Largest LNG-Powered Cruise Ship Completes Sea Trials
MSC Cruises and Chantiers de l’Atlantique marked key milestones in the development of LNG-powered cruise ships, conducting the sea trials for the shipbuilder’s first LNG ship, which is also set to become the largest LNG cruise ship, and one of the world’s largest cruise ships. The MSC World Europa completed sea trials in the Atlantic last weekend as she prepares to enter service in November 2022.
Measuring 1,092 feet in length, the new cruise ship will be approximately 205,700 gross tons, making the MSC class of LNG-fueled ships more than 10 percent larger than Carnival Corporation’s LNG cruise ship platform. The MSC World Europa is the first ship in the news class and MSC’s first LNG cruise ship. She will also be second in size to only Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis class.
The MSC World Europa departed Saint-Nazaire, France on June 15 for four days of testing returning to the yard on June 18 to continue its outfitting. The tests included measuring the performance of the ship’s engines, along with assessing its maneuverability, fuel consumption, safety systems, speed, and stopping distances.
MSC is highlighting the broad range of new features incorporated into the design of the cruise ship ranging from restaurants and bars to passenger accommodations. Like the Oasis Class, it features an open-air promenade running 341 feet in length with ocean views. The cruise ship has 2,626 staterooms giving it maximum accommodations for 6,762 passengers plus approximately 2,100 crewmembers.
As a cruise company, MSC is making significant investments in LNG and other technologies to reduce the environmental impact of its ships. The company reports that it is investing more than $3.14 billion in three LNG-powered cruise ships, including the MSC World Europa and a sister ship that will begin construction early next year at Chantiers de l’Atlantique. In addition, last weekend the yard also floated out the MSC Euribia, a sister ship in the Meraviglia Plus class that is also the first being built to operate on LNG.
“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,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, Cruise Division of MSC Group.
Both of the new LNG-powered ships will also feature selective catalytic reduction systems, shore-to-ship power connectivity, advanced wastewater treatment systems to comply with the Baltic standard, underwater radiated noise management systems to reduce potential noise and vibration impact on marine mammals, and a wide range of energy-efficient equipment and systems to optimize engine use.
The MSC Euribia will feature an advanced onboard wastewater treatment system. All wastewater on board will be directed to the water treatment system so that no water leaves the ship without specific treatment that cleans the water to the highest standards. Other waste materials will be collected are sorted for recycling, and the line like others in the industry has significantly reduced plastic waste by eliminating or replacing single-use plastic items. In addition, other systems on the MSC Euribia will include energy-saving equipment that maximizes efficiency in areas including smart heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. The MSC Euribia is scheduled to enter service in June 2023.