MSC Group announced the company's entry into the exclusive cruise market via the launch of a new brand created for the new generation of luxury travelers: Explora Journeys.
Built by Fincantieri (at Monfalcone yard newr Trieste), the first of the 4 new luxury ships is due to set sail in 2023, with the remainder being ready in 2024, 2025, and 2026. All will boast the latest state-of-the-art maritime technology that will sail on exploration voyages in common and new ports. Passengers will enjoy a ship like no other, with the highest level of comfort and service.
Created in collaboration with the leading superyacht and luxury hotel designers in the world, the innovative ships will blend Swiss precision with modern European craftsmanship. With 461 oceanview suites and residences, guests will enjoy breathtaking ocean and harbor views from their floor-to-ceiling windows and from their private terraces. The suites will start at 35 m2 (377 ft2), being one of the most spacious in the industry.
14 decks are expected to provide ample interior space, maximizing guest privacy. The generous exterior decks will feature 2,500+ square feet (232 m2) with ocean views, 64 private cabanas, and 3 outdoor pools. A 4th pool, with a retractable glass roof, will allow guests to swim and relax in any weather. These are joined by a number of indoor and outdoor hot tubs on the promenade, as it's been designed with water as the focal point.
The ratio of passengers-to-crew of 1.25 to 1 guarantees a dedicated service at all times. Dining times will be flexible at the 9 different restaurants. Each location will highlight the world's culinary talents, using healthy ingredients sourced sustainably by local suppliers. Several indoor and outdoor bars and lounges will expand the offer.
Personalization continues with a spacious indoor/outdoor spa and onboard gym. With state-of-the-art fitness equipment, treatment rooms, group classes, and personal training sessions, personalized programs will make staying in shape enjoyable. Customized wellness experiences are provided at each destination.
In cooperation with Fincantieri, Explora Journeys is building ships for the future, featuring the latest technologies that protect the environment. They will be prepared to adapt to alternative energy solutions as they become available. The design incorporates provisions for battery storage that will allow future hybrid power generation. It incorporates the latest SCR (selective catalytic reduction) technology, which facilitates a reduction of NOx (nitrogen oxide) emissions by 90%.
All 4 ships will be RINA DOLPHIN certified for reducing underwater noise. The newbuilds will be built to avoid CO2 emissions while docked and will be fueled with marine diesel. Single-use plastics will not be used onboard. Explora Journeys is focused on leaving a positive footprint on the places visited and the communities that live there.
Sailings will start at 7 nights. The unconventional arrival/departure times, combined with the overnights will allow Explora Journeys to offer its guests exclusive access to unique experiences. The inaugural season itineraries offer a mix of popular destinations like Bordeaux, Reykjavik, and Saint Tropez, as well as hidden destinations like the Lofoten Islands, Kastellorizo, and Bozcaada.
On Thursday morning, June 10, the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, hosted the official steel-cutting ceremony of the first Explora Journeys cruise ship, Explora I, scheduled to set sail in 2023. Reservations for the inaugural season 2023 open in fall 2021.