MSC World Europa begins sailing first season in the Mediterranean

MSC World Europa begins sailing first season in the Mediterranean

MSC Cruises

MSC World Europa will sail seven-night itineraries during its summer season in the Mediterranean

MSC Cruises’ new ship, MSC World Europa, has begun sailing its first summer season in the Mediterranean.

The ship was delivered in October 2022 by French shipbuilder Chantiers de l’Atlantique. It is MSC Cruises’ largest vessel and the first to be powered by LNG fuel. According to the cruise line, MSC World Europa is the best performing large cruise ship in terms of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per passenger.

“It is with great pride that we welcome MSC World Europa in Europe as she starts her first summer season in the Mediterranean,” said Antonio Paradiso, managing director of UK & Ireland for MSC Cruises. “This groundbreaking vessel is a testimony of our unwavering commitment to sustainable cruising, with a range of unprecedented innovations in terms of environmental and marine technologies. MSC World Europa represents a major step forward on our journey towards meeting our target of net-zero emissions by 2050.”

The ship will be powered by LNG throughout the summer season, with her first bunkering in Marseille, France, scheduled on 15 April 2023. Compared to standard marine fuel, LNG eliminates most local air pollutant emissions, including sulphur oxides and fine particles, and reduces nitrogen oxides by up to 85 per cent. It also results in up to a 20 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

MSC World Europa is also trialling the use of solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology, powered by LNG. A 150-kilowatt SOFC demonstrator uses LNG yo produce electricity and heat onboard by means of an electrochemical reaction. If successful, SOFC has the potential to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases compared to a conventional LNG engine. It would also be compatible with other fuel sources such as 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 and environmental, social and governance 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.”

MSC World Europa will offer seven-night itineraries during the summer season, calling at the Italian ports of Genoa, Naples and Messina, as well as Valletta in Malta, Barcelona in Spain and Marseille in France.

Alex Smith
By Alex Smith
14 April 2023

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