MSC Cruises and Chantiers de l’Atlantique have celebrated two important milestones for MSC Cruises’ first two liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessels both under construction in Saint-Nazaire, France.
The MSC World Europa, the first LNG vessel to join the cruise line’s fleet and set to become the biggest LNG-powered cruise ship in the world, completed her first set of sea trials in the Atlantic Ocean that included testing the performance of the ship’s engines, maneuverability, fuel consumption, safety systems, speed and stopping distances.
And, the MSC Euribia was floated out and has now been moved to a wet dock for work to continue on the ship before she also joins MSC Cruises’ fleet in June 2023.
MSC has invested €3 billion in three LNG-powered cruise ships and the construction at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique yard in Saint-Nazaire of the third ship – ‘World Class II’ – is due to start early next year.
Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, Cruise Division of MSC Group, said: “We made an important pledge last year to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, leading the cruise industry on the path to decarbonisation. MSC World Europa and MSC Euribia will play a fundamental role in this journey.
“LNG is the cleanest marine fuel currently currently available at scale that reduces emissions significantly and also offers compatibility with future alternative fuel solutions for which we are actively investing in research and development, including a pilot LNG-powered solid oxide fuel cell onboard MSC World Europa. If bio or synthetic LNG was available at scale today, both our newbuilds could operate with net zero emissions from the very first day.”
The MSC World Europa will debut in the Arabian Sea in winter 2022-2023 with MSC Cruises set to deploy its largest ever capacity in the Middle East for the season as it aims to strengthen its position as the region’s market leader.
Starting next June the MSC Euribia will spend her inaugural season in Northern Europe from the German port of Kiel with seven-night itineraries to the Norwegian fjords with calls including Copenhagen, Denmark; Hellesylt, Norway for the Geirangerfjord; as well as Alesund and Flam, also in Norway, among other destinations.