Explora Journeys, MSC group’s luxury cruise brand, and the shipbuilding company Fincantieri have announced the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for constructing two additional hydrogen-powered cruise ships, expanding the company’s fleet from four to six vessels.
The new Explora V and Explora VI will feature a new generation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) engines, thus providing a response to the issue of climate-changing emissions. They will also be equipped with industry-leading environmental technologies and solutions, including a liquid hydrogen collection system that will enable this promising low-carbon fuel to be used. In particular, the hydrogen fuel will power a six-megawatt fuel cell to produce emission-free energy for hotel operation and allow the ships to operate at ‘zero emissions’ in port, with their engines switched off.
The two newbuildings will enter into service in 2027 and 2028, respectively.
According to Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of the MSC Group’s Cruise Division Explora Journeys is building the ships for tomorrow, using today’s latest technologies, while remaining ready to adapt to alternative energy solutions as they become available.
He said that today’s announcement marked another significant step towards MSC’s goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050 across all cruise operations for both their brands and provided further evidence of their commitment to invest in the most advanced environmental technologies available to develop sustainable solutions for the future. He concluded that the transition to zero-emission operations for the maritime industry is its biggest challenge, and it would only be achieved if everyone played their part, with major investment from both companies and governments.
Translation by Giles Foster