MSC Confirms Order for Hydrogen Cruise Ship Pair
The total investment in six luxury ships for Explora Journeys worth $3.7B
MSC Group Cruises Division confirmed the order of two hydrogen ships for its luxury brand Explora Journeys with Fincantieri, confirming its commitment to achieving zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The contracts are conditional on obtaining financing for the shipowner.
The two new ships will pursue the use of liquid hydrogen fuel cells for hotel operations while in port, to eliminate carbon emissions with engines turned off. The ships will also be equipped with a new generation of liquefied natural gas engines that will further address the problem of methane slippage with the use of containment systems.
Explora Journeys' first vessel, EXPLORA I, was delivered by Fincantieri in July 2023 and currently operates in Northern Europe. The ship will spend the fall in North America and the winter in the Caribbean Sea. In spring 2024 it will sail off the west coast of the United States and Hawaii, before returning to Europe in summer 2024 for a series of voyages in the Mediterranean Sea.
EXPLORA II will enter service in the summer of 2024 and will operate until April 2025 in the Mediterranean Sea, the Middle East, the Indian Ocean and Africa visiting 82 ports in 26 countries. EXPLORA II "touched water" for the first time on September 6, 2023, with a "floating" ceremony near Genoa.
EXPLORA III will enter service in the summer of 2026 and construction of the LNG-powered vessel began in September 2023 with a sheet metal cutting ceremony. Construction of the LNG-powered EXPLORA IV will begin in January 2024 and be completed in early 2027.