The minting ceremony for the Explora took place today at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. The ship is the first of four on order for Explora Journeys, MSC’s new luxury brand.
The ship, construction of which began in June 2021, will enter service in May 2023 and is the first of four ships on order.
Each ship will feature 461 guest suites and will showcase a highly innovative design for the comfort and relaxation of discerning guests seeking voyages to discover exclusive classic and exotic destinations, according to a press release.
At the ceremony, two newly minted coins were placed under the keel before it was placed as a token of blessing and good fortune for the future. It was conducted by the new ship’s godmothers, Alessandra Fontana, Chief Marketing Officer, Explora Journeys, representing the owners, and Ester Fugazzi, Head of General Services for Fincantieri, representing the shipbuilder.
Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Group’s Cruises Division, said: “Italy is important for the entire maritime sector, and the €6 billion spending by our Cruise Division with Fincantieri on four Explora Journeys luxury ships and four MSC Cruises ships have resulted in significant economic savings with an impact of 27 billion euros on the country.
“The MSC Group employs 15,000 people in Italy and will continue to invest in the country to create more direct and indirect employment opportunities, which in turn will contribute positively to the national economy.”
Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, added: “The Explora I will be a new concept ship, fully projected into the future and the highest expression of the partnership between MSC and Fincantieri. In fact, the partnership with this ship owner is characterized by constant technological and design development. In just a few years, this has resulted in three different state-of-the-art prototypes and underscored our group’s unique ability to innovate.”
The construction of EXPLORA II started in October 2021 at the Fincantieri shipyard Castellammare di Stabia in Naples. The ship will be delivered to the Sestri Ponente shipyard in Genoa in autumn 2024, with two more ships scheduled for delivery in 2025 and 2026.