Luxury Line Contracts for Cutting-Edge Hydrogen-Powered Vessels 

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Explora Journeys has secured agreements with the renowned Fincantieri shipyard for two state-of-the-art, hydrogen-powered cruise ships to bolster the company’s fleet. The company has invested billions of dollars in building out its small fleet of environmentally-friendly luxury ships while providing amazing experiences for every guest aboard.

Explora Journeys’ Commitment to Zero-Carbon Emissions

Explora Journeys has made a commitment to further its pursuit of net zero-carbon emissions by 2050. The company recently announced a deal with Italy’s Fincantieri to produce two more cruise ships — powered by hydrogen fuel — for the company.

Explora Journeys is an MSC Cruises luxury brand that has been exploring innovative environmental technologies for its upmarket vessels. This new purchase agreement with Fincantieri marks the culmination of a comprehensive €3.5 billion ($3.73 billion USD) investment in six luxury ships for Explora Journeys.

“Sustainability in luxury is the new craftsmanship and our new two confirmed orders are testament to our determination to preserve and protect our precious oceans,” Explora Journeys’ CEO Michael Ungerer said.

EXPLORA V and EXPLORA VI, the latest Fincantieri vessels commissioned by the luxury line, will integrate ultramodern energy efficiency technology into their operating systems. 

Explora Journeys
Explora Journeys (Photo Credit: Gail Heaton / Shutterstock)

These two ships will also have the capability to employ alternative fuels, including biofuels, synthetic gas, and methanol, which will go a long way toward helping the company achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, which is an industry-wide goal.

“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,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Group’s Executive Chairman.

On a side note, the company’s first Fincantieri-built ship, EXPLORA I, set off on its maiden voyage on August 1, 2023, departing from Copenhagen.

Looking ahead, the company plans to equip its vessels with emerging technologies as they come out, like carbon capture and advanced waste management systems. 

MSC Cruises has also been speeding up its transition to net zero emissions to hit the net-zero target date of 2050. The company has identified four pillars to help it reach these goals, which are: Planet, People, Place, and Procurement. Sustainability is a big part of the company’s future operational plans.

Read Also: MSC Group Unveils Data From Net Zero Greenhouse Gas Voyage

Implementing Green Technologies

EXPLORA V and EXPLORA VI, slated for delivery in 2027 and 2028, will feature the latest liquid hydrogen technologies and other eco-friendly advancements.

EXPLORA I Cruise Ship
EXPLORA I Cruise Ship

These two new vessels will use liquid hydrogen in conjunction with fuel cells for their onboard hotel operations while berthed in port, which will help eradicate carbon emissions and protect local communities.

Additionally, these two ships will make use of a trailblazing generation of LNG engines, which have been designed to address the challenge of methane release through the implementation of methane containment systems. 

With a focus on overall operational efficiency, carbon capture, LNG fuels, and other innovations, Explora Journey’s fleet of six ships (once EXPLORA VI is delivered) will be one of the most advanced recreational luxury cruise fleets in the world.

Explora Journeys’ Growing Fleet

In 2018, MSC Cruises placed an order with Fincantieri for a total of four luxury cruise vessels, which was an investment exceeding €2 billion ($2.13 billion). Fast forward to 2028, and the company is poised to operate a fleet of six cutting-edge, luxury vessels.

In May 2022, EXPLORA I was floated out for the first time at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.

Explora I
Explora I (Photo Credit: Gail Heaton / Shutterstock)

EXPLORA II was floated out in Italian waters on September 6, 2023, and is scheduled to commence its maiden voyage during the summer of 2024. It will traverse the Mediterranean, the Middle East, the Indian Ocean, and Africa, calling upon 82 ports across 26 diverse nations. A few of the spots the ship will visit in the summer of 2024 include Palermo, Corfu, Barcelona, Santorini, Venice, and other popular Mediterranean destinations.

The grand debut of EXPLORA III will be in the summer of 2026. The construction of this LNG-powered marvel began on September 6, 2023, marked by a steel-cutting ceremony. 

The construction of the LNG-powered EXPLORA IV is set to commence in January 2024 and is scheduled for completion in early 2027.

Explora Journeys’ entire fleet will feature advanced environmental and maritime tech, including innovative catalytic reduction, leading to a 90% reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions. The fleet will help set industry conservation standards, while still offering its guests amazing journeys around the globe.

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