Giant New MSC Cruise Ship Reaches Construction Milestone

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MSC Cruises made an exciting announcement today, November 11, as the halfway point in the construction of its latest cruise ship, MSC World America, was reached.

The installation of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) fuel tanks into the vessel signifies a major milestone in the vessel’s construction at the shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. 

MSC World America is scheduled to sail on her maiden voyage from PortMiami on April 12, 2025, offering guests seven-day cruises to the Caribbean and the Bahamas.

A Sustainable Step Forward

The imposing structure of MSC World America is steadily taking shape at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard, in Saint Nazaire, France. The cruise ship, poised to be the 23rd in MSC Cruises’ fleet, recently had its LNG fuel tanks fitted—a major milestone in the construction of the cruise line’s second World-Class cruise ship.

The installation of LNG tanks on a cruise ship like MSC World America is a pivotal phase in construction, requiring meticulous engineering and safety protocols. These specialized tanks, designed to store liquified natural gas at extremely low temperatures, are positioned within the ship’s hull to balance weight and optimize space.

MSC World America LNG Fuel Tanks
MSC World America LNG Fuel Tanks

The process involves securing the tanks with heavy-duty insulation to maintain the low temperatures necessary for LNG, -162°C equivalent to -259.6°F. Subsequently, an intricate network of pipes and fuel systems is connected to the tanks, ensuring a smooth flow of fuel to the ship’s engines.

As the third LNG-powered vessel under MSC, the ship aligns with a broader ambition at MSC Cruises to become a trendsetter in the cruise industry when it comes to sustainable cruising.

Linden Coppell, VP of Sustainability and ESG at MSC Cruises: “LNG is an important step forward in our ambition to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and we’re looking forward to base for the first time in the United States a ship powered by the fuel.

MSC World America LNG Fuel Tanks
MSC World America LNG Fuel Tanks

MSC World America will be a testament to innovation and guest comfort. At 215,863 gross tons and spanning 1,092 feet in length, the ship boasts a capacity for 6,762 guests and 2,138 international crew members. Guests can look forward to over 430,556 square feet of public space, encompassing 13 restaurants and 20 bars and lounges.

Construction on MSC World America started when the first steel for the ship was cut on October 24, 2022. On May 31, 2023, MSC Cruises celebrated another significant milestone when the maritime tradition of the coin-laying ceremony took place. 

MSC World America Inaugural Season

With the maiden voyage set for April 12, from PortMiami, Florida, MSC World America looks to be on track for her maiden season of cruises out of the world’s cruising capital.

During her inaugural season, she will be based out of MSC’s new cruise terminal at PortMiami, which will be the largest cruise terminal in North America once completed. 

MSC World America
Image: Courtesy MSC Cruises

The vessel will offer seven-night itineraries across the Caribbean and the Bahamas. Each voyage will feature a call at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, the line’s private island sanctuary in The Bahamas. 

The maiden voyage will include calls at Amber Cove, San Juan, and Ocean Cay, before returning to Miami. Besides cruises to the eastern Caribbean, MSC World America will also sail on cruises to the Western Caribbean, with calls to ports such as Cozumel, Roatan, and Costa Maya.

MSC’s Focus on LNG-Powered Cruise Ships

MSC World America will be the third cruise ship in the fleet to be powered by LNG, or liquified Natural Gas. The usage of LNG is a step towards a greener future where cruise ships use cleaner burning fuels than what is currently the norm. 

MSC World America‘s sister ship, MSC World Europa, which set sail in December 2022, and MSC Euribia, which set sail earlier this year, are integral to MSC’s strategy of leveraging LNG. MSC aims to use LNG as a transition fuel to even cleaner variations such as Bio-LNG and synthetic LNG.

“LNG is a fuel in transition and poised to make way for bio-LNG and synthetic LNG as they become available at scale as part of our decarbonization journey,” according to Coppel.

The benefits of using LNG include lower sulfur oxide emissions, reduced nitrogen oxides, and minimal particulate matter, aligning with the cruise industry’s rigorous environmental goals.

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