MSC Cruises has claimed that it will be the first cruise line in the world to install an advanced technology sanitation system called ‘Safe Air’ on board on of its vessels.
‘Safe Air’ will be fitted on ‘MSC Seashore’ currently under construction at Fincantieri’s Monfalcone yard and due to be delivered in July 2021.
She will be the first of two ‘Seaside Evo’ Class ships.
This announcement follows MSC’s return to operations in August when it became the first major cruise line to resume cruising with a new and comprehensive health and safety protocol approved by a range of national and regional authorities in Europe.
The ‘Safe Air’ sanitation system is based on UV-C lamps technology, which are type C ultra-violet rays applied in combination with the ship’s air conditioning system, whereby air flow is radiated at source with a short wavelength light that hits organic particles and prevents the circulation of air pollutants, such as viruses, bacteria and mould.
This sanitation system was developed by Fincantieri’s designers and technicians and the virology laboratory of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, a global research institute based in Trieste, Italy.
MSC Cruises’ response to the health challenges faced by the worldwide travel and tourism sector was a health and safety protocol that has been in operation since 16th August when the ‘MSC Grandiosa’ resumed seven night sailings in the Western Mediterranean.
She has now completed nine voyages carrying more than 16,000 guests and was recently joined by ‘MSC Magnifica’ with a longer 10-night cruises in the Western and Eastern Mediterranean.
The protocol involves all guests going through health screening before boarding a ship, which comprises three comprehensive steps – a temperature check, a review of a personal health questionnaire and a COVID-19 antigen swab test. Crew are tested up to three times before being allowed to start work.
Other areas of the health and safety protocol cover sanitation and cleaning, protected ‘bubble’ shore excursions, face masks and maintaining social distancing, enhanced on board medical facilities, daily health monitoring and a robust contingency plan.
This protocol was designed by MSC Cruises’ in-house specialists in medical services, public health and sanitation, hotel services, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, other shipboard engineering systems, information technology and logistics.
A COVID-19 Expert Group was also established that comprises a panel of internationally respected highly qualified professionals whose role is to inform and review the MSC Cruises’ protocol to ensure that the cruise line’s actions are appropriate, effective and informed by the best available science and health practices.
Like all of the the company’s new vessels, ’MSC Seashore’ will feature some of the latest technologies and solutions available to reduce her environmental footprint.
Notably these include a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system, which reduces nitrogen oxide emissions by 90% through advanced active emissions control technology and an AWT system that takes wastewater through a purification and very fine filtration process that transforms it into nearly tap-water quality.
She will also be fitted with a ship-to-shore power connection that can be used while berthed.