Explora Journeys, the luxury travel brand of the Cruise Division of MSC Group, and Fincantieri, announced the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the construction of an additional two hydrogen-powered cruise ships to take the total fleet number from four to six vessels.
XPLORA V and VI will feature a new generation of LNG engines that will tackle the issue of methane slip and will also be equipped with industry first environmental technologies and solutions, including a containment system for liquid hydrogen that will enable them to use this promising low-carbon fuel.
Hydrogen fuel will power a six-megawatt fuel cell to produce emissions-free power for the hotel operation and allow the vessels to run on ‘zero emissions’ in port, with the engines turned off. The two newbuilds will come into service in 2027 and 2028, respectively.
Explora Journeys also said that the previously announced vessels EXPLORA III and IV will now be powered by LNG. The two ships will be enlarged by 19 metres to enable the installation of a new generation system based on LNG and hydrogen.
We are convinced that sustainability is a key factor to ensure our growth in the medium and long term. We will continue to act with determination to be forerunners in a sector that has always seen us hold leadership positions
Pierroberto Folgiero, Chief Executive Officer of Fincantieri, stated.
All six ships in Explora Journeys’ fleet will be equipped with the latest environmental and marine technologies and will also feature the latest selective catalytic reduction technology to enable a reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions by 90%, be equipped with shore power plug-in connectivity to reduce emissions in port and fitted with underwater noise management systems to help protect marine life.
All six vessels will also have a comprehensive range of onboard energy efficient equipment to optimise engine use to further reduce emissions.