MSC Cruises is set to embark on the industry’s first net zero greenhouse gas emissions cruise next week. The voyage will be undertaken by MSC Cruises’ latest flagship vessel, the MSC Euribia, which is powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). This will demonstrate the feasibility of achieving net zero cruising in the present day.
The MSC Euribia will commence its maiden voyage as it sails to its naming ceremony in Copenhagen, Denmark. The ship, the 22nd in MSC Cruises’ fleet, will travel for four days from Saint-Nazaire to Copenhagen, ensuring net zero greenhouse gas emissions throughout the journey. Departing on June 3, the vessel is expected to arrive in Denmark on June 7, 2023.
To emphasize its commitment to utilizing renewable fuels and transitioning to sustainable energy sources, MSC Cruises has procured 400 tons of bio-LNG for this net zero emissions voyage. By purchasing bio-LNG as a fuel source, MSC Cruises has become the first deep-sea ocean cruise operator to embrace this sustainable alternative, which results in significant reductions in lifecycle emissions.
During the net zero sailing, the ship will employ a mass-balance system to utilize bio-LNG, the most environmentally efficient means of harnessing the benefits of renewable biogas.
“We cannot do this alone, however,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of the Cruise Division of MSC Group. “Given the absolute importance of alternative fuels for our industry as well as for other sectors across civil society to achieve decarbonization, we all need to work together to increase their availability at scale.”
Efforts to minimize fuel consumption have been incorporated into the speed and itinerary of the voyage. Energy efficiency specialists from MSC Cruises and the ship’s constructor, Chantiers de L’Atlantique, will be on board during the journey to monitor and optimize various aspects in order to achieve maximum fuel efficiency. Captain Stefano Battinelli and Chief Engineer Pasquale Mastellone will work to ensure a successful voyage.
In addition, MSC Cruises’ shore-based energy efficiency experts, based in London, will continuously monitor and optimize all systems onboard. This real-time analysis will identify opportunities to enhance energy efficiency and reduce energy demand while maintaining a high level of comfort for guests. Measures such as engine configuration, air-conditioning fan speed control, itinerary optimization, and other initiatives will collectively contribute to energy savings and reduced fuel consumption.
The newbuilds of MSC Cruises’ fleet are designed to accommodate various renewable fuels, both currently available and anticipated in the future. The use of fossil LNG alone already achieves a notable 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional marine fuels. This fuel choice also virtually eliminates sulfur oxide and particulate emissions and reduces nitrogen oxides by 85%.