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MSC Cruises using shore power in UK, Germany from next month

MSC Virtuosa in the Port of Southampton - from May the vessel will use its shore power facilities
MSC Virtuosa and MSC Poesia will use shore power at the ports of Southampton and Rostock-Warnemünde from May, with half of the MSC Cruises fleet projected to be shore power compatible by the end of the year.

The two ships will make use of the emission reducing technology at both ports throughout the summer, plus by the end of 2022, 11 of MSC Cruises’ 21 ships – including all its new ships built since 2017 – will be fitted with shore power capability. Existing ships are currently being or will be retrofitted in the future as their itineraries take them to ports where shore power will be available.

‘We look forward to using shore power in Southampton and Warnemünde throughout the summer season and we congratulate the port authorities for their forward-thinking and innovative commitment,’ commented Linden Coppell, director of sustainability, MSC Cruises.

‘We at MSC Cruises are continuously striving to improve our environmental footprint, and shore power allows us to do so by drastically reducing our ships’ emissions while berthed.’

Southampton welcomes more than two million passengers annually and is the first port in the UK to provide shore power for cruise ships, with cruise vessels able to plug in at its Horizon Cruise Terminal and Mayflower Cruise Terminal.

Rostock-Warnemünde is the largest shore power provider for cruise ships in Europe.

Urgent plea to expand shore power in Europe 

Appealing to ports across Europe to develop their infrastructure, Coppell went on to add, ‘We need more ports in other key markets in Europe to introduce shore power as quickly as possible thus joining our efforts towards net-zero emissions by 2050 and greatly reducing our local air emissions.’

Striving for shore power in the Baltic region

Last month, the line signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Cruise Baltic pledging to use shore power available at ports in the Baltic Sea, as soon as possible and no later than from January 1, 2024. According to CLIA, there are not more than 14 ports visited by its members that are fitted with shore side electricity capacity, while only 7% of cruise berths will be equipped by 2025.

Said Coppell, ‘We are committed to supporting authorities in developing shoreside power for our ships while in port. We have a clear and unequivocal position, that wherever shore power is available we will prioritise ships that have that capability.

‘To ensure compatibility with the visiting ships’ systems, we are collaborating closely with port authorities and engineering companies in charge of the infrastructure design. Aspects, such as onboard energy demands and ship technical systems, need to be considered as part of shore side planning.’

MSC Cruises’ new terminals in Miami and Barcelona are being built with infrastructure that includes trenches for power cables.

Latest environmental technologies in MSC Cruises’ fleet

14 of MSC Cruises’ vessels have been fitted with hybrid exhaust gas cleaning systems, ensuring a sulphur oxides reduction of 98% and by the end of 2022, the five newest ships will have selective catalytic reduction systems, which convert nitrogen oxides into nitrogen and water.

MSC World Europa and MSC Euribia, which are currently under construction and scheduled for delivery in 2022 and 2023, respectively, will be MSC Cruises’ first LNG fueled vessels. 

MSC World Europa will be the first cruise ship deploying solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology.