Luxury that offers a different perspective in the world of luxury ocean experiences.” Franck sees his move as both a new challenge and opportunity to start from a “blank canvas and show the world what food at sea really can be.” When asked how will achieve success, Franck says “you can see it not just in the food but in the eyes of the chefs. Once a team is proud, they will deliver at their best.”


Set to deliver exceptional dining experiences, that celebrate culinary talent and local cultures, Explora Journeys nine distinctive dining options, will embrace authenticity, with every detail curated by Franck.


Franck has a clear mission for his role with Explora Journeys, “to earn recognition for serving the best food at sea and building a story, through travelling the world and tasting it”. Franck understands that culinary preferences are continuously evolving, from the rise in wellness, to the aspiration to eat more sustainability, as well as the renewed desire to explore bolder flavour profiles and discover cuisines that they have not tried before.


These are trends that are more prevalent than ever and have a direct impact on culinary dining experiences both out at sea and on land. Franck believes that matching menus to meet the mood of the guests onboard as well as incorporating an array of plant-based and vegetarian dishes, an aspect of cooking he specialises in personally, will be paramount to bringing personality, sophistication and integrity to dining at sea.

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