In order to increase the fleet’s size from four to six, Explora Journeys, a luxury travel brand of the MSC Group’s Cruise Division, and Fincantieri, one of the biggest shipbuilding companies in the world, have signed a memorandum of understanding for the construction of two additional luxury cruise ships powered by hydrogen. EXPLORA V and VI, the two new structures, will open for business in 2027 and 2028, respectively.
A new generation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) engines and a liquid hydrogen collecting system will be included in the new boats. This will allow this prospective low-carbon fuel to be used. With the use of hydrogen fuel, a six-megawatt fuel cell will be able to provide emission-free electricity for hotel rooms and enable ships to run carbon-neutrally while at anchor.
According to Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive President of the MSC Group’s Cruise Division, “Explora Journeys is building the ships of tomorrow, using the latest technologies of today, and remaining ready to adapt to alternative energy solutions as they become available.” Explora Journeys will have invested 3.5 billion euros to date in the development of its fleet, including the two additional ships covered by the pact inked today. This sum includes the additional $120 million for each of the EXPLORA III and IV’s conversion to LNG engines.
“This is the first significant new construction deal since the pandemic emergency,” said Pierroberto Folgiero, CEO of Fincantieri. “It attests not only to the continued growth of our long-term partnership with MSC, for which we are grateful but also to the confidence of both groups in the future of the cruise industry.”