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Explora Journeys, the luxury ocean travel brand of MSC Group, announced that their second vessel, EXPLORA II, successfully completed its sea trials. The ship is now set to embark on its maiden voyage from Barcelona, Spain, on Aug. 11, 2024. This vessel is the second in a planned fleet of six luxury ships being constructed by Fincantieri in Italy.

“The launch of Explora I last year was the realization of a long-held family dream to offer guests an unmatched luxury at sea experience,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, Cruise Division of MSC Group, in a press statement. “Explora II successfully completing her sea trials is the next milestone on our Explora journey. In summer 2024 discerning travelers will now have the opportunity to travel on our two ships on carefully created and combinable itineraries both in the Western and Eastern Mediterranean, embarking from easy access ports and uncovering hidden gems in lesser travelled destinations.”

EXPLORA II Summer Itineraries

This summer, EXPLORA II will sail itineraries that include some of the Western Mediterranean’s hottest and lesser-known destinations, including ports such as Portofino, Porto Cervo, St-Tropez, Calvi, Mahon and Monte Carlo. The itineraries include overnight stays and longer visits, giving your clients ample time to immerse themselves in the local culture. Itineraries will range from 7 to 21 nights, with departures from ports like Barcelona and Civitavecchia near Rome—this means no repetition of ports during combinable journeys.

On these voyages, your clients can expect elegant suites with private ocean-front terraces, nine culinary experiences included in the fare, unlimited premium beverages, high-speed Wi-Fi via Starlink, fun entertainment and wellness programs inspired by the ocean.

The new ship features 14 decks with 172,222 sq. ft. of public space, which is one of the highest guest-to-space ratios in the luxury ocean category. It has 461 ocean-front suites, averaging 452 sq. ft. each, including an Owner’s Residence, Ocean Residences, Ocean Penthouses, Ocean Terrace Suites and Ocean Grand Terrace Suites. The vessel also offers 11 culinary experiences, six restaurants and 12 bars and lounges. At 813.65 ft long, 105 ft wide, and 184 feet high above the waterline, the ship also includes ample wellness facilities with both indoor and outdoor spaces, nine treatment rooms, a beauty salon, three outdoor pools, an indoor pool with a retractable roof, an indoor hydrotherapy pool and 64 private cabanas.

As part of MSC Group, Explora Journeys is committed to sustainable practices, utilizing the latest technologies and preparing for future energy solutions. The ship is equipped with a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system, reducing nitrogen oxide emissions by 90 percent. It also features an advanced wastewater treatment system compliant with the International Maritime Organization’s standards, a ballast water treatment system approved by the US Coast Guard, shore-to-ship power connectivity and comprehensive recycling and waste management systems. The hull and engine room designs are RINA Dolphin certified for underwater noise reduction, minimizing acoustic impact on marine fauna. Additionally, the ship features an innovative hull design and optimized hydrodynamics to reduce water resistance, trim optimization software to monitor and enhance stability, environmentally friendly anti-fouling paint, smart HVAC systems for energy efficiency and high-efficiency LED lighting managed by smart systems for further energy savings.

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