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Explora Journeys today confirmed firm orders for two hydrogen-powered ships 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 billion (US$3.7 billion) 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.

Explora Journeys
Explora’s generous outdoor decks boast ample space overlooking the sea.

“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,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman–Cruise Division, MSC Group in a media announcement.

Michael Ungerer, Chief Executive Officer, Explora Journeys, added, “Sustainability in luxury is the new craftmanship, and our new two confirmed orders are testament to our determination to preserve and protect our precious oceans. This is what the discerning traveler of tomorrow expects.”

The two new ships will pursue the use of liquid hydrogen 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, one of the world’s cleanest marine fuels currently available and set to play a key role in the transition to the decarbonization of international shipping.

Explora Journeys’ New and Future Ships

Explora Journeys
Explora I sails Northern Europe.

Explora Journeys’ first ship, EXPLORA I was delivered by Fincantieri in July 2023 and is currently operating in Northern Europe.

EXPLORA II will enter service in summer 2024 and operate until April 2025 in the Mediterranean Sea, the Middle East, the Indian Ocean and Africa visiting 82 ports in 26 countries.

EXPLORA III will enter service in summer 2026 and construction of the LNG-powered vessel started on September 6, 2023 with a steel-cutting ceremony.

All six ships in Explora Journeys’ fleet will be equipped with the latest environmental and marine technologies and will also feature the latest selective catalytic reduction technology to enable a reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions by 90 percent, be equipped with shore power plug-in connectivity to reduce emissions in port and fitted with underwater noise management systems to help protect marine life.

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