Saint-Nazaire, 24 October 2022 – The Cruise Division of MSC Group and Chantiers de l’Atlantique celebrated today the delivery of MSC World Europa, the world’s largest LNG-powered cruise ship and one of the first to incorporate fuel cell technology. The ceremony marked the next step in a long-term and successful partnership between the two companies, which has resulted in the building of the most innovative and environmentally advanced cruise ship to date for the MSC Cruises fleet. On top of immediate ground-breaking advances in terms of reduction of emissions and energy efficiency, MSC World Europa also paves the way towards the uptake of carbon-neutral synthetic and other alternative fuels as soon as they are available at scale.
A joint contribution to the future of cruising
MSC World Europa is the first from the trail-blazing World Class ships from MSC Cruises. She is an ultramodern urban metropolis at sea that represents the future of cruising and offers a world of different experiences pushing the boundaries of what is possible at sea - setting a new standard for the cruise industry.
Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of the Cruise Division of MSC Group, said: “We are proud to welcome to our fleet MSC World Europa, our 20th ship and the first to be LNG-powered. This groundbreaking vessel represents the next phase in our journey toward net zero and sustainable cruising and a symbol of our unwavering commitment to both.
“MSC World Europa represents a major step forward for our Cruise Division, the entire MSC Group, and our industry, with a range of unprecedented innovations in terms of environmental and marine technologies, design and guest-centric features. This is the result of more than four years of work between us, builders Chantiers de l’Atlantique and numerous leading providers of next-generation environmental and maritime technologies and solutions as well as many thousands of hours of training for those onboard and at ports.”
Mr Vago concluded: “Now more than ever we need closer cooperation from suppliers, Governments and others to complement our continued investments and take further steps towards the zero emissions future we all desire. The innovative technologies we create here to use on our vessels can benefit all of society not just the cruise industry or the shipping sector overall.”
Laurent Castaing, General Manager of Chantiers de l’Atlantique, said: “We have reached a new stage in the cruise industry with MSC World Europa, the largest ship ever built for a European shipowner. She is equipped with all the latest technologies to offer the passengers an unprecedented cruising experience. From a technological standpoint MSC World Europa, which is equipped with a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) propulsion system, present a new level of performance and efficiency of the cruise industry. This represents a major milestone in minimizing emissions as MSC World Europa is the least emitting ship of the entire cruise industry .”
The first cruise ship to feature fuel cell technology powered by LNG
MSC World Europa is the world’s first contemporary cruise ship to feature brand new solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). The ship will include a 150-kilowatt SOFC demonstrator that will use LNG to produce electricity and heat on board in a highly efficient way by means of an electrochemical reaction. It will be a testbed to accelerate the development of fuel cell technology for contemporary cruise ships and offers a potential to enable hybrid propulsion solutions in the future.
“We anticipate SOFC will reduce emissions of greenhouse gases substantially compared with conventional LNG engine without producing emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides or fine particles. It also has the advantage of not only being compatible with LNG, but also with low and zero carbon fuels such as green methanol, ammonia, and hydrogen. We could also in the future transition to synthetic LNG or other alternative non-carbon fuels,” said Linden Coppell, Vice President of Sustainability & ESG at MSC Cruises.
LNG: a transitional fuel and the cleanest currently available at scale
“We chose LNG for the very clear reason that it is the cleanest marine fuel currently available at scale, a transitional fuel as we look ahead to source and use synthetic LNG or other alternative non-carbon fuels as soon as they become available at scale”, said Pierfrancesco Vago.
Compared to standard marine fuels, LNG nearly eliminates air pollutant emissions, including sulphur oxides and fine particles, greatly reduces nitrogen oxides, and already achieves a CO2 reduction of up to 25%. LNG will also enable the development of low-carbon fuels and solutions such as green hydrogen, synthetic-LNG, and fuel cells.
Energy efficiency at its core
In partnership with the shipyard, MSC World Europa has been designed with an innovative hull shape to minimise resistance through the water.
MSC World Europa also incorporates a wide range of equipment to optimise energy use throughout the ship. These include smart ventilation and advanced air conditioning systems, with automated energy recovery loops, allowing effective distribution of heat and cold across the ship. The ship uses LED lighting throughout the ship, controlled by smart management systems to further enhance the energy saving profile.
It will also be fitted with enhanced automatic data collection systems for remote energy monitoring and advanced analysis, allowing real-time shoreside support to optimise operational efficiency onboard.
These efficiency advances, and the use of LNG, will enable an operational performance far higher that the IMO-required energy design criteria for new ships. MSC World Europa is designed to perform 47% better than its Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) required by regulation.
Advanced water treatment and waste management systems, and other innovative features
MSC World Europa is equipped with an advanced wastewater treatment system (AWTS) that meets the world’s highest regulatory requirements, including the so-called Baltic standard. It treats all wastewater produced onboard to close to tap water standards. The ship also includes a state-of-the-art ballast water treatment system that prevents the introduction of invasive species in the marine environment through ballast water discharges, in compliance with IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention.
“We have an entire team of crew dedicated to implement strict waste management protocols which separate all wastes into seven distinct types, for example, glass, aluminum and paper, with specialised equipment to crush or bundle these waste types in the ship’s waste management facility,” said Linden Coppell.
In addition, MSC World Europa features a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system that reduces NOx emissions by 90% when LNG is not available, and the ship must run on marine gas oil. As LNG fuel achieves a similar reduction, MSC World Europa will always be ready to meet the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO’s) Tier III NOx emissions standards. Like all MSC Cruises’ new builds, the ship is fitted with shore power capability, which allows for us to minimise engine use at ports where the required infrastructure is available.
MSC World Europa’s hull and engine room have been designed to minimise acoustic underwater sound impact, reducing the potential impact on marine mammals in the surrounding waters.
Next-generation cruise experience
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 structure that leads to the impressive 104-metre-long half-open half-covered Europa Promenade with breath-taking ocean views. Brand new balcony cabins overlook the stunning promenade, which features a striking architectural centrepiece in the form of The Venom Drop @ The Spiral, an 11-deck-high slide, the longest at sea.
MSC World Europa’s ‘firsts’ include a micro-brewery, gin bar, healthy juice bar, coffee emporium and tea-house. The ship has 13 different dining options including two new specialty restaurants, La Pescaderia that will offer fresh seafood and Chef’s Garden Kitchen will dish up seasonal farm-to-ocean cooking.
Steel cutting ceremony of MSC World America
The name of the second World Class ship was revealed today during the steel cutting ceremony and MSC Cruises announced that MSC World America is destined for North America when she comes into service in 2025. This is further proof of the line’s commitment to deploy its newest ships to this important cruise market and to provide U.S guests with a ship and guest experience that is tailored to them. MSC World America will become the fourth new flagship to be deployed in this region.