MSC Cruise Ship Marks LNG Milestone in Marseille

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MSC World Europa, the MSC Cruises flagship, has reached an important environmental milestone by bunkering Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) for the first time in the port of Marseille. 

The achievement highlights the growing capabilities of ports in the Mediterranean to supply ships with environmentally friendlier fuel, as both Marseille and Barcelona are now offering bunkering possibilities for LNG. MSC World Europa arrived in the Mediterranean in April and is sailing 7-day cruises around the western Mediterranean.

MSC World Europa First Bunkering Operation

MSC Cruises and TotalEnergies Marine Fuels successfully completed the first LNG bunkering operation at the Port of Marseille-Fos for MSC World Europa. TotalEnergies refueled the vessel via a ship-to-ship transfer of LNG on April 22, while guest operations continued as usual.

This operation marks the beginning of a previously announced LNG bunker supply contract between TotalEnergies and MSC Cruises. The cruise line has been working hard to clean up the image of cruise ships as polluting and is driving forward its decarbonization plans which should be complete by 2050.

Philippe Charleux, Senior Vice President of Lubricants and Specialties at TotalEnergies, said: “This operation also expands our LNG bunkering capabilities to the cruise ship segment, demonstrating our ability to serve a broader range of shipping clients as the industry strives to reduce emissions.”

MSC World Europa
Photo Courtesy: MSC Cruises

Marine LNG helps cut sulfur emissions and fine particle emissions by 99%, nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 85%, and greenhouse gas emissions by around 20%. 

Patrick Pourbaix, Managing Director of MSC Cruises in France, highlighted the importance of the milestone, stating: “LNG is not only the cleanest marine fuel currently available at scale, but also a transitional fuel as we look ahead to source and use synthetic LNG or other alternative non-carbon fuels as soon as they become available at scale.”

MSC World Europa is also the world’s first ship to implement an LNG-powered fuel cell. The 50-kilowatt fuel cell demonstrator aboard the ship incorporates solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology, using LNG to produce electricity and heat, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% compared to ships powered by conventional LNG engines.

MSC World Europa Cruises

Delivered in October 2022 by Chantiers de l’Atlantique at the Saint Nazaire shipyard in France, MSC World Europa is a 215,863 gross tons cruise ship with space for 6,762 passengers at maximum capacity. The vessel is considered one of the world’s most sustainable large cruise ships regarding CO2 emissions per passenger.

After completing its repositioning cruise from the Middle East, MSC World Europa arrived in Europe for its summer season in the Mediterranean Sea on April 12, 2023. The ship is now sailing 7-night cruises to Genoa, Naples, and Messina, Italy; Valletta, Malta; Barcelona, Spain; and Marseille, France, allowing guests to board and disembark at any port of call.

Onboard entertainment options include a 350-foot-long outdoor World Promenade, an 11-deck-drop dry slide called The Venom Drop @ The Spiral, state-of-the-art entertainment facilities, the largest kids’ area in the MSC Cruises fleet, 20 bars and lounges, 13 dining venues, an onboard microbrewery, and the exclusive MSC Yacht Club.

MSC Cruises will be launching another LNG-powered cruise ship this summer. MSC Euribia, a Meraviglia-plus class cruise ship, recently completed sea trials.

She will sail on her maiden voyage from Copenhagen, Denmark, on June 8, 2023. The sister ship of MSC World Europa, the MSC World America, opened for booking in March this year, she will be the cruise line’s third LNG-powered cruise ship.

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