Foto: Fincantieri


  • EXPLORA I delivered by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri with an investment of 500 million euros by MSC Group
  • Order for four luxury ships worth 2.3 billion euros for Explora Journeys’ fleet

The Cruise Division of MSC Group today celebrated a significant milestone in its continuous growth with the delivery of EXPLORA I to mark the official launch of Explora Journeys, the new luxury travel brand. The investment of the new ship amounted to over 500 million euros.

This is the first of four luxury ships to be built by Fincantieri, one of the world’s largest shipbuilding groups based in Italy, in an investment plan worth 2.3 billion euros. 

The traditional maritime event was attended by Gianluigi Aponte – Founder and Chairman of the MSC Group, Pierfrancesco Vago – Executive Chairman of the MSC Group’s Cruise Division, the godmother of the ship Zoe Africa Vago, for Fincantieri Pierroberto Folgiero, Chief Executive Officer as well as representatives of MSC’s construction team together with managers and workers from the shipyard. 

Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, Cruise Division, MSC Group, said, “Today is a historic day, and represents a decisive step in our growth path, because it marks the entry of the MSC Group into the luxury travel sector. This segment has strong growth prospects, in which we strongly believe and whose standards we aim to redefine, focusing as always on excellence and luxury. EXPLORA I will be of the most beautiful and iconic ambassadors of „Made in Italy“ at sea, a testament to Italian craftsmanship all over the world. 

“The four Explora Journeys ships will see an investment of 2.3 billion euros, capable of generating an impact on the Italian economy of more than 10 billion euros, thus providing a significant contribution to the country’s development prospects. In terms of employment the construction of each single ship requires over seven million working-hours and the average employment is of 2,500 people for two-three years.”

Pierroberto Folgiero, Chief Executive Officer, Fincantieri, added, “The Explora class clearly and distinctively marks the development Fincantieri is heading towards. Indeed, entering the luxury cruise market, Explora I represents a project meant to climb several steps in approaching the ship of the future. From the most modern selective catalytic reduction solutions and high-efficiency systems, we will progress to liquefied natural gas, and to hydrogen in the units to follow. This path shows the Group’s evolution from manufacturer to enabler of the energy transition in shipbuilding”. 

EXPLORA I will depart on 1 August for her maiden voyage from Copenhagen in Denmark. The luxury ship will spend several weeks in Northern Europe to offer a range of different itineraries and will then cross the Atlantic Sea and spend the winter in North America and the Caribbean Sea before returning to Europe in Summer 2024 for voyages in the Mediterranean Sea.  

EXPLORA II is currently being built at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Genoa Sestri Ponente, Italy and will come into service in August 2024. EXPLORA III will become the first of two LNG-powered vessels to join the Explora Journeys’ fleet with the ship due to be delivered in 2026 and EXPLORA IV in 2027. 

All of the Explora Journeys vessels will be equipped with the latest environmental and marine technologies, including selective catalytic reduction technology, shore power plug-in connectivity, underwater noise management systems to help protect marine life, and a comprehensive range of onboard energy efficient equipment to optimise engine use to further reduce emissions.

Text: PM Fincantieri