Explora Journeys Starts Construction on Second Ship

Explora Journeys, the newly launched luxury brand of the MSC Group, on Wednesday marked another important milestone in its coming-to-market phase with the steel cutting of its second ship, Explora II, in Italy. The ship is due to welcome its first guests in spring 2024.

The cruise brand launched just three months ago and its first ship, Explora I, is currently being built for a May 2023 launch. Two additional ships will join the fleet in 2025 and 2026 as a demonstration of MSC Group’s commitment to establish the Explora Journeys brand. Explora II will have the same innovative design as Explora I, offering 461 oceanfront suites which have some of the largest lead-in categories, all with private terraces and generous outdoor space.

The ships will utilize the latest in environmental-supporting technologies, while being ready to adapt to alternative energy solutions as they become available. The design incorporates provision for battery storage to allow future hybrid power generation, as well as the latest selective catalytic reduction technology, enabling a reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions by 90 percent. Built with ship-to-shore power capabilities to avoid carbon dioxide emissions while at berth and powered by marine gas oil, this is in line with the Cruise Division of MSC Group’s recently announced pledge to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions in its cruise marine operation by 2050.

Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Group’s Cruise Division, said in a press statement, “The start of Explora Journeys’ second ship signals our firm commitment to our tourism partners for the coming-to-market of our new luxury brand with a significant financial investment in a fleet of innovative, elegant ships, that will bring together our vision and purpose to create an ocean state of mind like no other.”

All four Explora Journeys ships will be built by Fincantieri in Italy, with a traditional maritime ceremony taking place at its Castellammare di Stabia yard near Naples for the first steel to be cut for the second vessel. The event was attended by key executives including Vago; Michael Ungerer, CEO Explora Journeys; and Luigi Matarazzo, general manager Merchant Ships Division, Fincantieri.

Ungerer added: “We are greatly encouraged by the tremendous enthusiasm and support we have received so far from the travel advisor community who have placed their trust in Explora Journeys since our launch in June and for their overwhelming response to our exclusive `By Appointment' service and innovative commercial terms.”

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