Coin ceremony for Explora Journeys’ first of four ships

Godmothers lay commemorative coins for EXPLORA I

Explora Journeys conducted a coin ceremony for its first ship, EXPLORA I, last week at the Monfalcone shipyard of Fincantierri ahead of the luxury vessel’s maiden journey, scheduled for May 2023.

Two newly minted coins were placed inside a ship block for blessing and good fortune by two long-standing employees representing the shipyard and the shipowner acting as godmothers for the ceremony. The godmothers for the ceremony were Alessandra Fontana, Chief Marketing Officer for Explora Journeys and Ester Fugazzi, Head of General Services for Fincantieri.

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Explora Journeys was born from a long-held vision of Pierfrancesco Vago, his wife Alexa and the Aponte Vago family. Their nautical heritage of over 300 years coupled with their inspiration and passion for the sea, as well as their innate understanding of luxury, created their mission to define a new category in travel and present an unparalleled ocean escape.

The event was attended by key executives including Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Group’s Cruise Division; Michael Ungerer, Chief Executive Officer, Explora Journeys and Guiseppe Bono, Chief Executive Officer and Luigi Matarazzo General Manager, Merchant Shipyard Director, Fincantieri.

“Today marks another major milestone in our journey towards developing a truly defining and highly desired, luxury lifestyle brand,” remarked Michael Ungerer, CEO Explora Journeys. ” Following our initial investment of two billion euros, this demonstrates another positive step forward, and shows that we are on track to offer an ocean experience like no other.”

“Having launched initially exclusively to travel advisors, we are now delighted to give our guests the option to book their journeys online, should they wish to do so.”

Construction work commenced on EXPLORA II, the second vessel in Explora Journeys’ fleet of luxury ships, in November last year and is due to welcome its first guests in Spring 2024. Two further new ships will join the fleet in 2025 and 2026 as a demonstration of MSC Group’s commitment to establish the Explora Journeys brand, created for the next generation of discerning luxury traveller.

Meanwhile, Explora Journeys has confirmed the Inaugural Journeys collection for EXPLORA I – as exclusively foreshadowed by LATTE in December.

Explora Journeys confirmed the debut season will span the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the UK, Iceland, Greenland, Canada, the US East Coast, Caribbean, South America and Hawaii. The maiden cruise will operate from Barcelona to Athens, departing 31 May 2023.

In her inaugural season, EXPLORA I will visit 132 ports in 40 different countries, including two destinations – Kastellorizo, Greece and Saint Pierre, Martinique – that have not been visited by cruise ships before.


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View the full inaugural season sailings for EXPLORA I here.

Image credit: Explora Journeys

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