Deliveries are planned in 2027 and 2028 for the 73,000gt, 950-berth newbuilds. The deal completes a total investment of €3.5b in six ships for MSC's luxury brand.
With this, the company also pledged to continue its push toward a net zero-carbon emissions target by 2050 by investigating additional new and advanced environmental technologies for the vessels.
Explora V and Explora VI will have advanced energy-efficiency features and be capable of using alternative fuels such as bio and synthetic gas and methanol. Going forward, MSC said it will equip the ships with future technologies including carbon capture, and more advanced waste management systems.
Liquid hydrogen with fuel cells for power in port
For the two new ships the owner and builder will pursue the use of liquid hydrogen with fuel cells for their hotel operations while docked in ports to eliminate carbon emissions with the engines switched off. They also feature a new generation of LNG engines that will further tackle the issue of methane slip with the use of containment systems.
'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,' said Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Group.
Added Fincantieri CEO Pierroberto Folgiero: '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, industrialise and commercialize new solutions.'