GENEVA — MSC Group’s new luxury cruise line, Explora Journeys, has signed on for two more cruise ships ahead of its 2023 launch.
These latest construction agreements bring Explora’s initial fleet count to six.
As reported last month, the new cruise line is staffing up in anticipation of next year’s launch, and two of its initial four vessels are under construction at Fincantieri’s shipyards.
EXPLORA V and VI will feature a new generation of liquefied natural gas (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, says MSC Group. 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 new-builds will come into service in 2027 and 2028, respectively.
Meanwhile EXPLORA III and IV will now be powered by LNG as well. The two ships will be enlarged by 30 feet to enable the installation of a new generation system based on LNG and hydrogen.
According to MSC, this provides the opportunity to enhance the mix of suites onboard, with an increased number of spacious Ocean Residences and larger public spaces.
The new approach also means that EXPLORA III and IV will now be delivered in 2026 and 2027.
The two additional ships bring Explora Journeys’ investment in its fleet to €3.5 billion.
Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of the Cruise Division of MSC Group, says: “Explora Journeys is building ships for tomorrow, utilizing today’s latest technologies and being ready to adapt to alternative energy solutions as they become available. The announcement today marks another significant step forward in our goal as a business to reach net zero emissions by 2050 across all our cruise operation for the two brands and further proof of our commitment to invest in the most advanced marine environmental technologies available to develop sustainable solutions for the future.”