MSC Group to Launch Hydrogen-Powered Cruise Ships - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, GHG Emissions, Sourcing Renewables  -  July 6, 2022

MSC Group to Launch Hydrogen-Powered Cruise Ships

Explora Journeys, the luxury travel brand of the Cruise Division of MSC Group 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.

The company signed an agreement with Fincantieri, a shipbuilding company.  The two newbuilds will come into service in 2027 and 2028, respectively.

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 a containment system for liquid hydrogen that will enable them to use this promising low-carbon fuel. 

Hydrogen fuel will power a 6 MW 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. 

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 meters to enable the installation of a new generation system based on LNG and hydrogen. 

“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,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of the Cruise Division of MSC Group, in a statement. “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.”

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% and be equipped with shore power plug-in connectivity to reduce emissions in port. All six vessels will also have a comprehensive range of onboard energy-efficient equipment to optimize engine use to further reduce emissions.

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