Explora Journeys, the luxury travel brand of the MSC Group, celebrated the naming ceremony of EXPLORA I in New York City.
The maritime tradition of cutting a ribbon to break a bottle of champagne on the bow of the ship to officially name it and bring it good luck, will be led by EXPLORA I’s godmother, Dr. Sylvia Earle, the renowned marine biologist and oceanographer, at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal.
A grandiose ceremony
Distinguished guests from around the world, international journalists, key partners of Explora Journeys and high-level representatives of the MSC Group will attend the event and take part in the gala dinner following the launch ceremony and the evening celebration.
Pierfrancesco Vago, Chairman of the cruise division of the MSC groupsaid : “In the world of luxury travel, EXPLORA I is a game changer. We offer voyages that redefine the very essence of luxury ocean travel. We seek to attract a broader group of discerning travelers who have experienced the best luxury land-based resorts, but are looking for more value, more authenticity and a deeper connection with the world. Explora Journeys is the answer, allowing you to discover destinations off the beaten track by sea, while enjoying one of the most beautiful sites in the world. With five more ships joining the fleet in the next five years, we are committed to delivering the same unique onboard experience, wherever you are in the world“.
Michael Ungerer, CEO of Explora Journeysadded : “Today’s event is a significant milestone for Explora Journeys, as our first ship, EXPLORA I, realizes our vision of reshaping luxury travel. . We are proud to usher in a new era of discovery and luxurious travel and introduce our first ship to the vibrant city of New York“.
Sylvia Earle, founder and president of Mission Bluesaid : “I am honored to be the patron of EXPLORA I and look forward to the fruitful relationship between Mission Blue, Explora Journeys and the MSC Foundation, which will contribute in a very positive way to the protection and restoration of the seas and oceans of the world.”
The EXPLORA I, the first of six luxury ships built by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri in a deal valued at €3.5 billion, began sailing in July 2023 with a series of voyages to Europe from North before crossing the Atlantic to New York with visits along the way to Iceland, Greenland and Canada.
The ship has 461 oceanfront suites, penthouses and residences, six restaurants, 12 indoor and outdoor bars and lounges, four swimming pools, expansive outdoor decks with private cabanas and nearly 1,000 square meters of wellness facilities and fitness.
The luxury ship will spend the fall in North America, the winter in the Caribbean and the spring on the US West Coast and Hawaii before returning to Europe in the summer of 2024 for a series of Mediterranean sailings , with many itineraries including less busy ports so EXPLORA I customers can enjoy a different perspective of a destination.
EXPLORA II will enter service in summer 2024 and operate until April 2025 in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. EXPLORA III and EXPLORA IV will both be powered by liquefied natural gas and will enter service in 2026 and 2027 respectively. The ships EXPLORA V and EXPLORA VI will enter service in 2027 and 2028 respectively and will both feature energy efficiency measures of cutting edge and capable of using alternative fuels such as biogas and syngas. These two ships will continue to use liquid hydrogen with fuel cells for their hotel operations while docked in ports, to eliminate carbon emissions when the ships’ engines are off.
All Explora Journeys vessels will be equipped with the latest environmental and marine technologies, including selective catalytic reduction technology, connectivity with shore power, underwater noise management systems to help protect marine life, and a full range of energy-efficient equipment on board to optimize engine utilization to further reduce emissions.