Explora Journeys to increase fleet with hydrogen-powered ships

Explora Journeys to increase fleet with hydrogen-powered ships

Explora Journeys has agreed a deal with Fincantieri for the construction of an additional two hydrogen-powered luxury cruise ships, taking the total fleet from four to six vessels.

Explora V and VI – to launch in in 2027 and 2028 respectively – will feature liquefied natural gas (LNG) engines that “will tackle the issue of methane slip and will also be equipped with industry first environmental technologies and solutions”, according to a statement.

This will include a containment system for liquid hydrogen, with hydrogen fuel to power a six-megawatt fuel cell to produce emissions-free power for the hotel operation and allow the vessels to run on zero emissions in port, with the engines turned off, Explora added.

In addition, the line’s previously announced vessels Explora III and IV will now also be powered by LNG, with the two ships to be enlarged to enable the installation of a new generation system based on LNG and hydrogen.

In May, the luxury cruise line held the float out ceremony for its first ship, Explora I.

Explora Journeys ‘building ships for tomorrow’

Explora Journeys CEO Michael Ungerer said: “These bold moves to amend our construction plans, make significant additional investment in current orders and confirm orders for two more vessels with new technology despite the economic environment are something only a family company can do.

“This also demonstrates unequivocally our absolute commitment to operate ships that will appeal and attract the next and future generations of luxury travellers.

“Sustainability is the new craftmanship and we’re honoured to take a pioneering position within the industry and the wider travel sector.”

MSC Group cruise division executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago added: “Explora Journeys is building ships for tomorrow, utilising today’s latest technologies and being ready to adapt to alternative energy solutions as they become available.

“The announcement today marks another significant step forward in our goal as a business to reach net zero emissions by 2050 across all our cruise operations for the two brands, and a further proof of our commitment to invest in the most advanced marine environmental technologies available to develop sustainable solutions for the future.”

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