MSC LNG "World Europa" Starts Sailing the Mediterranean 

MSC Cruises
MSC LNG "World Europa"

Published Apr 16, 2023 1:10 PM by The Maritime Executive

MSC Cruises’ first vessel powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) – MSC World Europa – has arrived in Europe after spending her maiden season in the Arabian Gulf. As the highest performing large cruise ship operating in the world regarding CO2eq emissions per passenger, MSC World Europa represents a major step forward on MSC Cruises’ journey toward achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

MSC World Europa is also among the first contemporary cruise ships to incorporate fuel cell technology, with tests showing very promising results. MSC World Europa offers 7-night cruises calling the Italian ports of Genoa, Naples and Messina, Valletta in Malta, Barcelona in Spain, and Marseille in France.

MSC Cruises’ innovative new ship—MSC World Europa—is starting her first summer season in the Mediterranean after arriving from the Arabian Gulf this week. The ship became MSC Cruises’ largest and the company’s first powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), when French shipbuilder Chantiers de l’Atlantique delivered her in October 2022. MSC World Europa is the world’s highest-performing large cruise ship regarding CO2eq emissions per passenger.

Rubén A. Rodríguez, President of MSC Cruises USA, said: “Our guests from the U.S. have been thrilled to cruise on board MSC World Europa during her inaugural season in the Arabian Gulf, and many more of them are flocking to Europe as she starts her first summer season in the Mediterranean. This groundbreaking ship exemplifies our unwavering commitment to sustainable cruising. MSC World Europa’s innovative environmental and marine technologies represent a major step forward on our journey towards meeting our net-zero emissions target by 2050, and it offers a glimpse at our future in the U.S. as we move toward bringing MSC World America into service in 2025.”  

MSC World Europa will be powered by LNG throughout the summer, with her first bunkering in Marseille scheduled on April 15, 2023. LNG is the cleanest marine fuel currently available at scale. Compared to standard marine fuels, LNG eliminates local air pollutant emissions—including sulfur oxides and fine particles—and reduces nitrogen oxides by up to 85 percent.

LNG also plays a key role in climate change mitigation as it offers up to a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and paves the way for the uptake of sustainable non-fossil fuels such as bio and synthetic LNG.

Unique fuel cell technology showing promising results

MSC World Europa is the world’s first contemporary cruise ship to feature solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology powered by LNG. The ship includes a 150-kilowatt SOFC demonstrator that uses LNG to efficiently produce electricity and heat on board using an electrochemical reaction, which could be a key to unlocking significant environmental sustainability gains in the future. Thanks to this increased efficiency, SOFC has the potential to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared with a conventional LNG engine without producing nitrogen oxide, sulphur oxide or fine particle emissions.  In addition to being compatible with LNG, the cell is compatible with potential low carbon fuels like green methanol, ammonia, liquid hydrogen and bio or synthetic LNG.  

Linden Coppell, Vice President of Sustainability & ESG at MSC Cruises, said: “Nearly six months into testing, the fuel cell performance has been excellent, and we haven’t seen any signs of safety or maintenance issues. The efficiency to date—measured in terms of the energy we can generate from the same unit of fuel – is well above that of an internal combustion engine and has exceeded our expectations. We have operated the system continually and it has delivered a steady output even better than our forecast 150-kilowatt return. Obviously, this is a small fraction of the energy we need but we are confident that the system can be scaled up on future newbuilds. We recognize that this will requires close collaboration with partners across and outside of our industry, which is why MSC Cruises is actively involved in several different research initiatives and partnerships that all share the common objective of accelerating the transition toward a net-zero future.”

A range of other environmental features

MSC World Europa is equipped with shore power plug-in connectivity to reduce carbon emissions in port, as well as an advanced wastewater treatment system (AWTS) that meets the world’s highest regulatory requirements, including the so-called Baltic standard. It treats all wastewater produced onboard to near tap water standards. The ship also includes a ballast water treatment system that prevents introducing invasive species in the marine environment through ballast water discharges, in full compliance with IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention.

The vessel has an entire team dedicated to implementing strict waste management protocols which separate all wastes into seven distinct types (i.e. glass, aluminum and paper) with specialized equipment to crush or bundle each type in the ship’s waste management facility.

MSC World Europa also features an underwater radiated noise management system to minimize disturbance to marine life, along with a comprehensive range of energy efficient equipment onboard to optimize engine use and hotel energy needs and further reduce emissions. It is fitted with enhanced automatic data collection systems for remote energy monitoring and analysis, allowing real-time shoreside support to optimize operational efficiency onboard.

Next-generation cruise experience

During this first summer season in the Mediterranean, guests on MSC World Europa will be able to experience the trailblazing ship’s extraordinary features and impressive spaces, including the spectacular World Promenade, immersive restaurants, next-level entertainment options and MSC Cruises’ largest, most action-packed kids’ area. 


The nearly 350-foot-long outdoor World Promenade is one of the ship’s most impressive spaces. Day or night, this is the place to be for entertainment, stunning sea views and The Venom Drop @ The Spiral, a striking architectural masterpiece and the longest dry slide at sea with its 11-deck drop. The World Promenade is connected to the World Galleria, which spans nearly 24,000 square feet and is crowned by an awe-inspiring LED and kinetic dome ceiling. The World Promenade is the perfect place to shop, dine and relax with a drink.


MSC World Europa takes guests on a gastronomic journey around the world with a choice of 20 bars and lounges, and 13 dining venues—each with its own distinct style and ambiance. This includes six specialty restaurants and seven brand new bar and café concepts.

Chef’s Garden Kitchen is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between MSC Cruises and Michelin-starred chef, TV personality and author Niklas Ekstedt, focusing on natural ingredients and a farm-to-ocean ethos. This new restaurant features the first-at-sea hydroponic garden where guests will be treated to a uniquely immersive experience, with the master chef preparing Ekstedt’s extraordinary creations in an open kitchen against a backdrop of panoramic sea views.

MSC World Europa also features the line’s first onboard microbrewery in partnership with Teo Musso, the founder and brewmaster of Italian craft and farm brewery Birra Baladin.


Guests of all ages will be able to enjoy awe-inspiring entertainment from morning to night, including three new concert-style shows in the multipurpose Luna Park Arena, five new full-scale theatre productions in the World Theatre, four themed experiences in the Panorama Lounge, and pop-up live shows throughout the ship.


MSC World Europa's children's area is the largest in the fleet, with more than 8,000 square feet of interior space and seven rooms dedicated to various age groups from 0 to 17 years old, developed in collaboration with LEGO® and Chicco®. Entertainment for children and teenagers includes new and original game and talent show formats across high-tech venues.


With seven swimming pools and 13 hot tubs spread throughout the ship, there is one to suit every type of traveler, whether the aim is to relax and unwind or enjoy thrills and adventure.


MSC World Europa features the most luxurious MSC Yacht Club yet, offering unparalleled levels of comfort with more public space, expanded outdoor areas, and stylish new suites. The enhanced public spaces include a totally reimagined sundeck set over two decks for the first time, while two brand-new ultra-spacious Owner-Suites join the ‘ship within a ship’ concept with its key-card access exclusivity.


MSC World Europa is as different on the inside as she is on the outside, with all-new cabin designs and the most balcony cabins on any ship in the fleet. Stylish suites in the MSC Yacht Club, new cabins overlooking the outdoor promenade, and Infinite Ocean View staterooms with panoramic sliding windows that open to form a glass balustrade are some of the high-quality, comfortable accommodations available.

MSC World Europa will welcome guests for the summer season in the Mediterranean Sea, giving guests the ultimate Mediterranean cruise experience on 7-night itineraries calling at the Italian ports of Genoa, Naples and Messina, as well as Valletta in Malta, Barcelona in Spain, and Marseille in France.

For more information about MSC World Europa 

Key figures:

Gross Tonnage – 215,863
Length – 1,094 feet
Width – 154 feet
Height – 223 feet
Passenger cabins – 2,626
Passenger Capacity – 6,762
Engines and fuels:

5 Wärtsilä 14V 46DF engines dual-fuel engines, that can run on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and on low-sulphur marine gasoil (MGO)
150-kW solid oxide fuel cell demonstrator
Air Emissions:

Selective catalytic reduction system that reduces NOx emissions by 90% when the ship runs on MGO (LNG offers a similar NOx reduction); MSC World Europa is capable of meeting IMO’s Tier III standards regardless of the fuel it uses. Shore-to-ship power connectivity, allowing the ship to switch off engines at ports where shore-to-ship power infrastructure is available
Wastewater treatment:

Advanced wastewater treatment system complying with the most stringent standards on IMO’s MEPC 227(64) Resolution (the so-called Baltic Standard) Ballast water treatment system with UV treatment to prevent the introduction of invasive species in the marine environment through ballast water discharges, in compliance with IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention Underwater radiated noise management system with hull and engine room designs that minimize acoustic sound impact, reducing their potential effects on marine fauna, most particularly on marine mammals in the surrounding waters.

Energy Efficiency: All MSC Cruises’ newbuilds incorporate a wide range of energy efficient equipment that help reduce and optimize engine use. These include smart ventilation and advanced air conditioning systems with automated energy recovery loops that redistribute heat and cold to reduce demand. The ships use LED lighting throughout the ship controlled by smart management systems to further enhance the energy saving profile. In partnership with the shipyard, MSC World Europa has been designed with an innovative hull shape to minimize resistance through the water and it will be fitted with automatic data collection systems for remote energy monitoring and advanced analysis, allowing real-time shoreside support to optimize operational efficiency onboard.

The Cruise Division of MSC Group, the leading privately held Swiss-based shipping and logistics conglomerate with over 300 years of maritime heritage, is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and has two distinct brands within its structure—the contemporary and luxury brands.

MSC Cruises, the contemporary brand, is the world’s third-largest cruise brand and the market leader in Europe, South America, the Middle East, 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.

Its fleet includes 21 modern ships, combined with a sizeable future global investment portfolio of new vessels, and is projected to grow to 23 cruise ships by 2025.

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. To learn more about contemporary brand’s itineraries and experience on board its ships, click here.

Meanwhile, the luxury brand, Explora Journeys, is set to start operating in 2023 with a fleet featuring the latest and most advanced environmental and maritime technologies available. The brand’s first ship will have a gross tonnage of 63,900 GT and feature 461 of the largest suites at sea, all with oceanfront terraces. These ships will introduce a broad range of new guest experiences and other activities to the luxury segment, along with generous public spaces ratios and highly innovative designs. For further information about Explora Journeys, click here.

MSC has long been committed to environmental stewardship with a long-term goal of achieving net zero emissions for its operations by 2050. The Company is also a significant investor in next-generation environmental marine technologies, 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 vehicle to lead, focus and advance its conservation, humanitarian, and cultural commitments, click here.

[1] Based on the EEDI index in grams of CO2 per nautical mile and gross tonnage.


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