MSC Cruises celebrated dual milestones this week when the world’s largest LNG powered cruise ship completed its first set of sea trials. Also, the cruise line’s second LNG powered ship touched water for the first time.
The two cruise ships, MSC World Europa and MSC Euribia, are currently under construction at a shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France.
MSC World Europa successfully completed her first set of sea trials in the Atlantic Ocean. The tests included measuring the performance of the cruise ship’s engines, along with assessing its maneuverability, fuel consumption, safety systems, speed and stopping distances.
MSC World Europa will be the first LNG vessel to join the cruise line’s fleet in November 2022 and is set to become the largest LNG-powered cruise ship in the world.
Meanwhile, MSC Euribia was floated out and moved to a wet dock for work to continue on the ship before she joins MSC Cruises’ fleet in June 2023.
The cruise line has invested more than $3.14 billion in three LNG-powered cruise ships. The construction of the third ship – ‘World Class II’ – will begin at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique yard 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 decarbonization. MSC World Europa and MSC Euribia will play a fundamental role in this journey.
“LNG is the cleanest marine fuel currently available at scale that reduces emissions significantly and offers compatibility with future alternative fuel solutions. We are actively investing in research and development regarding LNG, 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.”
MSC World Europa will debut in the Arabian Sea for winter 2022/23. MSC Cruises is deploying more capacity in the Middle East than ever, aiming to strengthen its position as the region’s market leader for vacations at sea.
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The cruise ship will offer week long voyages between December 2022 and April 2023 from Dubai to Abu Dhabi and Sir Bani Yas Island in the United Arab Emirates, Dammam in Saudi Arabia, and Doha in Qatar before returning to Dubai.
In March 2023, the ship will head to the Mediterranean Sea and sail week long cruises calling at the Italian ports of Genoa, Naples and Messina; Valletta in Malta; Barcelona in Spain; and Marseille in France.