Explora Journeys celebrates float out of Explora I

Explora Journeys marked a key milestone in its evolution during the float out ceremony of its first ship, Explora I, in Italy. 

The ceremony was held at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy on May 30 with senior representatives from the cruise division of MSC Group, Explora Journeys and Fincantieri in attendance alongside travel agents and media from across Europe. 

The first of four ships from the luxury cruise line is set to be delivered at the end of May 2023, with its first revenue sailing taking place on May 30 out of Barcelona. 

The float out is a traditional maritime event and significant moment in the construction of a new ship, marking the first time that the vessel touches water.

It also marks the moment the ship will move from drydock to a berth, where the final phases of construction will take place to complete the interiors, fixtures and fittings. 

Explora Journeys’ chief executive Michael Ungerer said: “The float out of Explora I is a hugely significant milestone in the realisation of our vision to redefine the ocean travel experience with a new luxury travel brand that we have designed to connect travellers with the ocean and themselves. 

“Today’s event is great opportunity for our valued travel partners to see how the ship is taking shape and build even more excitement for Explora I’s launch in just 12 months.” 

Explora I will feature 461 oceanfront suites, penthouses and residences, alongside 10 culinary experiences, 10 indoor and outdoor bars and lounges with “curated” entertainment and four swimming pools with poolside dining and lounging.

The ship’s inaugural journey will be in the Mediterranean with an 11-night voyage from Barcelona to Athens. 

In its first year, Explora I will visit 132 ports in 40 different countries, including two destinations, Kastellorizo in Greece and Saint Pierre in Martinique, that have never previously been visited by a cruise ship. 

Sailings range from six-night journeys to a 44-night Northern Europe Grand Journey. 

A second ship, Explora II, is already under construction, with the keel being laid earlier this month, and will launch in summer 2024. A third and fourth ship are also on order.  

All ships will be equipped with the latest environmental and marine technologies, according to Explora Journeys.

They will feature the latest selective catalytic reduction technology to reportedly enable a reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions by 90%, be equipped with shore power plug-in connectivity to reduce emissions in port and be fitted with underwater noise management systems to help protect marine life. 

All four vessels will also have a “comprehensive” range of onboard energy efficient equipment to optimise engine use to further reduce emissions, the line said.

“At Explora Journeys we are building ships for tomorrow, utilising today’s latest technologies and while being ready to adapt to alternative energy solutions as they become available,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman, cruise division, of MSC Group.

“At the same time, the brand’s commitment to sustainable ocean travel extends beyond just the environmental and maritime technologies but is also embedded in our onboard guest experience. 

“Destination experiences will be designed to leave a positive impression and footprint on the places and people visited by placing a spotlight on local talents, craftsmanship, culture, gastronomy, traditions. This is all part of the brand’s commitment to its guests and the destinations we visit with them.”

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