Explora Journeys, the luxury travel brand of MSC Group, today will celebrate 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 ship’s bow to officially name the ship and bring good luck, will be conducted by EXPLORA I’s Godmother Dr. Sylvia Earle, the renowned marine biologist and oceanographer, at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal.
The event will be attended by distinguished guests from around the world, international journalists, key travel partners of Explora Journeys and senior representatives from MSC Group, who will all enjoy a gala dinner following the ceremonial launch and an evening of vibrant celebrations.
Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, Cruise Division, MSC Group, said, “In the world of luxury travel, EXPLORA I is a game-changer. We are offering journeys that redefine the very essence of luxurious ocean travel. We are looking to attract a wider group of discerning travelers who have experienced the finest luxury land-based resorts but seek more value, more authenticity, and a deeper connection to the world. Explora Journeys is the answer by giving you a way to discover off the beaten track destinations by sea, all whilst enjoying some of the best real estate in the world. With a further five ships joining the fleet in the next five years, we are committed to delivering the same unique experience on board, wherever you are in the world.”
Michael Ungerer, CEO, Explora Journeys, added, “Today’s event is a significant milestone for Explora Journeys as our first ship EXPLORA I brings to life our vision to reshape luxury travel. We are proud to introduce a new era of discovery and luxurious travel and to showcase our first ship in the vibrant city of New York.”
Dr. Sylvia Earle, Founder and Chairman, Mission Blue, said“I am honoured to be the Godmother for EXPLORA I and look forward to a meaningful relationship between Mission Blue, Explora Journeys and the MSC Foundation towards making a very positive contribution to protect and restore the world’s seas and oceans.”
EXPLORA I, the first of six luxury ships constructed by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri in a deal valued at €3.5 billion ($5 billion CAD), began sailing in July this year 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 U.S West 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 optimize engine use to further reduce emissions.