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Explora Journeys Celebrates Naming Ceremony of EXPLORA I in NYC

Explora Journeys Celebrates Naming Ceremony of EXPLORA I in NYC

The new cruise ship EXPLORA I from Explora Journeys has been officially named by her godmother Dr. Sylvia Earle.

MSC Group’s new luxury travel brand Explora Journeys celebrated the naming ceremony of its first ship, EXPLORA I, on October 12 in New York City.

Celebrated marine biologist and oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, the godmother of EXPLORA I, officially named the ship at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal, where she performed the maritime custom of cutting a ribbon to shatter a bottle of champagne on the ship’s bow for good luck.

Related: 29 Weird Cruise Ship Superstitions Cruisers Should Know

The event was attended by distinguished visitors from around the world, international journalists, Explora Journeys travel partners, and senior MSC Group representatives. According to a press release, guests enjoyed a gala dinner and an evening of celebration after the ceremonial launch.

Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Group’s Cruise Division Executive Chairman remarked, “In the world of luxury travel, EXPLORA I is a game-changer. We are offering journeys that redefine the very essence of luxurious ocean travel. We are looking to attract a wider group of discerning travelers who have experienced the finest luxury land-based resorts but seek more value, more authenticity, and a deeper connection to the world. Explora Journeys is the answer by giving you a way to discover off-the-beaten-track destinations by sea, all whilst enjoying some of the best real estate in the world. With a further five ships joining the fleet in the next five years, we are committed to delivering the same unique experience on board, wherever you are in the world.”

MSC Group’s Cruise Division Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago delivered remarks at EXPLORA I‘s naming ceremony (image courtesy of Explora Journeys)

CEO of Explora Journeys Michael Ungerer added, “Today’s event is a significant milestone for Explora Journeys as our first ship EXPLORA I brings to life our vision to reshape luxury travel. We are proud to introduce a new era of discovery and luxurious travel and to showcase our first ship in the vibrant city of New York.”

Dr. Sylvia Earle, EXPLORA I’s godmother

EXPLORA I‘s godmother Dr. Sylvia Earle is an accomplished marine biologist, oceanographer, explorer, writer, and lecturer who served as NOAA’s first female chief scientist.

A National Geographic Explorer at Large (formerly known as an Explorer in Residence) since 1988, Earle was also named Time Magazine‘s first Hero for the Planet in 1998.

Marine biologist and oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle will serve as EXPLORA I‘s godmother (image courtesy of Explora Journeys)

Dr. Earle is the founder and Chairman of Mission Blue, an organization that inspires action to explore and protect the ocean. She is also a member of Ocean Elders, which works to preserve the ocean and its inhabitants.

“I am honored to be the godmother for EXPLORA I and look forward to a meaningful relationship between Mission Blue, Explora Journeys, and the MSC Foundation towards making a very positive contribution to protect and restore the world’s seas and oceans,” remarked Dr. Earle.

Related: What Is a Cruise Ship Godmother (or Godfather)?

About Explora I

EXPLORA I, the first of six luxury ships being built by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri in a €3.5 billion agreement, began sailing in July of this year with a series of cruises in northern Europe. She then crossed the Atlantic to New York, stopping in Iceland, Greenland, and Canada along the way.

The new ship offers 461 beachfront suites, penthouses, and residences, along with six restaurants, twelve indoor and outdoor bars, four swimming pools, almost 1,000 square meters of wellness and fitness facilities, and extensive outdoor decks with private cabanas.

EXPLORA I arrived for her inaugural visit to New York City earlier this month (image courtesy of Explora Journeys)

EXPLORA I will spend the fall season in North America, the winter in the Caribbean, and the spring on the US West Coast and in Hawaii. The ship then returns to Europe in the summer of 2024 for a series of Mediterranean sailings, with many itineraries including lesser-traveled ports of call.

Explora Journeys expects five new ships by 2028

The new cruise line’s second ship EXPLORA II will enter service in summer 2024 and will sail in the Mediterranean and the Middle East until April 2025.

EXPLORA III and EXPLORA IV, both powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), will begin sailing in 2026 and 2027.

In 2027 and 2028, Explora Journeys plans to launch EXPLORA V and EXPLORA VI. Both ships will feature state-of-the-art energy efficiency measures and can use alternative fuels such as bio and synthetic gas. While docked in ports, these two ships will use liquid hydrogen fuel cells to eliminate carbon emissions when the engines are switched off.

Related: Explora Journeys Confirms Orders for Two New Hydrogen-Powered Ships

New environmental and marine technologies will be installed on every Explora Journeys ship, including selective catalytic reduction technology, shore power plug-in connectivity, underwater noise management systems to help protect marine life, and a wide array of energy-efficient equipment to optimize engine use and further reduce emissions.

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What do you think about Explora Journeys naming Dr. Sylvia Earle as godmother of EXPLORA I? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Carrie Ann Karstunen