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MSC orders two new hydrogen-powered ships for Explora Journeys’ fleet

The Cruise Division of MSC Group has confirmed firm orders for two hydrogen-powered vessels for its luxury travel brand Explora Journeys with the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri and pledged to continue its push towards a net zero-carbon emissions target by 2050 by investigating additional new and advanced environmental technologies for the luxury ships.

The deal completes a total investment of €3.5 billion in six luxury ships for Explora Journeys. The contracts are subject to access to financing as per industry practice.

Explora V and Explora VI will have new state-of-the-art energy efficiency measures and will also be capable of using alternative fuels such as bio and synthetic gas and methanol and the Cruise Division will work in the future with Fincantieri to equip the ships with future technologies including carbon capture, and more advanced waste management systems.

The two confirmed additions to Explora Journeys’ fleet will be delivered in 2027 and 2028. The two new ships will pursue the use of liquid hydrogen with fuel cells for their hotel operations while docked in ports to eliminate carbon emissions with the vessels’ engines switched off.

The ships will also feature a new generation of LNG engines that will further tackle the issue of methane slip with the use of containment systems.

Explora Journeys’ first ship, Explora I was delivered by Fincantieri in July 2023 and is currently operating in Northern Europe. The ship will spend the autumn in North America, and the winter in the Caribbean Sea.

She will sail during the spring 2024 off the US West Coast and Hawaii before returning to Europe in summer 2024 for a series of journeys in the Mediterranean Sea.

Explora II will enter service in summer 2024 and operate until April 2025 in the Mediterranean Sea, the Middle East, the Indian Ocean and Africa visiting 82 ports in 26 countries.

Explora II was floated out on 6 September 2023 at a ceremony near Genoa in Italy. Explora III will enter service in summer 2026 and construction of the LNG-powered vessel started on 6 September 2023 with a steel-cutting ceremony.

Construction of LNG-powered Explora IV will begin in January 2024 and will be completed in early 2027.

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 per cent, 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.

 


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