VESSEL REVIEW | MSC World Europa – LNG-fuelled newbuild to serve MSC Cruises’ Middle East itineraries

Photo: MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises recently took delivery of a new cruise ship from French shipbuilder Chantiers de l’Atlantique.

The Malta-flagged MSC World Europa is the lead ship of the World-class vessels ordered by MSC Cruises. It has a length of 333 metres and capacity for 6,762 passengers across 21 decks.

MSC World Europa is also the first LNG-fuelled ship to join the MSC Cruises fleet as well as the twentieth ship overall to be acquired by the same operator. MSC Cruises claims it is also the world’s first contemporary cruise ship to feature brand new solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology powered by LNG. Specifically, the ship will include a 150kW SOFC demonstrator that will use LNG to produce electricity and heat on board in a highly efficient way by means of an electrochemical reaction. This feature will enable the ship to serve as a testbed to accelerate the development of fuel cell technology for contemporary cruise ships in addition to offering the potential to enable hybrid propulsion in the future.

Linden Coppell, Vice President of Sustainability and ESG at MSC Cruises, said the company expects SOFC will substantially reduce emissions of greenhouse gases compared to conventional LNG engines without producing emissions of NOx, SOx, or fine particles. It also has the advantage of not only being compatible with LNG, but also with low and zero carbon fuels such as green methanol, ammonia, and hydrogen, and there is even the possibility of future transition to synthetic LNG or other alternative non-carbon-based fuels.

In partnership with the shipyard, MSC World Europa has been designed with an innovative hull shape to minimise resistance through the water. The ship also incorporates a wide range of equipment to optimise energy use on board. These include smart ventilation and advanced air conditioning systems, with automated energy recovery loops, allowing effective distribution of heat and cold across the ship. The ship also uses LED lighting all throughout, and the lights are controlled by smart management systems to further enhance the energy saving profile.

Photo: MarineTraffic.com/CORCUFF Roland

The ship will also be fitted with enhanced automatic data collection systems for remote energy monitoring and advanced analysis, allowing real-time shoreside support to further optimise operational efficiency onboard. The owner said that these efficiency advances, and the use of LNG, will enable an operational performance far higher that the IMO-required energy design criteria for new ships. Specifically, MSC World Europa is designed to perform 47 per cent better than its Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) required by regulation.

Also fitted is an advanced wastewater treatment system (AWTS) that meets strict regulatory requirements, including the so-called Baltic standard. The AWTS treats all wastewater produced on board to close to tap water standards. The ship also includes a state-of-the-art ballast water treatment system that prevents the introduction of invasive species in the marine environment through ballast water discharges, in compliance with the IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention.

The ship features a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system that MSC Cruises said reduces NOx emissions by as much as 90 per cent when LNG is not available and the ship is compelled to run on MGO. The ship is also fitted with shore power capability, which allows for the reduced reliance on engine use at ports where the required infrastructure is available.

The hull and the engine room have also been designed to minimise acoustic underwater sound impact, reducing the potential impact on marine life in surrounding waters where the ship operates.

The array of amenities includes balcony cabins, a half-open, half-covered aft promenade, bars, cafes, 13 restaurants, and a pool with a waterslide.

MSC World Europa recently arrived in Doha, Qatar, for its official naming ceremony. The ship will commence operational sailings in the Middle East in December 2022.

Photo: MarineTraffic.com/Lucian Ojog
MSC World Europa
SPECIFICATIONS
Type of vessel:Cruise ship
Flag:Malta
Owner:MSC Cruises, Switzerland
Builder:Chantiers de l’Atlantique, France
Hull construction material:Steel
Length overall:333 metres
Draught:9.2 metres
Deadweight tonnage:18,000
Gross tonnage:215,863
Other equipment installed:Selective catalytic reduction system; wastewater treatment system
Interior lighting:LED
Types of fuel:LNG; MGO
Accommodation:Balcony cabins; promenade; bars; cafes; restaurants; pool
Passengers:6,762
Operational area:Middle East

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