Shipbuilding company Fincantieri is carrying out the construction of a luxury ship called Explora II for MSC Group in Genoa, Italy.

Explora II is the second of six ships from MSC’s cruise division Explora Journeys and is being built with an investment of €500m.

The ship’s first section was assembled in Castellammare di Stabia and reached the Genoese shipyard, where it will be constructed over the next 18 months, by sea.

The new luxury ship is anticipated to be delivered in August 2024. The coin ceremony for the ship was held in Fincantieri’s Sestri Ponente shipyard.

MSC Group cruise division executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago said: “The building of these ships bear witness to our concrete and tangible commitment in Italy and for Italy.

“Together with our confidence in the prospects of a country in which the MSC Group has been operating for half a century and employs over 15,000 direct employees, generating an employment impact of a further 40,000 people.”

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Explora II is part of what was originally a €2.2bn order for four luxury ships. Later, two more ships, Explora V and Explora VI, were added to the order, bringing its total value to around €3.5bn.

The last four ships will incorporate ‘industry-first’ solutions and operate using liquefied natural gas (LNG) to lower local air pollutant emissions, such as sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, particles and CO₂.

Explora V and Explora VI will be equipped with a containment system for liquid hydrogen to power a 6MW fuel cell that will generate emissions-free power for the operation of the hotel as well as support the vessels to operate on ‘zero emissions’ while in port.

Furthermore, the vessels will feature the latest environmental and marine solutions, such as the latest selective catalytic reduction technology, shore power plug-in connectivity, and underwater noise management systems for the protection of marine life.

They will also be installed with a comprehensive range of on-board energy-efficient equipment to enhance engine use and cut down emissions.