2023 Year in Review: MSC Cruises and Explora Journeys

MSC Euribia in Kiel

Continuing its growth plans, the MSC Group launched a new luxury brand in 2023 while focusing on expanding its operations in key markets, adding new homeports and following its environmental goals.

Explora Journeys in Service

Following years of anticipation, Explora Journeys welcomed its first guests in 2023 as the MSC Cruises Group luxury lifestyle brand launched service in Northern Europe with the Explora I. Five more ships are set to follow.

After being delivered by the Fincantieri shipyard, the 920-guest vessel set sail on its maiden voyage in August and soon after was christened during a special ceremony in New York City.

New Ship + MSC Euribia Net-Zero

After taking delivery of the LNG-powered MSC Euribia in May, MSC Cruises reached a milestone for the entire cruise industry with the world’s first net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions cruise.

The four-day voyage resulted in a saving of 43 tons of fuel, the company said, and enabled the ship to perform 11 percent better than the vessel’s digital twin – an ashore virtual ship that reproduced the optimum energy flow and mirrored the fuel utilization onboard.

More Ships to the Americas

MSC’s operations in North America continue to grow with the addition of new ships and deployments.

In North America, the company reached several milestones in 2023, with the debut of a new homeport, New York City, and more ships.

MSC Cruises also announced plans to bring the new MSC World America to PortMiami in 2025. Currently under construction in France, the 5,200-guest vessel will be one of the largest in the world when it enters service.

The company has been building up its presence in South America, deploying larger vessels and creating new itineraries to Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.

In late 2023, the MSC Grandiosa became the biggest ever cruise ship in the region, while the MSC Lirica launched a new itinerary departing from Paranaguá and Itajaí, two new homeports in South Brazil.

Ocean Cay Expansion

MSC Cruisesannounced plans to expand Ocean Cay in 2023. The company’s private island in the Bahamas will see enhancements with additional amenities for guests, as well as new accommodation for staff and operational and technical improvements.

The work, which is set to take place in early 2024, will also include improvements to Ocean Cay’s environmental infrastructure.

World-Class and Explora Orders Confirmed

In November, MSC Cruises confirmed its order for two more LNG-powered ships from Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyards.

The two ships – currently referred to as World Class 3 and 4 – will be part of the company’s World Class and are scheduled for delivery in 2026 and 2027.

MSC’s contract with the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard includes an option for a fifth ship in the series that started with the MSC World Europa in late 2022.

Explora Journeys confirmed the order of two hydrogen-powered vessels for deliveries in 2027 and 2028.

Deployment Developments

In April, the MSC Bellissima debuted in Asia with a series of itineraries to Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

Currently the largest vessel in MSC’s fleet, the 5,400-guest World Europa kicked off a year-round program in the Western Mediterranean in April.

The month also marked the debut of a new year-round homeport for the company, with the MSC Meraviglia starting a series of cruises departing from New York City.

Meanwhile, in December, the MSC Splendida became the largest ever vessel to sail an entire season from South Africa.

 

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