These Hydrogen-Powered Luxury Cruise Ships Will Set Sail By 2027

The innovative cruise ships will be powered entirely by a six-megawatt hydrogen fuel cell while in-port.


A luxury cruise brand backed by two industry titans is taking a major step towards zero-emissions travel.

Switzerland’s Explora Journeys, the upscale arm of Mediterranean Shipping Group’s Cruise division, is partnering with massive shipbuilding group Fincantieri to produce the Explora V and Explora VI luxury cruise ships, both of which will be powered by hydrogen. Or at least partially.

While in-port or not in motion, both will be able to run entirely on a six-megawatt hydrogen fuel cell that will produce power for operations as a floating hotel. When they’re not moving, the ships will be emissions-free.


For propulsion, the Explora V and Explora VI will be equipped with engines that run off liquefied natural gas (LNG)—the least environmentally harmful fossil fuel with the lowest CO2 emission per unit of energy when compared to crude oil or coal.

According to Explora, LNG is the cleanest currently viable marine fuel at scale, as its implementation comes close to eliminating local air pollutant emissions like sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, and particles.

Explora V and VI will come into service in 2027 and 2028, respectively. The previously announced Explora III and Explora IV will also be expanded by 62 feet and to accommodate the more eco-friendly LNG propulsion systems before setting sail in 2025 and 2026.


“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.”

As for amenities, it’s easiest to look at details on the Explora I, due out in 2023. According to Robb Report, the $3.5 billion debut ship will feature 461 oceanfront suites, penthouses and residences outfitted the private terraces, as well as 10 different restaurants, bars and lounges, four pools, outdoor decks with private cabanas, wellness facilities, and other standard luxury cruise fare.

Going green isn’t always synonymous with sacrifice.