MSC Cruises has named its first World-Class ship MSC Europa and taken delivery of its 17th ship, MSC Grandiosa.
The cruise line says the two announcements are an “important step forward” in its environmental credentials.
MSC claims Meraviglia-class Grandiosa is one of the most environmentally-advanced ships at sea. It features “cutting-edge technologies” such as a hybrid ‘closed-loop’ exhaust gas cleaning system (EGCS) which MSC says reduces ship sulphur emissions by 97%.
It will be the first MSC ship to feature a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system which the line says helps reduce nitrogen oxide by 80%.
As well as welcoming Grandiosa to the fleet, MSC named and cut the first steel on its first World-Class ship MSC Europa. It will be the first of five liquified natural gas (LNG)-powered cruise ships on order by MSC, and the first LNG ship to be built in France.
MSC Cruises also signed a memorandum of understanding to have a “world-first” LNG-operated fuel cell on board Europa.
The technology operates at 750° C, which MSC says is more efficient for high-power marine like applications than the low-temperature Hydrogen-based fuel cells. The technology offers electrical efficiency up to 60%, which MSC says can be self-consumed on board making it more efficient.
Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ executive chairman, said: “MSC Cruises has since its inception embraced a commitment to environmental stewardship and ways to minimise and continuously reduce our environmental footprint both at sea and ashore with the use of innovative, leading-edge and effective technologies across our entire fleet.
“With each new ship we raise the bar of environmental performance and our ultimate goal is zero emissions operations. MSC Grandiosa moves us another significant step forward in that genuine ambition.
He added: “Today is even more significant as we begin the construction of our first of five LNG-propelled ship, which will further elevate our standards in environmentally-sound cruising thanks to this use of alternative fuels, as well as other cutting-edge technologies.
“Our journey when it comes to environmental protection both while at sea and when calling the port communities that we serve does not stop here. With each new ship each time we will push further the boundaries of innovation in terms of environmental technology.
“And we will specifically focus our R&D investment into accelerating the development of next-generation advanced solutions and other technologies – from more alternative fuels, shore power availability, batteries, fuel cells and beyond. All of this while we retrofit and upgrade our existing fleet – one of the most modern at sea – with the latest and best available technologies to continuously improve our environmental performance fleet-wide.”