EXPLORA I makes pre-inaugural port call in Barcelona

Explora Journeys' first of four ultra-luxury ships welcomed to Spain for 'first look'

The Port of Barcelona, Spain has welcomed Explora Journeys‘ first ship, EXPLORA I, ahead of the new ship receiving her first guests in Copenhagen on 1 August 2023. The stop provided a pre-inaugural “Insider First Look” at the ultra-luxury vessel.

EXPLORA I left the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone on Thursday 20 July 2023, with the Port of Barcelona chosen as her first port of call.

The maritime tradition of a crest exchange to celebrate a ship’s first visit to a destination took place on board between the ship’s master Captain Serena Melani and Lluís Salvadó, President of the Barcelona Port Authority. Michael Ungerer, CEO, Explora Journeys and local port officials, also attended the event.

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The stopover reinforces the Cruise Division of MSC Group’s commitment both to the Port of Barcelona and to the city itself, one of the group’s key destinations, where it is building a new cruise terminal that will be dedicated to both Explora Journeys and sister company MSC Cruises when completed in 2024.

“Barcelona is one of the most important ports in the western Mediterranean, and it is our absolute honour to finally showcase our highly anticipated, extraordinary new ship EXPLORA I,” Ungerer said.

“We have pushed the boundaries of innovation and design to create a ship that embodies our commitment to excellence,” he declared.

Salvador Richart, MSC Group; Fernando Pacheco, MSC Group; Michael Ungerer, Explora Journeys; Lluis Salvado, Port of Barcelona; and Javier Rodriguez, Barcelona Cruise Port

“We are delighted to showcase our ship today in Barcelona, offering a taste of what Explora Journey will offer her guests”.

Lluís Salvadó, President of the Port of Barcelona, expressed that “the commissioning of ships like EXPLORA I is strategic for Barcelona and for the maritime sector as a whole.

“Incorporating sustainability innovations to cut NOx emissions by 90% and with equipment to connect to electricity on land, eliminating emissions when docked, is important for the ports and cities that host them because it shows how the sector works to achieve clean maritime activity. And it is also an example of the success of the strategy that we follow at the Port of Barcelona to make the necessary infrastructure available to ships to make this emission-free future a reality”.

Explorer Journeys' Captain Serena Melani with Lluis Salvado, Port of Barcelona

EXPLORA I will spend several weeks in Northern Europe, offering a range of itineraries, both on and off the beaten path, and will then cross the Atlantic Sea via Greenland to spend the autumn in North America, the winter in the Caribbean and spring on the US West Coast and Hawaii before returning to Europe in Summer 2024 for a collection of journeys in the Mediterranean Sea.

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, which will be available in the Port of Barcelona in the coming years, 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.

Meanwhile, according to the media release, Explora Journeys has now downsized its potential fleet order from up to six vessels, to “a fleet of four luxury ships”.

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