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Explora I, the first ship in the Explora
Journeys fleet, departed Copenhagen on its maiden journey Aug. 1, for a seven-night sailing to
Lerwick, Shetland Islands; Kirkwall, Orkney; and Reykjavik, Iceland.
Explora, the luxury lifestyle brand of the MSC
Group, espouses an “Ocean State of Mind” philosophy
with immersive experiences such as exploring Copenhagen’s waterways by kayak, learning
about Shetland ponies, and an overnight stay in Iceland to explore the Golden
“Our guests will be able to experience the very
best European hospitality at sea and our vibrant, cosmopolitan sense of luxury,
while discovering some of the world’s most remarkable destinations,” Explora
CEO Michael Ungerer said. “A new era of transformative luxury ocean travel
begins now with the first sailing of Explora I.”
The festivities held in Copenhagen on Aug. 1 included
the traditional crest exchange, a maritime tradition to celebrate a ship’s
first visit to a destination, with the ship’s master Captain Serena Melani;
Johan Hoganfalt, deputy port captain; Sune Christensen, chief commercial officer
of Copenhagen Malmö Port; Klaus Bondam, director of Cruise Baltic and Cruise
Copenhagen; and Ungerer.
The ship will spend several weeks in Northern
Europe on a range of itineraries and will then cross the Atlantic Ocean and
spend the winter in North America and the Caribbean before returning to Europe
in summer 2024 for Mediterranean voyages.
Explora II is being built in Italy and is
expected to enter service in August 2024. Explora III and Explora IV – which will
become the first of two ships powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) – are scheduled
for delivery in 2026 and 2027, respectively.
Theresa Norton, editor in chief of AGENTatHOME Magazine, covers the cruise industry for TravelPulse.com.
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