The coin ceremony of EXPLORA I, the first of four luxury cruise ships ordered by the Cruises Division of MSC Group for its new luxury brand Explora Journeys, today took place at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.
The vessel, whose construction began in June 2021, will enter service in May 2023 and is the first of four ships on order worth more than €2 billion, each with a gross tonnage of approximately 64,000 tons and featuring the latest available technologies in terms of environment and sustainability.
Each ship will be equipped with 461 guest suites and showcase a highly-innovative design for the discerning guests’ comfort and relaxation who seek journeys to discover exclusive classic and exotic destinations.
The time-honoured coin ceremony when two newly minted coins are placed under the keel before it is laid as a sign of blessing and good fortune in the future was conducted by the new vessel’s godmothers, Alessandra Fontana, Chief Marketing Officer, Explora Journeys who represented the owners and and Ester Fugazzi, Head of General Services for Fincantieri who represented the ship builder.
“Italy is important for the entire maritime sector and our Cruise Divisions’ €6 billion expenditure with Fincantieri for four Explora Journeys luxury ships and four MSC Cruises’ vessels has made a significant economic impact of €27 billion to the country.”Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, Cruises Division of MSC Group
“The MSC group employs 15,000 people in Italy and will continue to invest in the nation to create further direct and indirect employment opportunities, which in turn leads to a positive contribution to the national economy. EXPLORA I will be a new-concept ship totally projected into the future, the utmost expression of the partnership between MSC and Fincantieri. Indeed, the partnership with this ship owner, is marked by constant technological and design evolution. In a few years this has led to three different cutting-edge prototypes and has emphasized the unique ability of our Group to create innovation.”Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri CEO.
Construction of EXPLORA II started in October 2021 at Fincantieri’s Castellammare di Stabia (Naples) yard. The ship will be delivered in autumn 2024 at the Sestri Ponente (Genoa) shipyard with two further vessels delivered in 2025 and 2026.
The long-term partnership between MSC and Fincantieri to date numbers eight ships including the new vessels for Explora Journeys with all built in Italy for total orders worth almost €6 billion, making the Geneva, Switzerland-based owner one of the main customers for the Italian shipbuilder.
The first order placed by MSC was signed in 2015 for the construction of two “Seaside” class ships, MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview, which were delivered in 2017 and 2018 respectively and then represented the largest and most technologically advanced ships ever built in Italy.
This was followed by two “Seaside Evo” class ships, even larger and further enhanced from a technological and environmental point of view. MSC Seashore was delivered in July 2021 and her sister ship, MSC Seascape, will enter service in November 2022.