The luxury subsidiary cruise line of MSC Cruises, Explora Journey, has launched its 2023 cruise itineraries and held a coin ceremony celebrating the laying of the keel for its first ship Explora I.
The coin ceremony marked the laying of the keel of Explora I, the first of four sister ships ordered by MSC Cruises for its luxury subsidiary cruise line, while a range of itineraries were also revealed.
The itineraries to be sailed by Explora I cover the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the UK, Iceland, Greenland, Canada, the U.S. East Coast, Caribbean, South America and Hawaii.
The construction of Explora I began in June 2021 at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. Now, with her keel ready to be laid, two newly minted coins were placed under it as a sign of blessing and good fortune in the future.
The ceremony was conducted by the new vessel’s godmothers, Alessandra Fontana, Chief Marketing Officer, Explora Journeys, and Ester Fugazzi, Head of General Services for Fincantieri.
Explora I is scheduled to enter service in May 2023 and will have 461 guest suites. Construction of her sister ship Explora II started in October 2021 at Fincantieri’s Castellammare di Stabia yard in Naples. The ship will be delivered in autumn 2024 at the Sestri Ponente shipyard in Genoa with two further vessels set to be delivered in 2025 and 2026.
“The Explora I will be a new-concept ship totally projected into the future, the utmost expression of the partnership between MSC and Fincantieri,” said Giuseppe Bono, CEO, 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,” he added.
Explora Journeys Inaugural Itineraries
The Inaugural Journeys Collection covers the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the UK, Iceland, Greenland, Canada, the U.S. East Coast, Caribbean, South America and Hawaii, as the ship will sail a series of open-jaw cruises.
Sailings start from 6-night itineraries to a 44-night grand cruise. The inaugural deployment package will visit 132 ports in 40 different countries, including two destinations, Kastellorizo, Greece and Saint Pierre, Martinique that have not been visited by any cruise ships before.
“Explora I and our subsequent three ships will allow guests to enjoy a more immersive, authentic experience and a slower pace of travel,” said Michael Ungerer, CEO, Explora Journeys.
“They are designed to offer refined yet effortless luxury with the opportunity for exploration and transformation, offering our guests the chance to experience what we call an ‘Ocean State of Mind’ – a mindset that can be achieved when we escape to the ocean, relax, create memories and reconnect with what matters most in our lives,” he added.
May – June 2023 Inaugural Mediterranean Journey:
A MAIDEN JOURNEY INTO MARE NOSTRUM.
Barcelona, St Tropez, Calvi (Corsica), Rome, Fiskardo (Kefalonia), Istanbul, Athens
Mediterranean Grand Journey:
Barcelona, St Tropez, Calvi (Corsica), Rome, Fiskardo (Kefalonia), Istanbul, Athens, Patmos, Bodrum, Kastellorizo, Santorini, Athens, Mykonos, Gozo, Ibiza, Barcelona
Mediterranean and Western Europe destinations:
Barcelona, St Tropez, Calvi (Corsica), Rome, Fiskardo (Kefalonia), Istanbul, Athens, Patmos, Bodrum, Kastellorizo, Santorini, Mykonos, Gozo, Ibiza, Malaga, Cadiz, Portimão, Lisbon, Porto, St. Jean-de-Luz, Bordeaux, S aint-Malo, Honfleur
July – August 2023: Inaugural Norwegian Journey:
EPIC FJORDS AND ARTIC CIRCLE
Southampton, Kristiansand, Hellesylt/Geiranger, Ålesund, Molde, Trondheim, Svartisen Glacier and Arctic Circle, Narvik, Honningsvåg, Tromsø
Northern Europe Grand Journey:
Southampton, Kristiansand, Hellesylt/Geiranger, Ålesund, Molde, Trondheim, Svartisen Glacier and Arctic Circle, Narvik, Honningsvåg, Tromsø Leknes – Lofoten Islands, Brønnøysund, Flåm, Bergen, Stavanger, Skagen, Copenhagen, Rønne, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Stockholm, Visby, Riga, Klaipeda, Gdansk, Copenhagen, Göteborg, Oslo, Stavanger, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Bruges, Southampton.
August 2023: Inaugural United Kingdom Journey:
SCOTTISH LOCHS AND THE MILITARY TATTOO
Southampton, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Invergordon, Stornoway, Oban, Liverpool, Glasgow
Extended United Kingdom Journey:
Southampton, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Invergordon, Stornoway, Oban, Liverpool, Glasgow, Fort William, Portree, Kirkwall, Lerwick – Shetland Islands, Thorshavn – Faroe Islands, Reykjavik
ICELAND & GREENLAND
September 2023: Inaugural Iceland & Greenland Journey:
ARTIC GEYSERS, CALVING GLACIERS AND FIERY LANDS OF ICE.
Reykjavik, Akureyri, Isafjordur, Prins Christian Sund Waterway, Paamiut, Nuuk, Qaqortoq, Strait of Belle Island, Sydney, Saint John, New York City
Extended Iceland to North America Journey:
AN EXTENDED JOURNEY FROM ICELAND & GREENLAND TO HIGH- LATITUDE AMERICA
Reykjavik, Akureyri, Isafjordur, Prins Christian Sund Waterway, Paamiut, Nuuk, Qaqortoq, Strait of Belle Island, Sydney, Saint John, New York City, Newport, Boston, Saint John, Gulf of St. Lawrence, Quebec City
USA EAST COAST & CANADA
October 2023 Inaugural North American East Coast Journey:
ATLANTIC PROVINCES AND CANADIAN MARITIMES
New York City, Newport, Boston, Saint John, Gulf of St. Lawrence, Quebec City
Extended North American East Coast Journey:
New York City, Newport, Boston, Saint John, Gulf of St. Lawrence, Quebec City, La Baie, Baie-Comeau, Havre-Saint-Pierre, Charlottetown, Halifax, New York City
November 2023 – Inaugural Caribbean Journeys:
March 2024 A YACHTSMAN`S PARADISE
Miami, Key West, Spanish Town, Deshaies, Falmouth Harbour, San Juan
BRITISH ISLES, CREOLE IDYLLS & MIAMI MAGIC
San Juan, Gustavia, Basseterre, Samana, Ocean Cay, Miami
Panama Canal Passage:
Bridgetown, Kralendijk, Willemstad, Oranjestad, Cartagena, Puerto Limon, Crossing the Panama Canal, Panama City
Miami, Key West, Spanish Town, Deshaies, Falmouth Harbour, San Juan, Gustavia, Basseterre, Samana, Ocean Cay, St. John`s (Antigua and Barbuda), Castries, Bridgetown, Roseau, Kralendijk, Willemstad, Saint-Pierre, Kingstown, Grand Turk (Turks and Caicos), Santa Marta, Cartagena, Colón, Soufriere, Bequia (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines), Oranjestad
SOUTH AMERICA, PACIFIC COAST AND HAWAII
January – Inaugural South American Journey:
February 2024: CELEBRATING TWO CARNIVALS IN BRAZIL
Bridgetown, Devil`s Island, Fortaleza, Salvador De Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, Pôrto Belo, São Paulo
March – April 2024 Pacific Coast destinations:
Quepos, San Juan del Sur, Puerto Quetzal, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Astoria, Victoria, Vancouver
April – May 2024: Inaugural Hawaiian Journeys:
HAWAII`S VOLCANOS & THE MAGIC OF KAI
Vancouver, Hilo, Honolulu
“NO KA ‘OI” OF HAWAI’I
Honolulu, Lahaina, Nawiliwili, Victoria, Vancouver
Extended Hawaiin Journey:
AN EXTENDED EXPLORATION OF THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS
Vancouver, Hilo, Honolulu, Lahaina, Nawiliwili, Victoria, Vancouver