Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri has announced the floating out of the first cruise ship, named Explora I, for MSC Group’s new luxury brand, Explora Journeys.

The first of four luxury cruise ships ordered by MSC’s cruises division, the vessel has been floated at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.

Construction of the vessel started last June. The vessel is expected to commence operations by the end of May 2023.

Fincantieri is also involved in the construction of a second ship, called Explora II, for the new brand.

This second luxury vessel is expected to be delivered in the summer of 2024

Fincantieri stated: “The construction of the innovative Explora Journeys fleet, commissioned to Fincantieri by the MSC Group in 2018, continues at a fast pace thanks to a total order worth more than €2bn for four units.”

The ships are being equipped with the latest available technologies to reduce environmental impact. They have a gross tonnage of approximately 64,000 tonnes.

At the end of January, Carnival Group-owned cruise line Princess Cruises took delivery of the Discovery Princess cruise ship from Fincantieri Shipyard.

The vessel can accommodate 3,660 guests.

Earlier in the same month, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding started the construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering barge in the US for Crowley.