MSC Group’s cruise division and French shipbuilder Chantiers de l’Atlantique recently celebrated two milestones for MSC Cruises’ first two LNG powered vessels both under construction at Saint-Nazaire.
‘MSC World Europa’, the first LNG vessel to join the cruise line’s fleet and due to become the biggest LNG-powered cruise ship in the world when delivered, completed her first sea trials in the Atlantic.
The trials included testing the ship’s engines performance, manoeuvrability, fuel consumption, safety systems, speed and stopping distances.
Meanwhile, ’MSC Euribia’ was floated out of the building dock and has now been moved to a wet dock for fitting out work before she also joins MSC Cruises’ fleet in June, 2023.
MSC said that it had invested €3 bill in three LNG-powered cruise ships with the construction of the third ship – ‘World Class II’ – due to start at Saint-Nazaire early next year.
Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, Cruise Division of MSC Group, said: “We made an important pledge last year to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, leading the cruise industry on the path to de-carbonisation. ‘MSC World Europa’ and ‘MSC Euribia’ will play a fundamental role in this journey.
“LNG is the cleanest marine fuel currently 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 on board ‘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 said
‘MSC World Europa’ is the first of a new class of ship that will introduce a completely new cruising platform, MSC said. She will be able to accommodate up to 6,762 pax.
Boasting future-proof marine and on board hospitality technologies, her design features a Y-shaped aft that leads to a 104 m long half-open half-covered Europa Promenade with ocean views. New balcony cabins overlook the promenade, which features an architectural centrepiece in the form of The Venom Drop @ The Spiral, an 11-deck-high slide, the longest at sea.
‘MSC World Europa’ will enter service in the Arabian Sea in winter 2022/23. MSC Cruises said that it is to deploy its largest ever capacity in the Middle East for the season, as it aims to strengthen its position as the region’s market leader in cruising.
In March, 2023, she will reposition to the Mediterranean.
‘MSC Euribia’ will become one of the most environmentally advanced ship in MSC Cruises’ fleet to date, the company claimed.
From June, 2023, she will spend her inaugural season in Northern Europe operating from the German port of Kiel with seven-night itineraries.
Both cruise ships will be powered by LNG, which eliminates local air pollutant emissions like sulphur oxides and reduces nitrogen oxides by up to 85%. LNG also plays a key role in climate change mitigation, as it reduces CO2 emissions by 25% and is paving the way for the uptake of sustainable non-fossil fuels, including green hydrogen.
The two vessels will each feature selective catalytic reduction systems (SCRs), shore-to-ship power connectivity, advanced wastewater treatment systems to comply with the 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 range of energy efficient equipment and systems to optimise engine use.