Fincantieri hosted a traditional coin ceremony for Explora Journeys’ new Explora II at its Sestri Ponente shipyard near Genoa, Italy, on 8 February.
Construction of the vessel began in October 2021 and the ship is expected to enter service in August 2024.
During the traditional ceremony, two godmothers placed commemorative coins inside the ship to bring good luck. They included Feliciana Maresca, executive assistant to Explora Journeys’ CEO Michael Ungerer, and Martina Mosca, supervisor of the hull fabrication department for Fincantieri.
“The event today is another major step forward on our mission to redefine ocean travel for today`s discerning luxury travellers,” said Michael Ungerer. “Explora II and its sister ship Explora I, due to perform its inaugural journey in mid-July from Southampton, UK, will blend renowned destinations seen through a different lens and unique off-the-beaten-path ports, offering the next generation of luxury travellers highly curated, transformative and immersive experiences.”
From August 2024 to April 2025, Explora II will sail in the Mediterranean, the Middle East, the Indian Ocean and Africa, visiting 82 different ports.
The ship will have six restaurants, 12 indoor and outdoor bars and lounges, four swimming pools and entertainment and wellness services.
“Together we are not only building state-of-the-art cruise ships but also the very future of luxury cruising,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Group’s cruise division, which owns Explora Journeys. “Our industrial plan is on track and ambitious.”
The Explora series will be made up of six vessels. Explora I is currently being built at Fincantieri’s Monfalcone shipyard in Italy and will be christened on 8 July 2023 in Civitavecchia near Rome, Italy. Meanwhile, Explora III will debut in 2026, Explora IV will follow in 2027 and, if the options are confirmed, Explora V and Explora VI will join the fleet in 2027 and 2028, respectively.
The last four ships in the fleet will run on LNG fuel, and both Explora V and Explora VI will use hydrogen to power hotel operations while berthed in port to eliminate emissions.