MONFALCONE, ITALY — Explora Journeys has taken delivery of EXPLORA I, the first luxury ship to join its fleet from the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.
The traditional maritime event was attended by Gianluigi Aponte, Founder and Chairman of parent company MSC Group, and Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Group’s Cruise Division.
Said Vago: “Today is a historic day, and represents a decisive step in our growth path because it marks the entry of the MSC Group into the luxury travel sector. This segment has strong growth prospects in which we strongly believe and whose standards we aim to redefine, focusing as always on excellence and luxury.”
EXPLORA I, an investment totalling over $737 million, is part of an overall $3.7 billion investment plan that includes an order of four ships. It will set sail on its maiden journey from Copenhagen, Denmark on Aug. 1, 2023, a seven-night sailing through the landscapes of Lerwick, Shetland Islands and Kirkwall, Orkney before ending in Reykjavik, Iceland.
The luxury ship will then spend several weeks in Northern Europe offering a range of different itineraries before crossing the Atlantic Sea via Greenland to spend the autumn in North America, the winter in the Caribbean, and the spring on the U.S. West Coast and Hawaii. It will then return to Europe in summer 2024 for a collection of journeys in the Mediterranean Sea.
Seven- to 11-night journeys are all combinable. Plus, non-conventional arrival and departure times, combined with overnight stays in port, will allow for a slower pace of travel.
EXPLORA II is currently being built at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Genoa Sestri Ponente, Italy and will come into service in August 2024. EXPLORA III will become the first of two LNG-powered vessels to join Explora Journeys’ fleet, with the ship due to be delivered in 2026 and EXPLORA IV in 2027.