Explora 1 is the first ship to join Explora Journeys' fleet
Explora Journeys has taken delivery of Explora 1, the first ship to join its fleet, from Fincantieri’s shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.
The ceremony was attended by Gianluigi Aponte, founder and chairman of the MSC Group; Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Group’s cruise division; Zoe Africa Vago, the ship’s godmother; and Pierroberto Folgiero, CEO of Finacntieri, along with representatives of MSC’s construction team and workers from the shipyard.
“Today is a historic day, and represents a decisive step in our growth path, because it marks the entry of the MSC Group into the luxury travel sector,” said Pierfrancesco Vago. “This segment has strong growth prospects, in which we strongly believe and whose standards we aim to redefine, focusing as always on excellence and luxury.”
Explora 1 will embark on its maiden voyage from Copenhagen, Denmark on 1 August 2023, sailing to Reykjavik in Iceland for a seven-night journey, with visits to Lerwick in the Shetland Islands and Kirkwall in Orkney.
The ship will spend several weeks in Northern Europe, offering a range of itineraries, before crossing the Atlantic Sea via Greenland to spend the autumn in North America and the winter in the Caribbean Sea. It will sail voyages along the US West Coast and to Hawaii during the spring before returning to Europe in Summer 2024.
“This traditional maritime moment marks the most important milestone for Explora Journeys as we will finally be able to showcase our highly anticipated, extraordinary new ship,” said Michael Ungerer, CEO of Explora Journeys. “We have pushed the boundaries of innovation and design to create a ship that embodies our commitment to excellence. With the delivery of Explora I, our vision to provide unparalleled luxury experiences has become an incredible reality. We invite our guests to embark on transformative journeys, offering an opportunity for inner and outer discovery inspired by the ocean, resulting in physical, intellectual and spiritual rejuvenation.”
Explora 1 represents an investment of more than €500 million ($560 million), and the cruise line will invest a total of €2.5 billion ($2.8 billion) for the four ships on order. Explora II is being built at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Genoa Sestri Ponente, Italy, and is expected to enter service in August 2024. Explora III will become the first of two LNG-powered vessels to join Explora Journey’s fleet in 2026, followed by Explora IV in 2027.