Explora Journeys, the luxury cruise arm of the MSC Group, has held a keel laying ceremony for its second ship, Explora II.
The event at Castellammare di Stabia, Italy, was attended by senior executives from the cruise line and shipbuilder Fincantieri.
Explora II will be delivered in summer 2024, joining Explora I, which is due to sail in May 2023.
Sailings range from six to 44-nights, with Explora I visiting 132 ports in 40 different countries.
An additional two ships are on order.
Explora Journeys CEO Michael Ungerer said: “We are thrilled to witness this key milestone for Explora Journeys, which signals our firm commitment to launch a luxury lifestyle brand that incorporates effective sustainability planning and maximises social and economic benefits for the communities that our ships will visit, and leave a positive legacy for the next generation.”
Explora II will be fitted with 461 oceanfront suites and penthouses, and feature nine restaurants, 10 indoor and outdoor bars and lounges, four swimming pools, extensive outdoor decks with private cabanas, wellness facilities, and “refined entertainment”, according to the line.
In late December 2021, Explora Journeys launched a new digital travel agent portal, designed to “cement its links” with the trade.
The line’s chief sales officer Chris Austin said at the time: “We will continue to engage travel advisors for input as we add valuable resources to make doing business with Explora Journeys joyful.”
Austin also spoke to Cruise Trade News in February 2022, outlining Explora’s vision for the luxury cruise sector.