MSC Cruises Partners with ORCA to Reduce Mammal Stikes

MSC Bellissima
MSC Bellissima

Published Mar 5, 2023 6:05 PM by The Maritime Executive

MSC Cruises has partnered with marine conservation charity ORCA to reduce the likelihood of collisions with whales, dolphins, and porpoises in oceans worldwide by using a comprehensive ship strike mitigation program for the cruise line’s deck officers.

Bridge Officers aboard MSC Bellissima are the first to participate in the online training program. The ship is sailing in the Mediterranean from her home port of Genoa and was chosen as the pilot vessel based on her navigation through the Pelagos Sanctuary, which covers 33,783 square miles of water and 1,256 miles of coastline containing numerous marine species.

The plan is to educate those working on the ship’s bridge about the marine mammals they may encounter on any given voyage and the best practices for avoiding potential ship strikes.

Captain Minas Myrtidis, VP of Environmental Operations & Compliance, MSC Cruises, said: “By working together with ORCA, we can play an important role in protecting the seas for future generations.  We are committed to supporting the health of our oceans and believe partnering with experts to introduce bespoke training and education is a positive step forward.”

Once the MSC Bellissima trial is completed, the e-learning course will be rolled out across MSC Cruises’ fleet of 21 ships and added to newbuild MSC Euribia – due to launch in June for Northern Europe voyages.

Like the line’s most recent vessels, the ship will be fitted with a system that adds air bubbles around the propeller blades to balance the pressure environment. This and other measures, including insulation to reduce noise and vibration from mechanical equipment, help to minimize the negative impact on the marine environment, especially sea mammals.

In 2022, MSC Cruises re-routed its ships off the west coast of Greece to reduce the risk of collision with endangered sperm whales in the Mediterranean.

About MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises is the world’s third-largest cruise brand and the market leader in Europe, South America, the Gulf region, and Southern Africa. It is also the fastest-growing global cruise brand with a strong presence in the Caribbean, North America, and the Far East markets.

Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, MSC Cruises is one of the two brands within the Cruise Division of MSC Group, the world’s leading and privately held shipping and logistics conglomerate with over 300 years of maritime heritage. MSC Cruises – the contemporary brand - has a modern fleet of 21 vessels combined with a sizeable future global investment portfolio of new vessels, terminals, and other assets. The fleet is projected to grow to 23 cruise ships by 2025, with options for six more vessel orders in place through 2030.

MSC Cruises offers its guests an enriching, immersive and safe cruise experience inspired by the Company’s European heritage, where they can enjoy international dining, world-class entertainment, award-winning family programs, and the very latest user-friendly technology on board. Click here to learn more about MSC Cruises’ itineraries and experience on board its ships.

The line’s number one priority has always been the health and safety of its guests and crew, as well as the communities at the destinations its ships serve.  In August 2020, MSC Cruises implemented a new comprehensive and robust health and safety protocol to become the first major line to return to sea. To learn more about MSC Cruises’ health & safety protocol, click here.

MSC Cruises has long been committed to environmental stewardship, with a long-term goal to achieve net zero emissions for its operations by 2050. The Company is also a significant investor in next-generation environmental marine technologies, with the objective to support their accelerated development and availability industry-wide. To learn more about the Company’s environmental commitment, click here.

Finally, to learn more about the MSC Foundation, MSC Group’s own vehicle to lead, focus and advance its conservation, humanitarian and cultural commitments, click here.


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