Travel insights from MSC Cruises
MSC Cruises’ innovative new ship — MSC World Europa — is starting her first summer season in the Mediterranean after arriving from the Arabian Gulf this week. The ship became MSC Cruises’ largest, and the company’s first to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), when she was delivered by French shipbuilder Chantiers de l’Atlantique in October 2022. MSC World Europa is also the world’s highest performing large cruise ship in terms of CO2eq emissions per passenger.
Rubén A. Rodríguez, President, MSC Cruises USA, said, “Our guests from the U.S. have been thrilled to cruise on board MSC World Europa during her inaugural season in the Arabian Gulf, and many more of them are flocking to Europe as she starts her first summer season in the Mediterranean. This groundbreaking ship exemplifies our unwavering commitment to sustainable cruising. MSC World Europa’s innovative environmental and marine technologies represent a major step forward on our journey towards meeting our target of net-zero emissions by 2050, and it offers a glimpse at our future in the U.S. as we move toward bringing MSC World America into service in 2025.”
MSC World Europa will be powered by LNG throughout the summer season, with her first bunkering in Marseille scheduled 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.
Unique Fuel Cell Technology Showing Promising Results
MSC World Europa is the world’s first contemporary cruise ship 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.
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 fuel – is well above that of an internal combustion engine and has exceeded our expectations. We have operated the system continually and it has delivered a steady output even better than our forecast 150-kilowatt return. Obviously, this is a small fraction of the energy we need but we are confident that the system can be scaled up on future newbuilds. We recognize that this will requires close collaboration with partners across and outside of our industry, which is why 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.”
A Range of Other Environmental Features
MSC World Europa is 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, including the so-called Baltic standard. 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 (i.e. glass, aluminum and paper) with specialized 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. It is fitted with enhanced automatic data collection systems for remote energy monitoring and analysis, allowing real-time shoreside support to optimize operational efficiency onboard.
Next-Generation Cruise Experience
During this first summer season in the Mediterranean, guests on MSC World Europa will be able to experience the trailblazing ship’s extraordinary features and impressive spaces, including the spectacular World Promenade, immersive restaurants, next-level entertainment options and MSC Cruises’ largest, most action-packed kids’ area.
The Spectacular World Promenade
The nearly 350-foot-long outdoor World Promenade is one of the ship’s most impressive spaces. Day or night, this is the place to be for entertainment, stunning sea views and The Venom Drop @ 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 24,000 square feet and is crowned by an awe-inspiring LED and kinetic dome ceiling. The World Promenade is the perfect place to shop, dine and relax with a drink.
Immersive Culinary Experiences
MSC World Europa takes guests on a gastronomic journey around the world with a choice of 20 bars and lounges, and 13 dining venues — each with its own distinct style and ambiance. This includes six specialty restaurants and seven brand new bar and café concepts.
Chef’s Garden Kitchen is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between MSC Cruises and Michelin-starred chef, TV personality and author Niklas Ekstedt, focusing on natural ingredients and a farm-to-ocean ethos. This new restaurant features the first-at-sea hydroponic garden where guests will be treated to a uniquely immersive experience, with the master chef preparing Ekstedt’s extraordinary creations in an open kitchen against a backdrop of panoramic sea views.
MSC World Europa also features the line’s first onboard microbrewery in partnership with Teo Musso, the founder and brewmaster of Italian craft and farm brewery Birra Baladin.
Next-Level Entertainment Options
Guests of all ages will be able to enjoy awe-inspiring entertainment from morning to night, including three new concert-style shows in the multipurpose Luna Park Arena, five new full-scale theatre productions in the World Theatre, four themed experiences in the Panorama Lounge, and pop-up live shows throughout the ship.
The Largest, Most Action-Packed Kid’s Area in the MSC Cruises’ Fleet
MSC World Europa’s children’s area is the largest in the fleet, with more than 8,000 square feet of interior space and seven rooms dedicated to various age groups from 0 to 17 years old, developed in collaboration with LEGO® and Chicco®. Entertainment for children and teenagers includes new and original game and talent show formats across high-tech venues.
Ultimate Leisure and Wellness Facilities
With seven swimming pools and 13 hot tubs spread throughout the ship, there is one to suit every type of traveler, whether the aim is to relax and unwind or enjoy thrills and adventure.
Elegant and Exclusive MSC Yacht Club for Premium Cruising
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.
Innovative New Accommodations
MSC World Europa is as different on the inside as she is on the outside, with all-new cabin designs and the most balcony cabins on any ship in the fleet. Stylish suites in the MSC Yacht Club, new cabins overlooking the outdoor promenade, and Infinite Ocean View staterooms with panoramic sliding windows that open to form a glass balustrade are some of the high-quality, comfortable accommodations available.
MSC World Europa will welcome 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.