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Explora II Review

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Explora II rendering (Photo/Explora Journeys)
Explora  Journeys   Indoor  Pool, 2
Explora  I (Photo/Explora Journeys)
Explora  Journeys   Lobby

Explora II, the second ship in the MSC Group's new luxury brand Explora Journeys, will launch in the summer of 2024. The 922-passenger vessel is the sister ship to Explora I, which debuts in 2023, and will be followed each year by four more ships representing a total investment of Euros 3.5 billion. With a crew to passenger ratio of 1.25 to 1, the ship will provide high levels of personal service as it sails to worldwide destinations.

Explora II Deck Plans Feature Large Suites and Six International Restaurants

Described as "Homes at Sea", Explora II has 461 ocean facing suites. They comprise 371 Ocean Terrace and Ocean Grand Terrace Suites, 67 Ocean Penthouses, 27 Ocean Residences and one Owner's Residence. The staterooms range in size from 377 square feet in the Ocean Terrace Suites category to 3,014 square feet for the Owner's Residence, making them among the most spacious in the industry. There are 82 interconnecting suites.

The accommodations reflect the all-inclusive nature of Explora Journeys with a welcome bottle of Champagne on arrival, a bottle of wine and a bottle of spirit of the passenger's choice and an in-room mini-bar.

When it's time to eat, the ship has a choice of six restaurants with menus inspired by the destinations visited and featuring local and fresh ingredients taking inspiration from the destinations visited. Explora Journeys has announced details of five of the restaurants, which will feature all-inclusive menus that include unique signature dishes influenced by a variety of international cuisines. They are pan-Asian Sakura inspired by the ancient tea rooms of Kyoto in Japan; Marble & Co. Grill steakhouse; casual Med Yacht Club serving sharing plates; French-influenced Fil Rouge; and the Emporium Marketplace with live cooking stations. As well as familiar labels, wine lists will include vintages from lesser-known boutique vineyards.

Details of the sixth restaurant will be announced at a later date. There are 12 bars and lounges.

Elsewhere, there are three outdoor pools and one indoor pool with retractable glass roof, 64 private cabanas, indoor and outdoor whirlpools and poolside dining.

Explora Journeys has entered into a partnership with Steinway & Sons, the top-of-the-line piano manufacturer. Like the rest of the ships in the fleet, Explora II will have three Steinway Spirio automatic player pianos onboard for entertainment; Steinway "guest artistes" will also be invited onboard on different itineraries.

Explora II Will Feature Adaptable Green Technology

Designed to help the MSC Group move towards its goal of reaching its goal of zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, the ship being constructed at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy is equipped with environmentally friendly technologies.

It is RINA DOLPHIN certified to reduce underwater noise and lessen the impact on marine mammals and can use shore power in port to avoid any emissions while berthed. It has also been designed to adapt to alternative energy-saving solutions when they become available.

Want to Be Onboard First? Explora II's Maiden Voyage is in August 2024

Explora II's inaugural sailing will be the 11-night Maiden Journey of Mediterranean Anticipation itinerary, sailing from Barcelona to Athens (Piraeus), departing on August 12, 2024.

Explora II Itineraries Will Be Worldwide

The line says its itineraries are designed to take passengers on "journeys of discovery" to destinations "on and off the beaten path". After the maiden voyage, Explora II will embark on a series of Mediterranean cruises to ports in Italy, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Israel and Croatia before transiting the Suez Canal to sail in Egypt. This will be followed by itineraries in the Arabian Gulf before sailing to India and on to the Seychelles, Maldives and Africa.

Itineraries will feature longer stays and overnights in ports to provide passengers with plenty of time to explore ashore.

Explora II Stats

The ship is 63,900 gross tons and carries 922 passengers at full occupancy with 700 crew.

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