Representatives from MSC Group, Explora Journeys and Fincantieri celebrated the milestone at the Ancona shipyard
Explora Journeys has floated out its first ship, Explora I, in a celebration at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.
Representatives from parent company MSC Group’s cruise division, Explora Journeys and Fincantieri attended the event, in which the ship is lowered into the water for the first time before entering the final phases of construction.
“The float out of Explora I is a hugely significant milestone in the realisation of our vision to redefine the ocean travel experience with a new luxury travel brand that we have designed to connect travellers with the ocean and themselves,” said Michael Ungerer, CEO of Explora Journeys. “Today’s event is a great opportunity for our valued travel partners to see how the ship is taking shape and build even more excitement for Explora I’s launch in just 12 months.”
Explora I is the first of four ships planned for the Explora Journey’s fleet, and will feature 461 suites, penthouses and residences. It will also offer 10 dining venues, 10 indoor and outdoor bars and lounges, four swimming pools and wellness and fitness facilities.
All four of the new ships will be equipped with selective catalytic reduction technology, shore power plug-in connectivity, and underwater noise management systems to help protect marine life. The cruise brand also indicated at the float out that it is exploring the possibility of introducing engines powered by LNG fuel on Explora III and IV.
“At Explora Journeys we are building ships for tomorrow, utilising today’s latest technologies and while being ready to adapt to alternative energy solutions as they become available,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Group’s cruise division. “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, traditions. This is all part of the brand’s commitment to its guests and the destinations we visit with them.”
Explora I will enter service at the end of May 2023 with an 11-night voyage from Barcelona, Spain, to Athens, Greece. The ship will visit 132 ports in 40 different countries in its first year at sea, including two destinations – Kastellorizo in Greece and Saint Pierre in Martinique – that have never previously been visited by cruise ships.
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