Explora Journeys has not yet launched one luxury cruise ship, but it is already touting a couple more fleet members.
The Swiss outfit, which is privately owned by the family-run Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), has just announced that two new hydrogen-powered liners will come into service in 2027 and 2028, respectively. The prospective fleet now comprises a total of six ships, two of which are currently under construction.
The newly revealed vessels, christened the Explora V and VI, will be built in partnership with world-renowned Italian yard Fincantieri and will be equipped with industry-first green tech, according to the brand.
For starters, the duo will be fitted with next-gen liquefied natural gas (LNG) engines. LNG is the cleanest marine fuel currently available at scale and virtually eliminates local air pollutants. Furthermore, the engines have the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 25 percent compared to traditional fuels.
The ships will also each sport a containment system for liquid hydrogen that will enable them to use this promising low-carbon fuel. The hydrogen will power a six-megawatt fuel cell to produce clean, green energy for the hotel load. This means the vessels can run in port with the engines turned off and generate zero emissions.
“This demonstrates unequivocally our absolute commitment to operate ships that will appeal and attract the next and future generations of luxury travelers,” Michael Ungerer, CEO of Explora Journeys, said in a statement. “Sustainability is the new craftmanship and we’re honored to take a pioneering position within the industry and the wider travel sector.”
The company has invested roughly $3.5 billion into its lineup, which is set to start operating in 2023. The debut vessel, known simply as Explora I, will offer 461 oceanfront suites, penthouses and residences, all with private terraces that are among the largest in class. In addition, the liner will feature 10 different restaurants, 10 bars and lounges, four swimming pools, extensive outdoor decks with private cabanas, wellness facilities and entertainment options.
Explora Journeys says the fleet will carry out expeditions to renowned destinations while stopping at the lesser-traveled ports. The company claims the tailored experiences will be the travel equivalent of haute couture. We can get on board with that.