Some cruise ships are floating cities, with ice rinks, shopping malls and casinos.
Jorge E. Murillo-Zuluaga (EMBA ’08) is offering a cruise on a smaller ship, to give passengers more of a high seas experience. This month, his expedition ship, Sea Voyager, set forth on its first excursion, launching his new business, Blue Water Journeys.
“The concept of being on a ship got lost somehow, with passengers in a theater instead of enjoying a sunset,” he said. “Blue Water Journeys expeditions are about exploring new places while having a real travel adventure.”
The Sea Voyager certainly has upscale cruise ship features such as gourmet chefs, fitness center and spacious cabins for 60 passengers. But a smaller-size ship results in more personal attention for passengers—and a huge plus when it comes to ports of call.
“Unlike jumbo cruise ships, the Sea Voyager can visit more secluded areas,” Murillo said. “We take people right to the best-kept secrets with unspoiled beaches, jungles and waterfalls. We go to beautiful places for scuba diving, ecotourism and photography.”
Right now, the Sea Voyager sails from San Andres and Providencia to destinations including Panama, Tayrona Park and Cabo de le Vela. But plans for expansion are already underway.
Grad has experienced the joys and challenges of business start-up.
Hailing from Colombia, Murillo had earned two bachelor’s degrees, including one in marine transportation. But this entrepreneur knew he needed a master’s degree to be as prepared as possible, and chose the College of Business Administration at Florida International University (FIU).
“My Executive MBA from FIU has been a big plus,” he said. “It opened my point of view and helped me understand more about starting my own business, including learning operational management, marketing and financing, and being able to put all the pieces together.”
Murillo spent four years developing his business. He reports that the experience has at times been a nightmare; other times, pure joy. But he said, he’s always “working like crazy.”