The vessel will operate seven-night Mediterranean itineraries during the summer season calling at the Italian ports of Genoa, Naples and Messina, as well as Valletta in Malta, Barcelona in Spain and Marseille in France.
‘It is with great pride that we welcome MSC World Europa in Europe as she starts her first summer season in the Mediterranean,’ remarked Antonio Paradiso, UK & Ireland MD, MSC Cruises.
‘This groundbreaking vessel is a testimony of our unwavering commitment to sustainable cruising, with a range of unprecedented innovations in terms of environmental and marine technologies. MSC World Europa represents a major step forward on our journey towards meeting our target of net-zero emissions by 2050.'
The ship will be powered by LNG throughout the season, with its first bunkering in Marseille scheduled for April 15.
Fuel cell technology
Offering an update on the ship’s performance, MSC Cruises’ VP of sustainability & ESG Linden Coppell said, ‘Nearly six months into testing, the fuel cell performance has been excellent, and we haven’t seen any signs of safety or maintenance issues.
‘The efficiency to date – measured in terms of the energy we can generate from the same unit of fuel – is well above that of an internal combustion engine and has exceeded our expectations. We have operated the system continually and it has delivered a steady output even better than our forecast 150KW return.’
She added, ‘Obviously, this is a small fraction of the energy we need but we are confident that the system can be scaled up on future newbuilds.
‘We recognise that this will requires close collaboration with partners across and outside of our industry, which is why MSC Cruises is actively involved in several different research initiatives and partnerships that all share the common objective of accelerating the transition toward a net-zero future.’