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Tuesday 14 November 2023

Cruise industry buoyant as MSC orders two new high-tech ships

The cruise industry is in an optimistic mood with one of the leaders, MSC Cruises, today confirming the order of two liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered vessels with French ship builder Chantiers de l’Atlantique.

The two new ordered vessels - currently referred to as World Class 3 and 4 - will be delivered in 2026 and 2027, and there is an option for another ship.

MSC World Europa (above) and MSC World America- the first two ships in the World Class fleet - are already touted as "the most energy efficient ships in the industry" performing significantly better than the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) requirement.

The new ships are described as an evolution of the state-of-the-art World Class prototype "with innovative solutions to maximise the energy efficiency, with extensive use of heat recovery and other technological solutions, which will see the vessels having an even further reduced carbon footprint".

In addition, the new ships will be ready for a variety of alternative fuels including bio and synthetic methane and green methanol. The ships will also be fitted with the next generation dual fuel internal combustion engines with reduced methane slip.

“We are proud to continue our 20-year partnership with the Chantiers de l’Atlantique, with whom we have already built 18 ships with our 19th under construction," said Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises.

"The World Class is a truly innovative prototype and together we are building some of the most advanced ships in the world.

"We are committed to researching and investing in future environmental technologies as they become available, to ensure we continue progressing on our decarbonisation journey to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”

Laurent Castaing, general manager for French shipbuilders Chantiers de l’Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire added: “At a difficult time for the European shipbuilding industry, MSC Cruises has shown its confidence in our abilities and skills with this order.

"We would therefore like to express our gratitude to MSC Cruises for its renewed confidence at this crucial time. In addition, MSC Cruises, always seeking to reduce the environmental impact of its ships quickly and significantly, has accepted a significant cost premium to improve the energy efficiency of these new ships which, according to the IMO's EEDI index, will emit 50% less CO2 than the IMO's 2008 benchmark.”

The new World Class vessels will feature shore power plug-in connectivity to reduce carbon emissions in port, advanced wastewater treatment systems designed in line with the IMO, new advances in waste management, and a range of onboard energy efficient equipment to optimise engine use and hotel energy needs to further reduce emissions.

MSC Cruises is the world’s third-largest cruise brand and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It has a fleet of 22 vessels projected to grow to 23 cruise ships by 2025.

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