Fincantieri and luxury cruise brand Explora journeys have celebrated the coin ceremony for Explora II. The traditional ceremony is a major milestone in the construction of a cruise ship.
Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri and Explora Journeys have celebrated a major milestone in the construction of Explora II. Currently under construction in Genoa, at the Fincantieri shipyard in Sestri Ponente, Explora II is the second of six ships from the new luxury brand.
A first section of the ship, assembled in recent months in Castellammare di Stabia, reached the Genoese shipyard by sea a few days ago, where the ship will be built over the next 18 months and will be delivered in August 2024.
The coin ceremony, an important ancient seafaring tradition where the ship owner and builder place two coins in the keel of the ship as a sign of good luck, took place today in Sestri Ponente.
The event was attended by the President of the Liguria Region, Giovanni Toti and the Mayor of Genoa, Marco Bucci. The Executive Chairman of the cruise division of the MSC Group, Pierfrancesco Vago, and the Chief Executive Officer of Explora Jouneys, Michael Ungerer, were present on behalf of the shipowner. Doing the honors for Fincantieri were the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Pierroberto Folgiero, and the General Manager of the Merchant Ships Division Luigi Matarazzo.
Pierfrancesco Vago stated: “I am particularly proud that Explora Journeys ships are also built in Italy. In fact, they are destined to represent Italian excellence in the world, honoring an engineering, innovation and design capacity that has no equal at an international level. The building of these ships bear witness to our concrete and tangible commitment in Italy and for Italy. Together with our confidence in the prospects of a country in which the MSC Group has been operating for half a century and employs over 15,000 direct employees, generating an employment impact of a further 40,000 people.”
The construction of Explora II required an investment of approximately euro 500 million on the part of the cruise division of MSC Group with significant economic and employment effects both for Genoa and the entire Ligurian and national territory. From an economic point of view the construction of an Explora Journeys ship is capable of generating an overall impact of more than euro 2 billion on the Italian economy, while in terms of employment, the construction requires over 7 million man-hours of work and the average employment of 2,500 people for about two years in the Genoese shipyard and related industries. Explora II is part of an order for four luxury ships for over euro 2.2 billion, to which two options have been added – Explora V and Explora VI – which would bring the total value of the order to around euro 3.5 billion, with an impact of over euro 15 billion on the country’s economy. At the same time, the investment will ensure employment in the coming years at the Sestri Ponente shipyards where, along with Explora II, Explora III and Explora IV will also be built and will join the fleet, between 2024 and 2027.
The environmental technologies featured on the Explora ships are particularly sophisticated. The last four vessels (from III to VI) will be equipped with industry-first solutions and, specifically, they will be powered by LNG, the cleanest marine fuel currently available at scale, which virtually eliminates local air pollutant emissions like sulphur oxides (99 per cent), nitrogen oxides (85 per cent), particles (98 per cent) and CO2 (25%). Explora V and Explora VI will feature a containment system for liquid hydrogen, a low-carbon fuel, that will power a six-megawatt fuel cell to produce emissions-free power for the hotel operation and allow the vessels to run on ‘zero emissions’ in port, with the engines turned off.
All vessels will also be equipped with the latest environmental and marine technologies, including the latest 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 optimise engine use to further reduce emissions.