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  • 2022 July 6 16:21

    MSC and Fincantieri announce the construction of two next generation cruise ships

    Explora Journeys, the luxury travel brand of the Cruise Division of MSC Group, and Fincantieri, one of the world’s largest shipbuilding groups, today announced the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the construction of an additional two hydrogen-powered luxury cruise ships to take the total fleet number from four to six vessels.

    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. 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 newbuilds will come into service in 2027 and 2028, respectively.

    Explora Journeys also said that the previously announced vessels EXPLORA III and IV will now be powered by LNG. The two ships will be enlarged by 19 metres to enable the installation of a new generation system based on LNG and hydrogen. This has provided an opportunity to enhance the mix of suites with an increased number of spacious and luxurious Ocean Residences and larger public spaces, which offer a true sense of being at home at sea.

    LNG is currently the cleanest marine fuel currently available at scale and it virtually eliminates local air pollutant emissions like sulphur oxides (99 per cent), nitrogen oxides (85 per cent) and particles (98 per cent). In terms of emissions with a global impact, LNG plays a significant role in climate change mitigation with the engines having the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 25 per cent compared to standard marine fuels. In addition, with the increasing availability of bio and synthetic forms of LNG in the future, this energy source will provide a pathway toward eventual decarbonised operations.

    The two additional ships covered under today’s MOA will bring Explora Journeys’ investment in its fleet to €3.5 billion. This includes an additional €120 million each for fitting EXPLORA III and IV with LNG engines, a change that required a temporary halt of work due to the significant redesign of the ships, which will now be delivered in 2026 and 2027.

    The signing of the contract relating to the MoA will be subject to access to financing, as per industry practice.




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