CLIA and MSC react after cancellation of Explora 1 debut

   July 11, 2023 ,   Accidents

CLIA (the trade organization representing the cruise shipping industry) and MSC Cruises have emphasized that strict safety standards must be met before any ships are allowed to sail.

CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) issued a statement to clarify the situation after MSC Cruises' new luxury brand, Explora Journeys, announced the cancellation of its maiden voyage from Southampton UK due to an issue with materials used on its first ship, Explora 1. The ship's delivery was reportedly delayed by faulty fire-resistant panels. The shipbuilder Fincantieri was informed in late May that the third-party supplier had lost safety certification for one type of panel used on Explora I and other ships in the fleet. The French shipyard Chantiers de L'Atlantique, which delivered MSC Euribia in May, is also affected by the issue, with up to 45 ships in the industry identified as having the faulty panels.

Both CLIA and MSC responded to the disclosure. CLIA emphasized that the safety of passengers and crew is of the highest priority for the industry and its member cruise lines. They highlighted the industry's strong safety record and comprehensive approach to regulation, testing, certification, and ship inspections. They stated that only ships with confirmed safety and relevant certifications are launched.

MSC affirmed that all ships in their fleet have undergone rigorous safety certifications and comply with international, national, and local regulations. They also undergo frequent inspections. When the issue with the materials used on Explora I came to light, Explora Journeys made the responsible decision not to accept the vessel's delivery, resulting in the cancellation of the first sailing.

MSC is collaborating with Fincantieri to swiftly address the issue and ensure the ship's safety and compliance.

MSC Cruises clarified that while other ships with the same insulation tiles are not automatically implicated, Chantiers de L'Atlantique is working with classification societies and maritime industry experts to thoroughly analyze the situation regarding MSC Euribia. Necessary tests will be conducted, and action plans will be developed if required. The company reassured that the safety of passengers and crew is their top priority, and all their ships have the necessary safety systems and procedures in place.

Carnival Corporation, the world's largest cruise shipowner, stated that the panels in question were installed on one ship in its global fleet but had passed all required certifications at the time of installation.