‘Fuel Flexible’ MAN Gensets Power Antarctic Cruise Ship Newbuild


  • The construction of Magellan Discoverer responds to the increasing popularity of Antarctica21’s fly-and-cruise Antarctic expeditions. The company aims to meet rising customer expectations for sustainability and comfort.
  • A 94-meter diesel-electric PC6 Polar ice-class cruise ship named Magellan Discoverer is being constructed in Chile for Antarctica21, a Chilean tour operator specializing in expeditions to Antarctica and nearby regions. It will accommodate 76 guests in 40 cabins across three passenger decks.
  • Similar to its predecessor, Magellan Explorer, Magellan Discoverer will comply with the Tier III emissions standard through hybrid diesel-electric propulsion and heat recovery systems, ensuring reduced environmental impact.
  • The vessel will have four MAN 6L21/31 Mk2 part-load optimized (PLO) gensets ordered from MAN Energy Solutions by Chilean shipbuilder ASENAV. These gensets are integrated with low-pressure selective catalytic reduction systems to reduce NOx emissions by up to 90%, meeting the latest IMO environmental requirements.
  • Magellan Discoverer will be built at the ASENAV shipyard in Valdivia, Chile, with delivery expected in December 2026, in time for the 2026-27 Antarctic cruise season.

Enhancing Antarctic Expedition Comfort And Sustainability

A 94-meter-long cruise ship, designed with diesel-electric PC6 Polar ice-class capabilities, is currently under construction in Chile. It will be outfitted with four MAN 6L21/31 Mk2 part-load optimized (PLO) gensets.

The new cruise ship is being built for Chilean tour operator, Antarctica21, which operates fly and cruise expeditions to Antarctica and sea voyages to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and Antarctica. Called Magellan Discoverer, the cruise ship will accommodate 76 guests in ​4​0​ ​cabins across three passenger decks.

The operator said Magellan Discoverer is being constructed in response to the growing popularity of the company’s fly-and-cruise Antarctic expeditions, an offering they claim to have pioneered more than 20 years ago. Antarctic21 president Jaime Vásquez said the new ship was born out of customers’ rising expectations.
“Magellan Discoverer strengthens our dedication to sustainability while offering seamless comfort for our travelers. With its modern elegance and advanced technical features, it supports our ongoing effort to provide unparalleled experiences in the spectacular Antarctic region.”

Magellan Discoverer’s Compliance And Construction

Like the 2019-built Magellan Explorer, the Magellan Discoverer ​complies with the stringent Tier III emissions standard​ ​with its hybrid diesel-electric propulsion and heat recovery systems.​​

Chilean shipbuilder ASENAV ordered the four MAN 6L21/31 Mk2 PLO gensets. Each genset will come integrated with MAN Energy Solutions’ proprietary low-pressure selective catalytic reduction system that delivers NOx reduction rates of up to 90% in fulfilling the latest IMO environmental requirements and is equipped with MAN’s safety and control system.

Like its predecessor, Magellan Discoverer will be built at ASENAV shipyard in Valdivia, Chile with delivery expected in December 2026. It will join the company fleet for the 2026-27 Antarctic cruise season.

Advantages Of The MAN 21/31 Mk2 PLO Engine

Besides emissions, fuel savings were a strong factor in the four-stroke, small-bore genset selection. “This engine sets the standard for the lowest fuel consumption in its category,” said Antarctica21 president Jaime Vásquez.

The MAN 21/31 Mk2 PLO engine maintains a significantly reduced fuel consumption, up to 9 g/kWh at 75% MCR, with the longest times between overhauls in its class, according to the engine designer. Fuel flexibility is a benefit of the Mk2 engine, which is capable of burning conventional marine fuels like HFO/LSFO, MDO, and MGO, complying with new ISO 8217:2024 fuels, as well as sustainable fuels like biodiesel FAME and HVO-100.

The 21/31 Mk2 PLO engine is designed as ‘methanol-ready’ with an approval in principle issued by class society DNV for retrofit to methanol operation in the future.

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Source: rivieramm