MSC Cruises to Operate Net Zero Sailing With Debut of Euribia

MSC Cruises will operate the industry’s first cruise with net zero greenhouse gas emissions next week with the debut of the liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered MSC Euribia. The voyage will be the ship’s first upon leaving its shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France—where it is currently being built—as it sails to its naming ceremony in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The new ship—the 22nd in MSC Cruises’ fleet—will sail for four days from Saint-Nazaire to Copenhagen, achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions to demonstrate that net zero cruising is possible today. MSC Euribia will depart from France on June 3 and is scheduled to arrive in Denmark on June 7.

MSC Cruises purchased 400 tons of bio-LNG toward the pioneering net zero gas emissions voyage to show its commitment to the deployment of drop-in renewable fuels and energy transition measures. The line is the industry’s first deep sea ocean cruise operator to buy bio-LNG as a fuel source that has significant lifecycle emissions reductions.

Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of the Cruise Division of MSC Group, said he hopes this purchase and sailing "will send a clear and meaningful signal to the market that there is demand from cruise lines and the broader maritime industry for cleaner fuels, but we need governments, producers and end-users to collaborate and scale-up the availability of these much-needed and new sources of power.”

The net zero sailing will utilize bio-LNG by virtue of a mass-balance system, the most environmentally efficient method of delivering the benefits of renewable biogas. The entire supply chain will be fully compliant with the European Union’s Renewable Energy Directive, commonly known as RED II, and each individual batch of the total bio-LNG produced has been certified by the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification. MSC Cruises is being supported by Nordic energy company Gasum for the net zero greenhouse gas emissions voyage, a leading producer of biogas and processor of biodegradable waste fractions in the Nordic region.

The speed and itinerary of MSC Euribia’s inaugral voyage has been designed specifically to optimize the configuration and loads of the engines to minimize fuel consumption. Dedicated energy efficiency specialists from both MSC Cruises and the ship’s constructor, Chantiers de L’Atlantique, will be on board the net zero sailing to monitor and optimize every aspect of this journey. They will work with the Master of the Vessel, Captain Stefano Battinelli, and MSC Euribia’s Chief Engineer, Pasquale Mastellone

MSC Cruises’ shore-based energy efficiency experts based in London will continuously monitor and optimize all systems on board to minimize energy demand, identifying additional opportunities to improve energy efficiency in real-time while maintaining high comfort for all guests on board. This will include a range of measures from the configuration of the engines down to the speed of individual air-conditioning fans in guest cabins, together with the itinerary and speed optimization.  

All of the combined initiatives will save energy to reduce fuel consumption.

MSC Cruises’ new-builds are fuel-flexible ships that can accommodate a variety of renewable fuels available today and expected in the future. The use of fossil LNG already achieves up to a 20 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions when compared to conventional marine fuels, and virtually eliminates all sulfur oxide and particulate emissions while also reducing nitrogen oxides by 85 percent.

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