MSC Group Builds "EXPLORA" Luxury Ship at Fincantieri

MSC EXPLORA 2 Under Construction at Fincantieri Shipyard in Sestri Ponente

Published Feb 8, 2023 11:55 AM by The Maritime Executive

MSC Group builds 500 million Euro Luxury Ship 

• This investment will generate an impact of over euro 2 billion on the Ligurian and national economy, ensuring work for 2,500 people for two years at the Sestri Ponente shipyard
• The Coin Ceremony for Explora II took place in the presence of the President of the Liguria Region Giovanni Toti, the Mayor of Genoa Marco Bucci and the top management from the Cruise Division of the MSC Group and Fincantieri
Explora II is part of a total order of six Explora Journeys vessels, including two options, worth euro 3.5 billion with an impact of more than euro 15 billion on the Italian economy
Geneva, Switzerland/Trieste, Italy – February 8, 2023 – Explora II is under construction in Genoa, at the Fincantieri shipyard in Sestri Ponente, and is the second of six ships from Explora Journeys, the new luxury brand of the Cruise Division of the MSC Group. The first section, assembled in recent months in Castellammare di Stabia, reached the Genoese shipyard by sea a few days ago, where the ship will be built over the next 18 months and delivered in August 2024.  The Coin Ceremony took place today in Sestri Ponente – an important ancient seafaring tradition where the ship owner and builder place two coins in the ship's keel as a sign of good luck.

The event was attended by the President of the Liguria Region, Giovanni Toti and the Mayor of Genoa, Marco Bucci. The Executive Chairman of the Cruise Division of the MSC Group, Pierfrancesco Vago, and the Chief Executive Officer of Explora Jouneys, Michael Ungerer, were present on behalf of the shipowner. Doing the honors for Fincantieri was the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Pierroberto Folgiero, and the General Manager of the Merchant Ships Division Luigi Matarazzo.

Pierfrancesco Vago stated: «I am particularly proud that Explora Journeys ships are also built in Italy. In fact, they are destined to represent Italian excellence in the world, honoring an engineering, innovation and design capacity that has no equal at an international level. The building of these ships bear witness to our concrete and tangible commitment in Italy and for Italy. Together with our confidence in the prospects of a country where the MSC Group has been operating for half a century and employs over 15,000 direct employees, generating an employment impact of a further 40,000 people».

Pierroberto Folgiero commented: “It is exciting to see the advancement of this construction. The Explora class is meaningful of the progress of our journey: a concentrate of high technology which, with the subsequent units, will reach even higher levels, following precise planning towards the ship of tomorrow”.

The construction of Explora II required an investment of approximately euro 500 million on the part of the Cruise Division of MSC Group with significant economic and employment effects both for Genoa and the entire Ligurian and national territory. From an economic point of view, for example, the construction of an Explora Journeys ship is capable of generating an overall impact of more than euro 2 billion on the Italian economy, while in terms of employment, the construction requires over 7 million man-hours of work and the average employment of 2,500 people for about two years in the Genoese shipyard and related industries.

Explora II is part of an order for four luxury ships for over euro 2.2 billion, to which two options have been added – Explora V and Explora VI – which would bring the total value of the order to around euro 3.5 billion, with an impact of over euro 15 billion on the country’s economy. At the same time, the investment will ensure employment in the coming years at the Sestri Ponente shipyards where, along with Explora II, Explora III and Explora IV will also be built and will join the fleet, between 2024 and 2027.

The environmental technologies featured on the Explora ships are particularly sophisticated. The last four vessels (from III to VI) will be equipped with industry-first solutions and, specifically, they will be powered by LNG, the cleanest marine fuel currently available at scale, which virtually eliminates local air pollutant emissions like sulfur oxides (99 percent), nitrogen oxides (85 percent), particles (98 percent) and CO2 (25%). Explora V and Explora VI will feature a containment system for liquid hydrogen, a low-carbon fuel, that will power a six-megawatt fuel cell to produce emissions-free power for the hotel operation and allow the vessels to run on ‘zero emissions’ in port, with the engines, turned off. 
All vessels will also be equipped with the latest environmental and marine technologies, including the latest 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 optimize engine use to further reduce emissions.

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