MSC Cruises Celebrates Two Major Milestones

MSC Cruises today took delivery of MSC Grandiosa from Chantiers de l’Atlantique, one of the world leaders in cruise ship construction.  The delivery ceremony of MSC Cruises’ newest flagship and one of the most environmentally-advanced ships at sea took place in the presence of Gianluigi Aponte, MSC Group Chairman.

Earlier in the morning a second important milestone event took place with the traditional cutting of the first steel and naming of the first World Class ship, MSC Europa, by MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, Pierfrancesco VagoMSC Europa is the first of five liquified natural gas (LNG)-powered cruise ships on order and the first LNG ship to be built in France.  The two events marked another important step forward in MSC Cruises’ long-term commitment to environmental stewardship, both at sea as well as ashore.

Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, says, “Since its inception, MSC Cruises has embraced a commitment to environmental stewardship and ways to minimise and continuously reduce our environmental footprint, both at sea and ashore, with the use of innovative, leading-edge and effective technologies across our entire fleet. With each new ship we raise the bar of environmental performance and our ultimate goal is zero emissions operations. MSC Grandiosa moves us another significant step forward in that genuine ambition.

Mr Vago continus, “Today is even more significant as we begin the construction of the first of five LNG-propelled ships, which will further elevate our standards in environmentally-sound cruising, thanks to this use of alternative fuels, as well as other cutting-edge technologies.”

Mr Vago concludes, “Our commitment to environmental protection, both while at sea and when calling at the port communities that we serve, does not stop here. With each new ship we will push further the boundaries of innovation in terms of environmental technology. We will specifically focus our R&D investment into accelerating the development of next-generation advanced solutions and other technologies – from more alternative fuels, shore power availability, batteries, fuel cells and beyond. All of this while we retrofit and upgrade our existing fleet – one of the most modern at sea – with the latest technologies to continuously improve our environmental performance fleet-wide.

Laurent Castaing, General Manager, Chantiers de l’Atlantique, adds, “The delivery of MSC Grandiosa and the official start of construction of the first world-class ship are two major milestones in the history of our partnership with MSC Cruises.  At Chantiers de l’Atlantique, we are happy and proud to provide our privileged customer with state-of-the-art solutions that significantly lessen the environmental impact of the ships.  MSC Cruises can thus benefit from the result of our R&D programmes on energy saving schemes and environmentally-friendly technologies that we have been leading for the last ten years.”

MSC Grandiosa is MSC Cruises’ most environmentally-advanced ship at sea yet and is testament to the Company’s long-standing commitment to protect the seas and respect the communities that it touches. The ship is equipped with advanced cutting-edge technologies geared to ensure ever cleaner air emissions and improved overall environmental performance, both while at sea and ashore.

In addition to a hybrid ‘closed-loop’ exhaust gas cleaning system (EGCS) that reduces ship sulphur emissions by 97 per cent, MSC Grandiosa will also be the first MSC Cruises’ ship to feature a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system that helps reduce nitrogen oxide by 80 percent. All other MSC Cruises’ ships currently under construction will feature the SCR technology, including MSC Grandiosa’s sister ship, MSC Virtuosa, due to come into service in October 2020, as well as MSC Seashore, currently under construction at a different shipyard. This active emissions control technology conducts nitrogen oxide from the engine operations through a catalyst – a high-density device made from noble metals – and converts them into harmless nitrogen and water.

When speaking of alternative fuels, MSC Cruises is investing €5 billion in the construction of five LNG-powered ships. Compared to standard marine diesel, LNG reduces sulphur oxide emissions by more than 99 percent and nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 85 percent. It also largely eliminates particulate matter in the ship’s exhaust and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by as much as an additional 20 per cent. The 205,700 GT LNG-powered world-class ship MSC Europa will come into service in May 2022 and is the first of four futuristic world-class ships to be constructed at the French yard, with further deliveries scheduled for 2024, 2025 and 2027. In addition, one Meraviglia-Plus ship will also be propelled by LNG when the ship comes into service in 2023.

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