Explora Journeys, the luxury lifestyle hospitality brand of the MSC Group, has announced the successful completion of sea trials for their flagship vessel, EXPLORA I. This marks the beginning of a new era of sustainable luxury ocean travel, with the vessel set to embark on its maiden voyage in July 2023.
Designed to reflect the brand’s cosmopolitan and vibrant European luxury, the EXPLORA I vessel has been thoughtfully crafted to stimulate the senses, with 14 decks offering 16,000 sqm of total public space. This unrivalled space and privacy offer guests one of the highest guest-to-space ratios in the luxury ocean category at 18.4 sqm.
With 461 oceanfront ‘Homes at Sea,’ EXPLORA I offers a range of accommodations, including an owner’s residence, ocean residences, ocean penthouses, ocean terrace suites, and ocean grand terrace suites. Guests can indulge in 11 culinary experiences across six unique restaurants and 12 bars and lounges.
But what sets EXPLORA I apart is its commitment to sustainability. As part of the MSC Group, Explora Journeys is dedicated to building ships for tomorrow, utilizing today’s latest technologies and being ready to adapt to alternative energy solutions as they become available.
The vessel has various environmental supporting technologies, including a selective catalytic reduction system that reduces nitrogen oxide emissions by 90%. It also features an advanced wastewater treatment system that complies with the most stringent standards on the International Maritime Organization’s resolution and a ballast water treatment system approved by the US Coast Guard.
EXPLORA I also offers shore-to-ship power connectivity, state-of-the-art recycling and solid waste management, and hull and engine room designs that minimize the acoustic sound impact on marine fauna. Additionally, the vessel boasts an innovative hull design, optimized hydrodynamics to minimize water resistance, and trim optimization software to reduce fuel consumption.
Michael Ungerer, CEO of Explora Journeys, expressed his excitement about the upcoming maiden voyage of EXPLORA I, saying, “Our vision and purpose from day one has been to create an ocean travel experience like no other, and we are thrilled that the first of our ground-breaking new class of ships will start sailing in July 2023. Our team has worked tirelessly to design and build a ship that offers the perfect combination of luxury, adventure, and sustainability, and we can’t wait to share it with our guests.”
With a 1:1.25 host-to-guest ratio, EXPLORA I promises a transformative and purposeful ocean travel experience, reflecting the essence of each destination visited and the brand’s commitment to sustainability. The naming ceremony for EXPLORA I will take place in Civitavecchia near Rome, Italy, on 8 July, followed by its maiden journey departing on 17 July from Southampton, UK, for a 15-night sailing into Norwegian fjords and the Arctic Circle to Copenhagen, Denmark.
As travellers increasingly seek sustainable and transformative experiences, EXPLORA I is poised to lead the way in luxury ocean travel.
WRITTEN BY: STEPHEN MORTON