MSC World Europa: Green as well as glitzy

Written by Nick Blenkey
MSC World Europa, the first MSC World Class ship

Two new MSC World Class cruise ships will be even-greener sisters to MSC World Europa and MSC World America. [Photo: MSC Cruises]

MSC Cruises largest ship the 1,094 feet, 6,762 passenger MSC World Europa, is starting its first summer season in the Mediterranean after arriving from the Arabian Gulf this week and the cruise line is emphasizing its green credentials as well as its glamor. The ship became MSC Cruises first to be fueled by liquefied natural gas (LNG), when she was delivered by Chantiers de l’Atlantique in October 2022 andis claimed to be the world’s highest performing large cruise ship in terms of CO2eq emissions per passenger (based on EEDI index in grams of CO2 per nautical miles and gross tonnage).

MSC World Europa will operate on LNG throughout the summer season, with her first bunkering in Marseille scheduled on April 15, 2023. While zero-carbon fuels such as green ammonia and green hydrogen may be in shipping’s future, LNG remains the cleanest marine fuel currently available at scale. Compared to standard marine fuels, LNG virtually eliminates local air pollutant emissions—including sulfur oxides and fine particles—and reduces nitrogen oxides by up to 85%. LNG also offers up to a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and is paving the way for the uptake of sustainable non-fossil fuels such as bio and synthetic LNG.

“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,” said Rubén A. Rodríguez, president, MSC Cruises USA, said: 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 also 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. 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, sulfr 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.

“Nearly six months into testing, the fuel cell performance has been excellent, and we haven’t seen any signs of safety or maintenance issues,” said Linden Coppell, vice president of sustainability & ESG at MSC Cruises. “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.”


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 UV ballast water treatment system that is 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 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.


Of course, most vacationers don’t book cruises based on sustainability considerations and MSC World Europa is packed with extraordinary features and impressive spaces, next-level entertainment options and promises to “take 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 andambiance.” More on all that, and more, HERE.

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