The future of cruising: harnessing LNG power for large vessels

CFR asked MSC Cruises executives about the design for MSC World Europa while touring the ship

The future of cruising: harnessing LNG power for large vessels
MSC World Europa will accommodate 6,762-passengers and operate on LNG power

By Alex Smith |

The sheer scale of the 6,762-passenger MSC World Europa becomes even more apparent when standing underneath the vessel in dry dock. World Europa will be the largest vessel in MSC’s fleet and the biggest LNG-powered ship in the world when it debuts in November, with only Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis-class outsizing it. 

Scale is also apparent within one of the biggest new features to be introduced onboard the ship, the outdoor promenade. Situated at the aft of ship, the promenade is 104 metres long and features an 11-deck-high stainless-steel slide at its centre, along with huge palm trees of LED lights at either end of the walkway that will serve as a dramatic backdrop to pop-up shows throughout a cruise. 

The Galleria indoor promenade has also undergone changes onboard World Europa. An LED and kinetic dome ceiling will display content produced specifically for the ship, and the space now curves and twists along its length, a choice which Trevor Young, MSC’s vice president of newbuilds, explains was intended to make it feel more “dynamic”. 

“Our executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago said that he wanted to create the feel of the film Blade Runner 2049,” said Young. “It’s a very organic space, spread over three decks, though the screen content will make it feel as if it expands far beyond that.” 

Lining the Galleria will be a range of shops and restaurants, including British pub Masters of the Sea, where three signature beers will be produced in an onboard microbrewery. The Chef’s Garden Kitchen restaurant, meanwhile, will be equipped to grow and harvest its own hydroponic microgreens directly. Young explained that the venue is strategically located close to the Elixir Mixology Bar because its produce will be also used in handcrafted cocktails. 

Despite its size, World Europa will be among the most efficient cruise ships sailing when it enters service. The vessel will use LNG propulsion, a first for both MSC and Chantiers de l’Atlantique, and the cruise line is also preparing for the future by trialling a solid oxide fuel cell powered by LNG onboard the ship. The 150-kilowatt demonstrator will generate auxiliary power to deliver carbon dioxide emissions reductions. 

“If we don’t do anything more than we are now, our emissions will grow along with the growth of our fleet,” said Linden Coppell, vice president of sustainability and environmental, social and governance at MSC Cruises. “Our job is to decouple those two factors.”

This article was first published in the 2022 Autumn/Winter issue of Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.   

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