MSC Euribia Delivered as MSC Prepares for Net Zero Demonstration

MSC Cruises
MSC Eurbia during her sea trails (MSC Cruises)

Published Jun 1, 2023 7:25 PM by The Maritime Executive

MSC Cruises took delivery on its newest cruise ship on May 31 promoting it as possibly the industry’s most environmentally advanced ship to date. The last ship of a previous class, the MSC Euribia incorporates new elements including the use of LNG as its primary fuel and advanced technologies as the company prepares to demonstrate the future with a four-day delivery voyage from France to Copenhagen. The voyage is being promoted as the world’s first net-zero greenhouse gas emissions trip for a cruise ship.

Built by Chantiers de Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire, France, the MSC Euribia is the fifth and final ship on order in the company’s Meraviglia class. At 184,011 gross tons, the cruise ship ranks among the largest in the world and joins a growing number of dual-fuel capable cruise ships. She is powered by four Wärtsilä engines (two 16V and two 12V) running on LNG or low-sulfur marine gasoil. 

The new cruise ship measures 1,086 feet in length. She has a passenger capacity of 6,334 and a crew of approximately 1,700. Among the systems, she was fitted with an advanced onboard wastewater treatment system, waste management, and a wide range of energy-saving equipment, including smart heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and lighting, to maximize efficiency.

The propulsion plant is designed to give her a maximum speed of 22.3 knots while also being energy efficient and reducing emissions. According to MSC, when in service, the vessel will emit up to 19 percent less greenhouse gas emissions per passenger per day than her sisterships which use conventional marine fuels. This amounts to 44 percent less greenhouse gas emissions per passenger per day than ships built only 10 years ago.

The MSC Euribia is scheduled to depart Saint-Nazaire on June 3 and will run a four-day mini cruise as she repositions to Copenhagen, where she will be christened and enter commercial service. To demonstrate the potential, the company purchased 400 tonnes of bio-LNG. They believe it will be the first time an ocean-going cruise ship has used a fuel that has a significant lifecycle emission reduction. 

Working with Nordic energy company Gasum, they have worked to ensure the entire supply chain is fully compliant with the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive. The batches of bio-LNG have been certified and the company will utilize a mass-balance system, which it says is the most environmentally efficient method of delivering the benefits of renewable biogas. In addition, the speed and itinerary of the Euribia’s voyage have been designed to optimize the configuration and loads of the engines to minimize fuel consumption. Engineers and specialists from MSC and the shipyard will be aboard to monitor and optimize the voyage and MSC will also be monitoring the operations from its shore-based center in London.

Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of the Cruise Division of MSC Group, said “With the delivery of MSC Euribia, we have taken yet another huge step towards our net zero GHG emissions goal. Alongside her many best-in-class environmental innovations, MSC Euribia features a truly groundbreaking energy efficient design that will deliver huge reduction in GHG emissions throughout her lifetime.”

MSC reports the vessel has also been designed to adapt to future alternative energy options. The cruise line highlights it is working with fuel providers and others on developing drop-in sustainable fuels such as advanced biofuels and biogas. They are also exploring green methanol, synthetic e-fuels such as green hydrogen, and eLNG. The ship’s design can accommodate retrofits enabling the LNG-powered vessel to operate using green methanol in the future.

As MSC officially took delivery today, they also marked the next phase of construction on the company’s second World Class cruise ship. The ships are industry giants at 215,863 gross tons with accommodations for 6,700 passengers. The class is second in size only to Royal Caribbean International’s largest cruise ships. The first, MSC World Europa, entered service in late 2022, and today the company placed coins under the keel as the second ship of the class MSC World America begins assembly at Chantiers de l’Atlantique. This ship is due to enter service sailing from PortMiami in April 2025.