Explora Journeys to protect agents’ commission after axing maiden cruise

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By Harry Kemble
10/07/2023
Home » Explora Journeys to protect agents’ commission after axing maiden cruise

Explora Journeys says it will protect agent commission on bookings for the inaugural cruise of Explora I, which has now been cancelled.

Explora I’s debut sailing will now depart from Copenhagen on 1 August, rather than from Southampton on 17 July as originally planned.

MSC Cruises, the sister line to Explora Journeys, said the delay was caused by an issue with insulation tiles on the ship and it needed ‘to have the appropriate certifications’ before it came into service.

The Financial Times reported at the weekend that shipyard Fincantieri was informed at the end of May that a supplier had lost its safety certification for one type of panel used to equip the ship.

MSC said as soon as the ‘issue with the materials used on Explora I came to light, Explora Journeys took the responsible decision not to take delivery of the ship’.

Last week, Explora Journeys postponed the delivery ceremony of the ship , saying ‘further enhancements’ needed to be made.

MSC Cruises UK and Ireland Managing Director Antonio Paradiso, who also runs Explora Journeys in the UK and Ireland, told Travel Gossip Explora Journeys had gone ‘above and beyond’ to support agents and customers following the cancellation announcement.

He confirmed the luxury line is protecting commission and refunding passengers who were booked on the 17 July sailing.

In addition, a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) of 30% of the original value of the booking has also been given to affected passengers. The FCC is valid for 12 months.

Antonio said the ship delay ‘has surprised us all,’ but he added he was confident Explora I would be ready to sail on 1 August.

In a statement, MSC Cruises said: “All of the ships in the MSC Cruises’ fleet have passed a series of stringent safety certifications and operate under strict international, national and local regulations as well as undergoing multiple inspections on an ongoing and frequent basis.

“As soon as the issue with the materials used on Explora I came to light, Explora Journeys, our sister company, took the responsible decision not to take delivery of the ship.

“Even though this meant that the first sailing was cancelled to ensure that the ship will have the appropriate certifications when she comes into service.

“We are working closely with Fincantieri to deal with the issue swiftly and appropriately to ensure the safety and compliance of the ship.”

MSC added that shipbuilder Chantiers de l’Atlantique, which built the latest ship in the MSC fleet, MSC Euribia, is working with the classification society and maritime industry ‘to analyse the situation’.

Tests are currently being carried out on MSC Euribia by the French shipbuilding company. “We will then develop any necessary action plans if required,” MSC Cruises said.

“The safety of our passengers and crew is our utmost priority and that all of our ships have in place the required safety systems and procedures,” MSC added.

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