The Cruise Division of MSC Group confirmed firm orders for two H2-powered vessels for its luxury travel brand Explora Journeys with the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri and pledged to continue its push towards a net zero-carbon emissions target by 2050 by investigating additional new and advanced environmental technologies for the luxury ships. The deal completes a total investment of €3.5 B in six luxury ships for Explora Journeys. The contracts are subject to access to financing as per industry practice.
EXPLORA V and EXPLORA VI will have new state-of-the-art energy efficiency measures and will also be capable of using alternative fuels such as bio and synthetic gas and methanol and the Cruise Division will work in the future with Fincantieri to equip the ships with future technologies including carbon capture, and more advanced waste management systems. The two confirmed additions to Explora Journeys’ fleet will be delivered in 2027 and 2028.
Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, Cruise Division, MSC Group, said, “With Explora Journeys we have created a luxury brand that has been successful at redefining luxury at sea. We are seeing continued growth in the luxury segment and the investment in these two new ships shows our commitment to continue to grow within this sector as well as to invest in ships of the future. Together with Fincantieri we will study the newest technology that the world has to offer and continue with our commitment to introduce these technologies to drive efficiencies across the whole spectrum of ship performance. And of course, we will continue to deliver the very best luxury travel experience, immersing our guests in the ocean state of mind with a sustainable soul.”
Pierroberto Folgiero, Chief Executive Officer, Fincantieri, said, “This new contract with MSC is a sign of the growing vitality of the cruise sector, in line with what we had predicted. In strategic terms, our future will depend on our ability to lead the evolution of the sector towards all energy and digital transition technologies with the entrepreneurship required to validate, industrialize and commercialize new solutions. The relevance of the partnership with MSC in this sense is a great strategic stimulus towards the future in line with the technological development goals set out in our new business plan. We are therefore particularly proud that the Explora project will mark the acceleration of this new phase, which with the fifth and sixth ships, will reach the highest level of advancement, making Fincantieri's vision of the ship of the future ever more concrete.”
The two new ships will pursue the use of liquid H2 with fuel cells for their hotel operations while docked in ports to eliminate carbon emissions with the vessels’ engines switched off. The ships will also feature a new generation of LNG engines that will further tackle the issue of methane slip with the use of containment systems.