Arrival of MSC’s Explora I to Barcelona Port marks momentous occasion for maritime industry

Arrival of MSC’s Explora I to Barcelona Port marks momentous occasion for maritime industry

Today, the Port of Barcelona welcomed EXPLORA I, the first of a fleet of four luxury ships for the lifestyle brand of the MSC Group.

Following her delivery on 20 July at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, the ship has sailed to Barcelona ahead of the maiden journey departing on 1 August in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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 as well as local port officials who also attended the event.

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 its 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,” CEO, Explora Journeys, Michael Ungerer, said.

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

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

President of the Port of Barcelona, Lluís Salvadó said the commissioning of ships like EXPLORA I is strategic for Barcelona and 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,” Salvadó, said.

“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”.

EXPLORA I will set sail on her maiden journey from Copenhagen, Denmark on 1 August 2023, completing a seven-night itinerary through the majestic landscapes of Lerwick, Shetland Islands and Kirkwall, Orkney before heading to Reykjavik, Iceland.

The luxury ship will spend several weeks in Northern Europe, offering a range of different 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.

During all sailings the ship will call lesser-travelled ports for guests to enjoy a more authentic experience,

With journeys from seven to 11 nights which are all combinable, a best-in-class guest experience will ensure relaxed mornings and exhilarating evenings. 

Non-conventional arrival and departure times combined with overnight stays in port will allow Explora Journeys to offer guests exclusive access to once in a lifetime experiences and a slower pace of travel.

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.

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