MSC Group’s the Cruise Division’s luxury travel brand Explora Journeys & Fincantieri have signed of a memorandum of agreement 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 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.