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Environmental report shows MSC on track to slash carbon intensity 40% by 2030

In 2023, MSC Cruises' fleet of 22 ships carried 4,081,393 passengers, sailed 385 itineraries to 102 countries, and offered 2,150 shore excursions
MSC Cruises published its 2023 Sustainability Report with a performance review of the 12-month period in the areas of environment, social and governance.

It shows that the fleet’s carbon intensity improved by 6.5% compared to 2022, marking a 37.8% reduction since 2008. The progress puts the line on track to achieve the IMO's target of a 40% carbon intensity reduction before its 2030 deadline.

Detailed data tables including operations, emissions, water, waste, headcount and gender distribution feature in the report, which also includes information on the line’s sister company, Explora Journeys. The luxury brand’s first vessel, Explora I, launched last year.  

Shore power 

Successful shore power connections numbered 44 for the line's ships at eight ports in Norway, Germany, UK and Malta. The 2024 year-end target is 220 connections, with the line committed to utilising shore power in every port where it is available.


Working with nature intelligence and environmental DNA specialists NatureMetrics to analyse seawater samples from three vessels, more than 4,000 different animal species were identified using DNA identification techniques, with results being made available to the scientific community. 


The workforce totaled 49,874 representing 144 different nationalities with 18,866 new crew hires during the year. A new package of crew initiatives was introduced in 2023 with increased salaries, improved staff rotation and more training.

Waste management

Freshwater management produced 87.2% of the fleet’s on board water needs – more than 6.4 million cubic metres – through desalination. Using water more efficiently resulted in a reduction of on board water consumption from 226l per guest day in 2022 to 187l in 2023, a reduction of 17.2%.

More sophisticated approaches

MSC began publishing its annual Sustainability Report in 2019, making this its fifth report. ‘During that time, our commitment to reaching our goals remains as strong as ever,’ said Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman, MSC Group’s cruise division.

He explained, ‘Our approach to environmental, social, and governance issues has become more sophisticated as we have employed more ways to manage our activities in a more dynamic manner. This reflects our passion to not just align with stakeholder expectations and navigate a complex regulatory landscape, but to make meaningful measurable changes that have a long-term positive impact on our guests, our employees and our planet.'  

Advocating for fair regulation 

The executive chairman went on to add, ‘We remain fully committed to our goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in line with the International Maritime Organization’s strategy but achieving net zero emissions cannot be done alone. We continue to work extensively with our close partners including the shipyards, technology providers, fuel providers and many others and I am pleased with the progress we as an industry are making. 

‘We continue to advocate to be regulated in a fair way, which does not discriminate against our industry.’ 

In 2023, MSC Cruises' fleet of 22 ships carried 4,081,393 passengers, sailed 385 itineraries to 102 countries and offered 2,150 shore excursions.