MSC Group-owned luxury line, Explora Journeys, is making waves by embracing hydrogen fuel cell technology. As part of its ambitious commitment to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, the cruise line has announced its plan to launch two hydrogen-powered ships, Explora V and Explora VI, in 2027 and 2028, respectively.
These groundbreaking vessels will not only utilize hydrogen fuel cells but will also incorporate bio and synthetic gas, along with methanol, as sources of power. This multifaceted approach to propulsion aligns perfectly with the maritime industry’s growing focus on environmentally friendly alternatives.
One of the standout features of Explora V and Explora VI is their utilization of hydrogen fuel cells during hotel operations while docked in port. This innovative approach effectively eliminates carbon emissions when the ships’ engines are switched off, marking a significant stride towards reducing the cruise industry’s environmental footprint.
The commitment to sustainability doesn’t stop at hydrogen power. These luxury ships will also feature engines fueled by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), widely recognized as one of the cleanest marine fuels available at scale. This dual-fuel strategy exemplifies Explora Journeys’ dedication to embracing cutting-edge technologies that enhance ship performance while minimizing environmental impact.
Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Group’s cruise division, expressed the company’s dedication to innovation, stating, “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.”
This ambitious move towards hydrogen and LNG-powered luxury cruising demonstrates MSC Group’s determination to lead in the luxury cruise segment while upholding strong environmental values. Chief executive Michael Ungerer emphasized the importance of sustainability in luxury travel, asserting, “This is what the discerning traveler 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.”
The journey towards greener luxury cruising began with the delivery of Explora I by Fincantieri in July. This environmentally conscious vessel is currently operating in northern Europe, setting the stage for a new era of eco-friendly cruising. Explora II is poised to enter service next summer, offering sailings in the Mediterranean, the Middle East, the Indian Ocean, and Africa. This marks a significant expansion of Explora Journeys’ eco-luxury footprint.
Looking ahead, Explora III is set to launch in summer 2026, followed by Explora IV in 2027. These forthcoming ships are poised to further solidify MSC Group’s position as a leader in sustainable luxury cruising.
As the cruise industry embarks on this exciting journey toward cleaner and greener voyages, the introduction of hydrogen-powered luxury ships represents a beacon of hope for more environmentally responsible travel. MSC Group’s commitment to innovation and sustainability paves the way for a brighter and cleaner future for luxury cruising enthusiasts worldwide.