World’s greenest cruise ship MSC World Europa sets sail

MSC World Europa is MSC Cruises’ first vessel to be powered by liquefied natural gas

MSC Cruises’ newest and most innovative ship – the MSC World Europa- is starting its first summer season in the Mediterranean. Since being integrated into MSC Cruises’ fleet, the ship became the company’s largest with a capacity for 6,762 passengers staying in 2,626 passengers’ cabins.

The vessel just arrived in Europe and is considered the highest performing large cruise ship operating in the world in terms of CO2 emissions per passenger and is a major step toward achieving net-zero emissions for the company by 2050.

The flagship cruise liner is also shaping the future of the cruise industry: MSC World Europa is powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) throughout the summer season. Its first bunkering was done in Marseille on April 15, 2023. LNG is the cleanest marine fuel currently available at scale. Compared to standard marine fuels, LNG virtually eliminates local air pollutant emissions—including sulphur oxides and fine particles—and reduces nitrogen oxides by up to 85 percent.

LNG also plays a key role in climate change mitigation as it offers up to a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and is paving the way for the uptake of sustainable non-fossil fuels such as bio and synthetic LNG.

World's greenest cruise ship MSC World Europa sets sail
Inside the MSC World Europa | Credit: MSC Cruises

Exceptional environmental performance

MSC World Europa can claim to be the world’s highest performing large cruise ship in terms of CO2eq emissions per passenger.

The ship is the world’s first contemporary cruise liner to feature solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology powered by LNG. The ship includes a 150-kilowatt SOFC demonstrator that uses LNG to efficiently produce electricity and heat on board using an electrochemical reaction, which could be a key to unlocking significant environmental sustainability gains in the future.

Thanks to this increased efficiency, SOFC has the potential to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared with a conventional LNG engine without producing nitrogen oxide, sulphur oxide or fine particle emissions. In addition to being compatible with LNG, the cell is compatible with potential low carbon fuels like green methanol, ammonia, liquid hydrogen and bio or synthetic LNG.  

World's greenest cruise ship MSC World Europa sets sail
MSC World Europa (Credit: MSC Cruises)

Linden Coppell, Vice President of Sustainability & ESG at MSC Cruises, 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 fuelis well above that of an internal combustion engine and has exceeded our expectations. 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.”

MSC World Europa is also equipped with shore power plug-in connectivity to reduce carbon emissions in port, as well as an advanced wastewater treatment system (AWTS) that meets the world’s highest regulatory requirements. It treats all wastewater produced onboard to near tap water standards. The ship also includes a ballast water treatment system that prevents introducing invasive species in the marine environment through ballast water discharges, in full compliance with IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention.

The vessel has an entire team dedicated to implementing strict waste management protocols which separate all wastes into seven distinct types such as glass, alluminum and paper, with specialised equipment to crush or bundle each type in the ship’s waste management facility.

MSC World Europa also features an underwater radiated noise management system to minimize disturbance to marine life, along with a comprehensive range of energy efficient equipment onboard to optimize engine use and hotel energy needs and further reduce emissions.

Next-generation cruise experience

Not only is the MSC World Europa a model for environmental protection, it also offers an enhanced experience with new impressive spaces and features. the trailblazing ship’s extraordinary features and impressive spaces. The nearly 107m-long outdoor World Promenade is one of the ship’s most impressive spaces. It is the heart of the ship’s social life with its entertainment, sea views and The Venom Drop at The Spiral, a striking architectural masterpiece and the longest dry slide at sea with its 11-deck drop. The World Promenade is connected to the World Galleria, which spans nearly 2,400 m2 and is crowned by a LED and kinetic dome ceiling. The MSC World Europa has an impressive number of food outlets: 20 bars, lounges and 13 dining venues, including six specialty restaurants. Among the special culinary features is Chef’s Garden Kitchen featuring the first-at-sea hydroponic garden where guests will be treated to a uniquely immersive experience. There is also the first onboard microbrewery.

Other facilities include a giant children’s area, a wellness and leisure centre with 7 swimming pools and 13 hot tubs.

MSC World Europa features the most luxurious MSC Yacht Club yet, offering unparalleled levels of comfort with more public space, expanded outdoor areas, and stylish new suites. The enhanced public spaces include a totally reimagined sundeck set over two decks for the first time, while two brand-new ultra-spacious Owner-Suites join the ‘ship within a ship’ concept with its key-card access exclusivity.

MSC World Europa is welcoming guests for the summer season in the Mediterranean Sea, giving guests the ultimate Mediterranean cruise experience on 7-night itineraries calling at the Italian ports of Genoa, Naples and Messina, as well as Valletta in Malta, Barcelona in Spain, and Marseille in France.

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