MSC Cruises has marked the beginning of construction for it second cruise ship for its new luxury subsidiary line Explora Journeys.
The steel cutting for Explora II took place at the Castellammare di Stabia (Naples) shipyard although the ship will be built at the Sestri Ponente (Genoa) yard.
Explora II will be the second of an initial total of four vessels for the cruise line, with the order valued at 2-billion euros.
Explora I’s construction started earlier this year in Monfalcone. She is due for delivery in 2023, while Explora II will be delivered in 2024.
MSC Executive Chairman, Pierfrancesco Vago, Explora Journeys CEO, Michael Ungerer, and Fincantieri General Manager Merchant Ships Division, Luigi Matarazzo attended the steel cutting for Explora II.
“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,” said Vago.
“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,” he added.
Michael Ungerer, CEO of Explora Journeys, said: “We are greatly encouraged by the tremendous enthusiasm and support we have received so far from the travel advisor community.”
All four luxury cruise ships will have a gross tonnage of approximately 64,000 tons and will feature the latest maritime and environmental technologies and solutions available. Each will feature 461 guest suites.
The suites will start at 35 square metres, making them among the most spacious in the luxury segment of the wider cruise industry.
The ships will feature a promenade deck with indoor and outdoor whirlpool baths, a pool with a retractable glass roof and more than 2,500 square metres of outdoor decks with three outdoor pools and 64 private cabanas.
There’ll also be nine distinct restaurants with flexible dining times, several indoor and outdoor bars and lounges, and an indoor/outdoor spa and fitness area. The spa will offer group classes, personal training sessions and bespoke wellness experiences.
Additional details about the ships will be released closer to launch, according to Explora Journeys, but it did release renderings of the ships in June.
In addition to the four Explora ships, MSC has another four cruise ships on order with Fincantieri: MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview, delivered in 2017 and 2018, and MSC Seashore, delivered in July, and her sister ship, MSC Seascape, which will enter into service next year.