On 10th June 2021 the MSC Group revealed its new luxury cruise brand, Explora Journeys, described as having been created for the next generation of discerning luxury travellers. Built by Fincantieri, the first of a quartet of luxury ships was scheduled to enter service in 2023, with the remaining ships ready in 2024, 2025 and 2026. Each would utilise the latest in cutting-edge maritime technology to provide voyages to destinations on and off the beaten track. Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Group’s cruise business said that building a luxury brand to redefine the cruise experience and create a category of its own had been a long-held vision of his and his family. He had been inspired by the family’s own travel wishes with Explora Journeys being created as an ocean escape like no other, allowing guests to relax and cherish being at sea, with time being the ultimate luxury. Designed in partnership with the world’s foremost superyacht and luxury hospitality designers, the innovative ships in the new fleet were intended to blend elegant Swiss precision with modern European craftsmanship.


Upon the launch of Explora Journeys, the CEO, Michael Ungerer, stated that the company was designed for guests who want to stay longer, leave later, and travel deeper with the aim of bringing a new perspective to the travel industry and reinventing the classic cruise experience. In partnership with Fincantieri, Explora Journeys is building ships for tomorrow rather than today, thus incorporating a degree of future-proofing. The design utilises the latest in environmental-supporting technologies, while being ready to adapt to alternative energy solutions as they become available. The design incorporates provision for battery storage allowing future hybrid power generation, as well as the latest selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology, enabling a reduction of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 90%. Built with ship-to-shore power capabilities to avoid CO2 emissions while alongside in a port and powered by marine gas oil, all four of the initial batch of ships are RINA Dolphin certified for reduced underwater noise.

Single-use plastics are not used onboard the ships, nor will they be offered during land-based experiences, as the company is focused on leaving a positive impression on the places and people visited. Inspired by the mandala, the Explora Journeys logo was created by Alexa Aponte-Vago, CFO of the MSC Group, daughter of founder Gianluigi Aponte and wife of Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago. With roots in spirituality, the pattern represents a journey of personal discovery and fulfilment. Illustrations of the lotus flower symbolise purity of body, speech, and mind, while a nod to the fleur-de-lis represents humility and a connection to European heritage. The finishing touch is a sophisticated typeface that alludes to the subtle curves of the sea.


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