MSC Orders Two Hydrogen-Powered Ships, Expands Explora Journeys Fleet to Six

Sep 21, 2023

MSC Group has confirmed orders for two cutting-edge hydrogen-powered vessels, Explora V and VI, for its luxury cruise brand, Explora Journeys, from Fincantieri.

Explora V and VI will use liquid hydrogen with fuel cells for their hotel operations while docked in ports. This innovative technology allows these vessels to switch off their engines during their time in port, eliminating carbon emissions and contributing to cleaner air in ports. 

In addition to hydrogen-powered systems, these ships will also feature a new generation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) engines. These engines are designed to reduce the issue of methane slip, a concern in which unburned fuel escapes into the atmosphere. By addressing this issue head-on, MSC Group and Fincantieri are demonstrating their commitment to mitigating the environmental impact of cruise travel.

Versatile Fuel Options

MSC's commitment to sustainability extends beyond hydrogen and LNG technology. Explora V and VI will have capability to use alternative fuels such as bio and synthetic gas and methanol. This versatility ensures that these vessels can adapt to changing fuel availability and evolving environmental regulations, further reducing their ecological footprint.

Ambitious Investment

The order for Explora V and VI completes a substantial investment of €3.5 billion ($3.73 billion) in six luxury ships for Explora Journeys. The first ship in this series, Explora 1, was delivered by Fincantieri in July 2023 and is currently operating in Northern Europe. Explora II and III are currently under construction, set to enter service in Summer 2024 and 2026, respectively. Construction of Explora IV will commence in January 2024, with completion anticipated in early 2027.