Sestri Ponente’s Fincantieri Shipyard provided the stunning backdrop to the Cruiseship «Coin Ceremony» of Explora II, the second of six ships commissioned by Explora Journey, the luxury brand of the MSC Cruise Division, and the first MSC vessel to be built in Genoa where the cruise line registers its highest passenger volume worldwide.
The «Coin Ceremony», an age-old seafaring tradition which takes place in the early stages of a ship’s construction whereby two coins are placed under the keel, as a symbol of good fortune, by the shipowner and the shipbuilder, was held on 8 February in Genoa’s Fincantieri Shipyard. Explora II is part of a 2.2 billion-euro order placed by the MSC group for four luxury cruiseships, with an option for an additional two vessels for a total investment of 3.5 billion euros, which is set to generate an economic contribution of over 15 billion euros to the local economy. The construction of Explora II, together with Explora III and Explora IV, scheduled to be delivered between 2024 and 2027, will have a major impact on employment at the Sestri Ponente Shipyard. The first steel section of the Explora II, built in Castellammare di Stabia, was shipped a few days ago to Genoa’s Fincantieri Shipyard. Here the 500 million-euro vessel will be constructed with the deployment of over 2500 highly skilled specialised workers over a two-year period, with delivery scheduled for August 2024.
All six ships of the Explora Journeys fleet will utilise a wide range of innovative environmental-supporting technologies, whilst being primed to adapt to alternative energy solutions as they become available. The design incorporates the use of LNG and provision for battery storage allowing future hybrid power generation, the latest selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology geared towards a sharp reduction in nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, shore-to-ship power supply to avoid CO2 emissions at berth and certification for reduced underwater noise.
Speakers at the event included the President of the Liguria Region Giovanni Toti, Mayor of Genoa Marco Bucci, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruise Division Pierfrancesco Vago and Fincantieri CEO Pierroberto Folgiero.
In his address to the Coin Ceremony guests, the Western Ligurian Sea Port Authority President, Paolo Emilio Signorini, declared: “As Italy’s leading port, we are in the process of elaborating the forthcoming new masterplan and, during this strategic planning phase, it is important for us to have as partners global players with a bold vision, such as MSC, who is firmly committed to our port across the implementation of a highly diversified investment programme and Fincantieri, who is not only leader in the shipbuilding industry, but is active in the implementation of major infrastructure projects underway across Genoa.”