Vessel had been due to depart Southampton, UK on 17 July 2023
The maiden voyage of Explora Journeys’ first ship from Southampton, UK this July has been cancelled due to an issue with materials used on the cruise ship.
The MSC Group luxury offshoot disclosed that it had recently been made aware that some materials used on the ship did not meet the required safety certifications.
The ship’s first sailing has now been postponed from 17 July 2023 to 1 August, departing from Copenhagen instead of the UK south coast port.
The company said: “As the safety of our guests and crew is of the utmost priority we took the immediate and responsible decision not to take delivery, even though this meant that we had to cancel the ship's first sailing to ensure she can be delivered with the highest safety standards and will have all appropriate safety certifications in place.
“We're working tirelessly with the shipbuilder Fincantieri to deal immediately and appropriately to replace the affected materials to ensure the safety and compliance of the ship. The work is currently underway, and the shipbuilder is discussing with the relevant classification societies to obtain the ship’s safety certificate as soon as possible, so that she will be ready for delivery on 24 July and her first sailing on 1 August from Copenhagen.
“We understand the disappointment the delay has caused our guests but their safety and that of our crew are of our first priority and we appreciate their understanding as we manage effectively this unexpected situation.”
Full refunds are being provided on cancelled sailings between 17 July and 1 August, plus a future journey credit, equivalent to 30% value of the original booking, will be issued to customers, and will be valid for 12 months.
The company is protecting 100% of commission payments for travel agents on the cancelled sailings and there will be no commission recall of money already paid.
“Commission will be earned on all future bookings on the cash portion paid. When using the 30% future journey credit on a new booking, commission will not be calculated on the value of the credit,” the line added.
An email sent to booked passengers from the cruise line read: 'While the ship is fully ready and the team of hosts is eagerly awaiting to welcome you among the very first guests on board, the ship builders have identified a critical issue that must receive immediate attention. Certain materials from a third party supplier do not meet the required certifications and Explora Journeys therefore could not take delivery of the ship as planned on 6 July 2023. The brand is working together with Fincantieri on resolving the situation to ensure that Explora I will meet the highest standards. Thank you for your understanding that these circumstances are beyond the control of Explora Journeys.
Unfortunately, the time required for the works to be carried out will extend the vessel’s stay at the shipyard a couple more weeks. Therefore, the delivery of Explora I is now scheduled for 24 July resulting in the new maiden journey leaving from Copenhagen, Denmark on 1 August 2023. As a consequence, the initially scheduled maiden journey on July 17 from Southampton is cancelled.'