MSC Cruises to Roll Out the Largest LNG-Powered Cruise Vessel
MSC Cruises and Chantiers de l'Atlantique successfully conducted the sea trials for the MSC WORLD EUROPA, which is shaping up to be the world's largest LNG cruise ship. The vessel will enter service in November 2022 and begin operations in the Arabian Sea. MSC Cruises has invested $ 3.14 billion to construct three LNG-powered cruise vessels. The World Europa is the first of the three, with the second being MSC EURIBIA, entering service in June 2023, and the World Class II, the construction of which is scheduled to start next year.
The MSC WORLD EUROPA measures 1,092 feet in length and is around 205,000 gross tons. The vessel will be the largest LNG Cruise ship and the second largest cruise ship overall, losing only the Oasis-class vessels of the Royal Caribbean. MSC is also calling attention to the vessel's other features, such as the restaurants and the passenger accommodations. The cruise ship has 2,626 staterooms which can house 6,762 passengers and 2,100 crewmembers. The vessel departed early on June 15th for tests from Saint-Nazaire, France, and returned successfully on June 18th. The tests involved the performance of the ship's engines, its maneuverability, fuel consumption, safety features, and stopping distance, among others.
MSC also floated out its second vessel, the MSC EURABIA. These vessels are being brought in as a part of MSC's pledge to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of the Cruise Division of MSC, stated that they are currently exploring many avenues for emission reduction, including a pilot LNG-powered solid oxide fuel cell aboard the MSC WORLD EUROPA. He also said that if bio or synthetic LNG were commercially available, the vessels could operate with zero emissions from day one.