Explora Journeys Celebrates Float Out of Explora I

Explora Journeys celebrated the the float out of Explora I on May 30 during a ceremony held at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. The first of four ships from the luxury ocean travel brand, Explora I is set to be delivered in just 12 months at the end of May 2023. Explora II will launch in summer 2024 and is also already under construction with the keel being laid earlier this month.

The float out is a traditional maritime event that is a significant moment in the construction of a new ship as it is the first time that the ship touches water and enters the final phases of construction as work moves to complete interiors, fixtures and fittings. The event was celebrated in the presence of senior representatives from the cruise division of MSC Group, Explora Journeys, Fincantieri, travel advisors and international media.

Explora I will have 461 oceanfront suites, penthouses and residences and with 10 distinct culinary experiences, 10 indoor and outdoor bar and lounge experiences with curated entertainment, four swimming pools with poolside dining and lounging, and generous outdoor decks, holistic wellness and fitness facilities and more.  

The ship will commence its inaugural Mediterranean journey at the end of May 2023 with an 11-night journey from Barcelona to Athens. In its first year at sea, Explora I will visit 132 ports in 40 different countries, including two destinations—Kastellorizo in Greece and Saint Pierre in Martinique—that the line says have never been previously visited by any cruise ships. The ship's inaugural journeys collection includes the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the United Kingdom, Iceland, Greenland, Canada, the East Coast of the United States of America, the Caribbean Sea, South America and Hawaii. Sailings start from six-night journeys and culminate in a 44-night Northern Europe Grand Journey.

All four ships in Explora Journeys’ fleet currently on order will be equipped with the latest environmental and marine technologies and will feature the latest selective catalytic reduction technology to enable a reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions by 90 percent, be equipped with shore power plug-in connectivity to reduce emissions in port and fitted with underwater noise management systems to help protect marine life. All four vessels will also have a comprehensive range of onboard energy efficient equipment to optimize engine use to further reduce emissions.

At the event, the brand also indicated that it will explore the introduction of engines powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) on Explora III and IV.

Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman, cruise division of MSC Group said the ships will able to "adapt to alternative energy solutions as they become available." He added: "At the same time, the brand’s commitment to sustainable ocean travel extends beyond just the environmental and maritime technologies but is also embedded in our onboard guest experience. Destination experiences will be designed to leave a positive impression and footprint on the places and people visited by placing a spotlight on local talents, craftsmanship, culture, gastronomy and traditions.”

LNG is currently the cleanest marine fuel available at scale and it virtually eliminates local air pollutant emissions like sulfur oxides (99 percent), nitrogen oxides (85 percent) and particles (98 percent). In terms of emissions with a global impact, LNG plays a key role in climate change mitigation with the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 25 percent compared to standard marine fuels. In addition, with the increasing availability of bio and synthetic forms of LNG in the future, this energy source will provide a pathway toward eventual decarbonized operations.

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