Explora Journeys has confirmed orders for two hydrogen-powered ships.
Explora V and Explora VI – to be delivered in 2027 and 2028, respectively – will feature “state-of-the-art energy efficiency measures and will also be capable of using alternative fuels such as bio and synthetic gas and methanol”, the line said.
The introduction of the vessels, to be built by Fincantieri, will support MSC Group’s target of net zero-carbon emissions by 2050.
The deal completes a total investment of €3.5 billion in six luxury ships for Explora Journeys, a statement said.
Explora V and Explora VI will be built to use liquid hydrogen with fuel cells for their hotel operations while docked in ports.
The ships will also feature a new generation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) engines that will “further tackle the issue of methane slip with the use of containment systems”, Explora added.
Explora Journeys ‘determined’ to protect oceans
Explora Journeys CEO Michael Ungerer said: “Sustainability in luxury is the new craftmanship and our new two confirmed orders are testament to our determination to preserve and protect our precious oceans.
“This is what the discerning traveller of tomorrow expects so it is an absolute imperative that we not only just deliver on that anticipation, but we must and will exceed such aspirations.”
MSC Group cruise division executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago added: “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.”
Explora’s first ship, Explora I, was delivered by in July 2023 and is currently operating in northern Europe.
Explora II will enter service in summer 2024, with Explora III launching in summer 2026.
Construction of LNG-powered Explora IV will begin in January 2024 and will be completed in early 2027.