New luxury lifestyle travel brand Explora Journeys has marked a major construction milestone of EXPLORA I. The ship is scheduled to set sail in May 2023, followed by sister ship EXPLORA II in 2024. Two further luxury vessels will join the fleet in 2025 and 2026.
Explora Journeys, the new luxury lifestyle travel brand of the MSC Group, has celebrated a major milestone in the construction of its first luxury vessel, EXPLORA I.
The traditional coin ceremony takes place when the first block or a section of the ship is lowered into the building dock, and two newly minted coins are placed inside a ship block for blessing and good fortune by two long-standing employees representing the shipyard and the ship owner acting as godmothers for the ceremony. The godmothers for today’s ceremony were Alessandra Fontana, Chief Marketing Officer for Explora Journeys and Ester Fugazzi, Head of General Services for Fincantieri.
This centuries-old maritime ceremony that dates back to Roman times, reflects the family’s seafaring heritage. Explora Journeys was born from a long-held vision of Pierfrancesco Vago, his wife Alexa and the Aponte Vago family. Their nautical heritage of over 300 years coupled with their inspiration and passion for the sea, as well as their innate understanding of luxury, created their mission to define a new category in travel and present an unparalleled ocean escape. EXPLORA I is being constructed in Monfalcone, Italy by Fincantieri, one of the world’s largest ship building groups, in recognition of the family’s Italian roots.
The event was attended by key executives including Mr Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Group`s Cruise Division, Mr Michael Ungerer, Chief Executive Officer Explora Journeys and Mr Guiseppe Bono Chief Executive Officer, Mr Luigi Matarazzo General Manager, Merchant Shipyard Director, Fincantieri.
Michael Ungerer, CEO Explora Journeys, commented “Today marks another major milestone in our journey towards developing a truly defining and highly desired, luxury lifestyle brand. Following our initial investment of two billion euros, this demonstrates another positive step forward, and shows that we are on track to offer an ocean experience like no other.”
Construction work commenced on EXPLORA II, the second vessel in Explora Journeys’ fleet of luxury ships, in November 2021 and is due to welcome its first guests in Spring 2024. Two further new ships will join the fleet in 2025 and 2026 as a demonstration of MSC Group’s commitment to establish the Explora Journeys brand, created for the next generation of discerning luxury travellers.
Each ship with a gross tonnage of approximately 64,000 tons will feature 461 guest suites and showcase a highly-innovative design for the discerning guests’ comfort and relaxation who seek journeys to discover exclusive classic and exotic destinations.