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Steel Cut for Explora II, Second Ship for MSC’s New Luxury Cruise Brand

The first steel of the Explora II, the second of four new-concept luxury cruise ships that Fincantieri is building for Explora Journeys, the new luxury cruise brand by MSC Group, was cut today at the Castellammare di Stabia (Naples) shipyard.

The order for this class of ships, announced in 2018, is worth a total of over 2 billion euros.

The Explora I is currently under construction in Monfalcone, while the Explora II will be built at the Sestri Ponente (Genoa) yard, with deliveries respectively in 2023 and 2024.

A traditional maritime ceremony took place today at its Castellammare di Stabia yard near Naples for the first steel to be cut for the second vessel. Attending the event, among others, were MSC Executive Chairman, Pierfrancesco Vago, Explora Journeys CEO, Michael Ungerer, and Fincantieri General Manager Merchant Ships Division, Luigi Matarazzo.

“The start of Explora Journeys’ second ship signals our firm commitment to our tourism partners for the coming-to-market of our new luxury brand with a significant financial investment in a fleet of innovative, elegant ships, that will bring together our vision and purpose to create an ocean state of mind like no other. Given our belief in this brand to create a new category in luxury, lifestyle travel, we will continue to invest in its expansion to attract the growing number and aspirations of the next generation of discerning luxury travelers,” said Vago.

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Michael Ungerer, CEO of Explora Journeys, added: “We are greatly encouraged by the tremendous enthusiasm and support we have received so far from the travel advisor community who have placed their trust in Explora Journeys since our launch in June and for their overwhelming response to our exclusive `By Appointment’ service and innovative commercial terms … Explora Journeys has also been awarded ‘preferred’ status with a number of leading travel agency groups, an honor not normally bestowed on a brand prior to its coming into service, that demonstrates an unprecedented recognition from the luxury travel industry and which reinforces our commitment to, and confidence, in our robust B2B2C strategy.”

According to a press release, all four vessels will have a gross tonnage of approximately 64,000 tons and will feature the latest maritime and environmental technologies and solutions available. Each is equipped with 461 guest suites.  

Including these four vessels, the partnership between Fincantieri and the cruises division of MSC Group counts eight ships to date: the MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview, delivered in 2017 and 2018, and the two enriched Seaside Evo ships – the MSC Seashore, delivered in July, and her sister ship, the MSC Seascape, which will enter into service next year. 

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