Explora Journeys, the luxury travel brand of MSC Group, celebrated the naming ceremony of Explora I in New York City on 12 October 2023.
The tradition of cutting a ribbon to break a bottle of champagne on the ship’s bow to officially name the ship and bring good luck, was conducted by Explora I’s Godmother Dr Sylvia Earle, the renowned marine biologist and oceanographer, at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal.
The event was attended by distinguished guests from around the world, international journalists, key travel partners of Explora Journeys and senior representatives from MSC Group.
Explora I, the first of six luxury ships constructed by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri in a deal valued at €3.5 billion, began sailing in July 2023 with a series of journeys in Northern Europe before crossing the Atlantic to New York with visits en route 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, extensive outdoor decks with private cabanas and nearly 1,000 square metres of wellness and fitness facilities.
The luxury ship will spend the autumn in North America, the winter in the Caribbean and spring on the USWest Coast and Hawaii before returning to Europe in Summer 2024 for a series of sailings in the Mediterranean Sea with many itineraries including lesser-travelled ports for Explora I’s guests to enjoy a different perspective of a destination.
Explora II will enter service in summer 2024 and operate until April 2025 in the Mediterranean Sea and the Middle East. Explora III and Explora IV will both be powered by liquefied natural gas and enter service in 2026 and 2027 respectively.
Explora V and Explora VI will enter service in 2027 and 2028 respectively and both will have state-of-the-art energy efficiency measures and be capable of using alternative fuels such as bio and synthetic gas.
These two ships will pursue the use of liquid hydrogen with fuel cells for their hotel operations while docked in ports to eliminate carbon emissions with the vessels’ engines switched off.
All of the Explora Journeys vessels will be equipped with the latest environmental and marine technologies, including selective catalytic reduction technology, shore power plug-in connectivity, underwater noise management systems to help protect marine life, and a comprehensive range of onboard energy efficient equipment to optimise engine use to further reduce emissions.