Explora Journeys has celebrated a major milestone with the construction start of its second ship, EXPLORA II. The luxury brand’s first ship EXPLORA I is currently under construction and is set to welcome guests in 2023. EXPLORA II is scheduled to enter service in 2024. The cruise line will launch four luxury ships by 2026.
Explora Journeys, the newly-launched luxury brand of the MSC Group, has marked another major important milestone in its coming-to-market phase with the steel cutting of its second ship, EXPLORA II in Italy. Construction work started on the second vessel in Explora Journeys’ fleet of luxury ships and is due to welcome its first guests in Spring 2024.
This follows on just three months from the launch of the Explora Journeys brand and the beginning of its first ship, EXPLORA I, being built for a May 2023 launch.
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.
All four Explora Journeys ships will be built by ship builders Fincantieri in Italy and a traditional maritime ceremony took place at its Castellammare di Stabia yard near Naples for the first steel to be cut for the second vessel. The event was attended by key executives including Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Group’s Cruise Division; Michael Ungerer, CEO Explora Journeys and Luigi Matarazzo, General Manager Merchant Ships Division, Fincantieri.
EXPLORA II will feature the same innovative design as EXPLORA I, offering 461 ocean front suites which have some of the largest lead-in categories all with private terraces, generous outdoor space.
The ships will utilise the latest in environmental-supporting technologies, while being ready to adapt to alternative energy solutions as they become available. The design incorporates provision for battery storage to allow future hybrid power generation, as well as the latest selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology, enabling a reduction of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 90 per cent. Built with ship-to-shore power capabilities to avoid CO2 emissions while at berth and powered by marine gas oil, this is in line with the Cruise Division of MSC Group’s pledge to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in its cruise marine operation by 2050.