A memorandum of agreement has been signed between Explora Journeys and Fincantieri for the construction of two hydrogen-powered luxury cruise ships, increasing the company’s fleet to six vessels.
The vessels – named Explora V and Explora VI – will benefit from a new generation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) engines to deal with methane slip. In addition to the new engines, the cruise ships will be equipped with a containment system for liquid hydrogen to enable the use of the low-carbon fuel. Furthermore, hydrogen fuel will provide power to a 6MW fuel cell for hotel operation and zero-emission maneuvers in port areas.
By using LNG, vessel emissions such as sulfur oxides will be reduced by 99%, nitrogen oxides by 85% and particles by 98%. The fuel has the potential to reduce overall CO2 emissions by up to 25% compared with conventionally used marine fuels.
All six vessels in Explora Journeys’ fleet will feature the latest selective catalytic reduction technology to enable a 90% reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions. The vessels will also feature shore power plug-in connectivity for reduced port emissions and a range of onboard energy-efficient equipment for engine optimization.
“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,” explained
Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of the cruise division of MSC Group. “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 a further proof of our commitment to invest in the most advanced marine environmental technologies available to develop sustainable solutions for the future.”
Pierroberto Folgiero, chief executive officer of Fincantieri, commented, “These ships will allow us to implement cutting-edge technologies aimed at significantly improving environmental performance, laying the foundations for further developments.”
The two new-build cruise ships are scheduled to enter service in 2027 and 2028.