Last week in New York City, Explora Journeys, the luxury travel brand of MSC Group, held the naming ceremony for the ship EXPLORA I.
At the Manhattan Cruise Terminal, the ship’s godmother, Dr. Sylvia Earle, a renowned marine biologist and oceanographer, will be carrying out the nautical ritual of cutting a ribbon and breaking a bottle of champagne on the bow of the ship to name the ship and bring good luck formally.
After the formal launching ceremony, distinguished guests, international journalists, key travel partners of Explora Journeys, and senior leaders from MSC Group will celebrate with a gala dinner and vibrant celebrations.
Executive Chairman of MSC Group’s Cruise Division Pierfrancesco Vago called EXPLORA I “a game-changer in the world of luxury tourism. We are offering journeys that redefine the very essence of luxurious ocean travel. We want to attract a wider group of discerning travellers who have experienced the finest luxury land-based resorts but seek more value, authenticity, and a deeper connection to the world. Explora Journeys is the answer by allowing you to discover off-the-beaten-track destinations by sea while enjoying some of the best real estate in the world. With five more 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.”
Executive Chairman Michael Ungerer continued, “Today’s celebration is a crucial milestone for Explora Journeys as our first ship, EXPLORA I, comes to live our mission to redefine luxury travel. We are excited to unveil our first ship to the world in the heart of New York City, ushering in a new era of exploration and luxurious travel.
President and CEO of Mission Blue, Dr. Sylvia Earle, said, “I am honoured to be the Godmother for EXPLORA I, and I look forward to a meaningful relationship between Mission Blue, Explora Journeys, and the MSC Foundation.”
In July of this year, the first of six luxury cruise ships built by Italian builders Fincantieri in a €3.5 billion deal, EXPLORA I, set off on its maiden voyage, making stops in Northern Europe and the Arctic before crossing the Atlantic to New York.
There are 461 ocean-front suites, penthouses, and residences on board, as well as six restaurants, twelve bars and lounges both indoors and out, four swimming pools, extensive sun decks with private cabanas, and approximately 1,000 square metres dedicated to spa and exercise areas.
The luxury cruise ship will spend autumn in North America, winter in the Caribbean, and spring in the western United States and Hawaii before returning to Europe in the summer of 2024 for a series of sailings in the Mediterranean Sea.
Starting in the summer of 2024, EXPLORA II’s service area will include the Mediterranean Sea and the Middle East until April 2025. EXPLORA III and EXPLORA IV, scheduled to go into service in 2026 and 2027, will use LNG as their primary fuel source.
The EXPLORA V (2027) and the EXPLORA VI (2028) will have cutting-edge energy-saving technologies and the ability to run on nontraditional fuels like bio and synthetic gas.
To avoid carbon emissions while the ships are anchored in ports, these two will explore the usage of liquid hydrogen with fuel cells for their hotel operations.
To help protect marine life, all Explora Journeys ships will be fitted with cutting-edge environmental and marine technologies, such as selective catalytic reduction systems, shore power plug-in connectivity, underwater noise management systems, and a range of onboard energy-efficient equipment.