MSC Cruises Celebrates Two Newbuild Milestones for Next Generation of Ships
The Cruise Division of MSC Group and Chantiers de l’Atlantique yesterday celebrated two significant newbuild milestones for the construction of the line’s next generation of environmentally advanced vessels. MSC World Europa and MSC Euribia will become the first LNG-powered vessels to join the MSC Cruises fleet next year, representing an investment of approximately $3.4 billion in Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) ships with the construction on World Europa II due to commence in early 2023.
These two ships will play an important role in MSC Cruises’ commitment to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. LNG is by far the cleanest marine fuel currently available at scale and it virtually eliminates local air pollutant emissions such as sulphur oxides (99 percent), nitrogen oxides (85 percent) and particles (98 percent). In terms of emissions with a global impact, LNG plays a key role in climate change mitigation and the engines of these two ships have the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 25 percent compared to standard fuels. In addition, with the subsequent availability of Bio and Synthetic forms of LNG, this energy source will provide a pathway toward eventual decarbonized operations.
“Today is another important milestone in our journey towards net zero emissions by 2050 for our marine operations,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises. “Following billions of euros of investment, we are announcing significant construction developments in not just one but two of our next generation LNG-powered vessels, bringing us ever closer to our vision of an emissions free cruise industry. As the cleanest fuel currently available at scale for our operations, LNG is at the vanguard of the momentous energy transition we must go through.”
“We have a lot more to do, but I am pleased that despite all that we have faced from the pandemic over the last two years, we have still been able to achieve with our partners at Chantiers de L’Atlantique the launch of these new LNG vessels—the first ever made in France that will also introduce potential new fuel cell technologies to make them even more efficient,” Vago said. “We now need to take even bigger steps and we will need the continued support of our suppliers, partners and governments to achieve this. We all need to work together to achieve our green future.”
Said Laurent Castaing, general manager of Chantiers de l’Atlantique: “It is indeed a very special moment we are living today. This is not only because these ships are respectively the 15th and the 16th we are building for MSC Cruises, which shows the outstanding quality of the relationship we established between our two companies since the 1990s. This is not only because they will rank among the largest and the finest in the world’s cruise market. But it is also and especially because they represent a giant step towards what the cruise ships of the future will look like. At their delivery, they will have the best carbon footprint in the market, in terms of emissions per passenger and per day.”
MSC Cruises and the Chantiers de l’Atlantique also confirmed the installation of a fuel cell pilot plant on board MSC World Europa known as Blue Horizon, marking the first time an LNG-powered fuel cell has been used on a cruise ship. The technology will use LNG to convert fuel into electricity at one of the highest efficiencies of any power solution available today, producing electricity and heat on board.
The fuel cell technology selected by Chantiers de l'Atlantique (CdA) and MSC Cruises is the SOFC (Solid Oxide Fuel Cell) developed by Bloom Energy. The SOFC will reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) by approximately a further 30 percent compared with a conventional LNG engine, with no emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides or fine particles. It also offers the advantage of being compatible with LNG, as well as several low carbon fuels such as methanol, ammonia and hydrogen. This project will form the building block for future larger installations and the beginning of an even closer collaboration between MSC Cruises and Chantiers de l’Atlantique on Research & Development of fuel cell technology.
The traditional coin ceremony took place as the keel was laid for MSC Cruises’ second LNG-powered ship, MSC Euribia, which will be one of the most environmentally high performing vessels built in France. Anne Claire Juventin, who is responsible for quality control at Chantiers de l’Atlantique, and Valentina Mancini, brand ,manager from MSC Cruises, performed the traditional maritime ritual as godmothers representing the ship owner and the shipbuilder when they placed two coins under the keel as the historical sign of blessing and good fortune for the project, and the ship’s operational life at sea.
The float out of MSC World Europa, which will be the first LNG-powered vessel to join the MSC Cruises fleet, took place at the shipyard in Saint-Nazaire where she will now be moved to a wet dock for work to continue on the ship until her delivery in November 2022.
MSC World Europa is the first in the trailblazing MSC World Class, a brand new class of ships that introduces a completely new cruising platform. Boasting future-proof marine and onboard hospitality technologies, MSC World Europa will redefine the cruise experience with a variety of never-before-seen concepts and creative areas unlike anything at sea today. The ground-breaking design features a Y-shaped aft that leads to a 341-foot-long half open, half covered Europa Promenade with breathtaking ocean views. Brand new balcony cabins overlook the promenade, which features a striking architectural centerpiece in the form of The Venom Drop @ The Spiral, an 11-deck-high slide that will be the longest at sea.
The guest experience is elevated to a whole new level with a veritable world of different experiences with distinct districts, each with their own mood and experiences, from a tranquil zen district to the lively promenade with entertainment, shops and bars, to a separate family district with ten new kids’ facilities. Featuring 21 bars and lounges and 13 next-level dining venues, the dining on board offers a host of new innovations. These include the Chef’s Garden Kitchen focusing on flavorful microgreens and La Pescaderia, a traditional seafood grill with alfresco seating. Fan favorites such as Butcher’s Cut, Kaito Teppanyaki Grill and Sushi Bar, and Hola! Tacos & Cantina will also return.
MSC World Europa will welcome her first guests starting in December 2022 and will spend her inaugural season in the Gulf region. Guests will be able to enjoy seven-night cruises from Dubai and the nearby modern metropolis of Abu Dhabi, on to Sir Bani Yas Island, Dammam in Saudi Arabia and the Al Ahsa oasis, a UNESCO World Heritage site, then to Doha, the futuristic capital of Qatar, before returning to Dubai with an overnight in the city to discover all it has to offer.
Departing Dubai on March 25, 2023, MSC World Europa will head to the Mediterranean. In summer 2023, she will offer 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 become one of the most environmentally advanced ships in MSC Cruises’ fleet to date and is named after the ancient goddess Eurybia who harnessed the winds, weather and constellations to master the seas. In order to demonstrate the company’s commitment to building environmentally advanced ships and to show the importance of respect for the environment, MSC Cruises has launched a global design contest for artists from around the world to create a unique work of art inspired by the sea and its important marine ecosystem. The winning design will transform the hull of MSC Euribia into a giant, floating canvas to communicate the importance of the marine environment that will be featured as a permanent design across the ship’s hull as she sails the world’s oceans.