MSC confirms orders for hydrogen-powered ships for Explora Journeys

Shipbuilder Fincantieri will deliver Explora V and Explora VI in 2027 and 2028

MSC confirms orders for hydrogen-powered ships for Explora Journeys

Explora Journeys

The deal completes a total investment of $3.73 billion in six luxury ships for Explora Journeys

By Alex Smith |

The cruise division of MSC Group has confirmed firm orders for two hydrogen-powered vessels for its luxury cruise brand Explora Journeys from Fincantieri.

Explora V and VI will power their hotel operations using liquid hydrogen with fuel cells while docked in ports to enable them to switch off their engines and eliminate carbon emissions. They will also feature a new generation of LNG engines that will reduce the issue of methane slip, which occurs when unburned fuel escapes into the atmosphere.

“With Explora Journeys we have created a luxury brand that has been successful at redefining luxury at sea,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Group’s cruise division. “We are seeing continued growth in the luxury segment and the investment in these two new ships shows our commitment to continue to grow within this sector as well as to invest in ships of the future. Together with Fincantieri we will study the newest technology that the world has to offer and continue with our commitment to introduce these technologies to drive efficiencies across the whole spectrum of ship performance. And of course, we will continue to deliver the very best luxury travel experience, immersing our guests in the ocean state of mind with a sustainable soul.”

The two ships will be equipped with new energy-efficiency measures and will also be capable of using alternative fuels such as bio and synthetic gas and methanol. MSC’s cruise division will also work with Fincantieri in the future to equip the ships with technologies including carbon capture and more advanced waste management systems.

“This new contract with MSC is a sign of the growing vitality of the cruise sector, in line with what we had predicted,” said Pierroberto Folgieri, CEO of Fincantieri. “In strategic terms, our future will depend on our ability to lead the evolution of the sector towards all energy and digital transition technologies with the entrepreneurship required to validate, industrialise and commercialise new solutions. We are therefore particularly proud that the Explora project will mark the acceleration of this new phase, which with the fifth and sixth ships, will reach the highest level of advancement, making Fincantieri's vision of the ship of the future ever more concrete.”

The deal completes a total investment of €3.5 billion ($3.73 billion) in six luxury ships for Explora Journeys. Explora 1 was delivered by Fincantieri in July 2023 and is currently operating in Northern Europe. Both Explora II and III are currently under construction and will enter service in Summer 2024 and 2026 respectively. Construction of Explora IV will begin in January 2024 and be completed in early 2027.

Explora V will then be delivered later in 2027, followed by Explora VI in 2028.

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