MSC World Europa’s engines, manoeuvrability, fuel consumption, safety systems, speed and stopping distances underwent testing. The LNG-ship is scheduled to enter service in December, with MSC Euribia – also LNG-powered – joining the fleet in June 2023.
The latter vessel has been moved to wet dock, where work will continue.
Investment in LNG power
MSC Cruises has invested €3b in three LNG-powered cruise ships, including MSC World Europa and MSC Euribia. Construction of the third ship, World Class II, is due to start early next year also at the Saint-Nazaire shipyard.
Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman, MSC Cruises said if bio or synthetic LNG fuel was available for cruise ships today, both newbuilds would operate at zero emissions from their first sailings. He said, ‘LNG is the cleanest marine fuel currently available at scale that reduces emissions significantly and also offers compatibility with future alternative fuel solutions for which we are actively investing in research and development, including a pilot LNG-powered solid oxide fuel cell onboard MSC World Europa. If bio or synthetic LNG was available at scale today, both our newbuilds could operate with net zero emissions from the very first day.’
He went on to say that the cruise line ‘made an important pledge’ last year to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, adding, ‘MSC World Europa and MSC Euribia will play a fundamental role in this journey.’
The two vessels will feature selective catalytic reduction systems, shore-to-ship power connectivity, advanced wastewater treatment systems to comply with the so-called Baltic standard, the strictest global standard for wastewater disposal to sea, underwater radiated noise management systems to reduce potential noise and vibration impact on marine mammals, as well as a wide range of energy efficient equipment and systems to optimise engine use.
MSC World Europa will debut in the Arabian Sea in winter 2022/23 with MSC Cruises set to deploy its largest number of ships in the Middle East for the season. In March 2023 it will head to the Mediterranean Sea and sail seven-night cruises calling at the Italian ports of Genoa, Naples and Messina, as well as Valletta in Malta, Barcelona in Spain and Marseille in France.
MSC Euribia will spend its inaugural season in Northern Europe from the German port of Kiel with seven-night itineraries to the Norwegian fjords with calls including Copenhagen, Denmark; Hellesylt, Norway for the Geirangerfjord; as well as Alesund and Flam, also in Norway, among other destinations.