Pax Global Media
The coin ceremony of EXPLORA II, the second of up to six ships planned by MSC Group for its luxury brand Explora Journeys, took place at Fincantieri’s Sestri Ponente shipyard on Wednesday (Feb. 8) near Genoa in Italy.
The coin ceremony is a special event which takes place at the keel laying, in the early stages of a ship's construction.
Construction of the GT 63,900 vessel began in October 2021 at Fincantieri’s Castellammare di Stabia yard in Naples, Italy where the ship’s keel was laid in May 2022. EXPLORA II will enter service in August 2024.
The time-honoured maritime ceremony saw commemorative coins placed inside the ship as a sign of blessing during construction and good fortune in the future by the newbuilds’ Godmothers, Feliciana Maresca, Executive Assistant to Explora Journeys’ Chief Executive Officer Michael Ungerer represented the owners and Martina Mosca, Supervisor of Hull Fabrication Department, for Fincantieri represented the ship builder.
The event was attended by key executives including Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, Cruise Division, MSC Group, Michael Ungerer and Pierroberto Folgiero, CEO, Fincantieri.
“The event today is another major step forward on our mission to redefine ocean travel for today`s discerning luxury travellers. EXPLORA II – and her sister ship EXPLORA I, due to perform her inaugural journey in mid-July from Southampton, UK - will blend renowned destinations seen through a different lens and unique off-the-beaten-path ports, offering the next generation of luxury travellers highly curated, transformative and immersive experiences," said Ungerer.
Coming August 2024
Between August 2024 and April 2025 EXPLORA II will sail in the Mediterranean Sea, the Middle East, the Indian Ocean and Africa and feature 82 ports in 26 countries.
The ship will be fitted with 461 oceanfront suites, penthouses and residences and feature six restaurants, 12 indoor and outdoor bars and lounges, four swimming pools, extensive outdoor decks with private cabanas, nearly 1,000 square metres of wellness and fitness facilities, plus refined entertainment and enrichment.
EXPLORA I is currently being built at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy and will launch Explora Journeys’ fleet in July 2023 with her inaugural sailing in Northern Europe.
Up to more than €3.5 billion will be invested by the Cruise Division of MSC Group in Explora Journeys’ six ships that will all feature innovative design and be equipped with the latest environmental technologies.
EXPLORA III will join Explora Journeys’ fleet in 2026, and EXPLORA IV in 2027.
If the options are confirmed, EXPLORA V and EXPLORA VI will join Explora Journeys’ fleet in 2027 and 2028, respectively.
EXPLORA III, EXPLORA IV, EXPLORA V and EXPLORA VI will be powered by liquefied natural gas.
EXPLORA V and EXPLORA VI will also utilise hydrogen fuel to power both ship’s hotel operations while in port to allow the vessels to switch off their engines for zero emissions.
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