Godmothers Alessandra Fontana of Explora Journeys and Ester Fugazzi of Fincantieri placed two coins under the vessel’s keel
Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri hosted a traditional coin ceremony for Explora I, the first of four cruise vessels it is building for MSC Group’s new luxury brand Explora Journeys, at its yard in Monfalcone, Italy, on 23 February.
In keeping with maritime tradition, godmothers Alessandra Fontana, chief marketing officer at Explora Journeys, and Ester Fugazzi, head of general services for Fincantieri, placed two newly minted coins under the vessel’s keel to bring good fortune in future.
Explora I, which has been under construction since June 2021, will feature 461 guest suites, multiple luxury onboard spaces and amenities, and the latest sustainable technologies to minimize her environmental impact.
“Explora I will be a new-concept ship totally projected into the future, the utmost expression of the partnership between MSC and Fincantieri,” said Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri CEO. “Indeed, the partnership with this shipowner is marked by constant technological and design evolution. In a few years this has led to three different cutting-edge prototypes and has emphasised the unique ability of our group to create innovation.”
Explora Journeys has also revealed that Explora I will visit 132 ports in 40 different countries in her inaugural season, which is scheduled to start in May 2023 with a maiden cruise from Barcelona, Spain, to St Tropez and Calvi, France; Rome, Italy; Fiskardo, Kefalonia; Istanbul, Turkey; and Athens, Greece.
Following this, Explora I will sail various itineraries ranging from six to 44 nights as part of her ‘Inaugural Journeys Collection’. This will enable guests to visit both well- and lesser-known destinations in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, UK, Iceland, Greenland, Canada, the US East Coast, Caribbean, South America and Hawaii. The vessel will also be the first-ever cruise ship to visit both Kastellorizo in Greece and Saint Pierre in Martinique.
“Our ambition is to reflect the desire of today’s and tomorrow’s luxury traveller and their curiosity for remarkable exploration,” said Michael Ungerer, CEO of Explora Journeys. “We have created a collection of journeys that offer the perfect blend of celebrated destinations and lesser-travelled ports, both seen from a new and original point of view to inspire and excite our curious, discerning guests and the next generation of luxury travellers.
“Explora I and our subsequent three ships will allow guests to enjoy a more immersive, authentic experience and a slower pace of travel. They are designed to offer refined yet effortless luxury with the opportunity for exploration and transformation, offering our guests the chance to experience what we call an ‘Ocean State of Mind’ – a mindset that can be achieved when we escape to the ocean, relax, create memories and reconnect with what matters most in our lives.”
Fincantieri began building Explora II at its Castellammare di Stabia yard in Naples, Italy, in October 2021. The ship is set to be delivered in autumn 2024 at the Sestri Ponente shipyard in Genoa, Italy, and will be followed by two additional sister vessels in 2025 and 2026.
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