MSC Cruises makes history with industry’s first-ever net zero GHG emissions cruise

MSC Cruises has announced that its new cruise ship MSC Euribia will next week sail the industry’s first net zero greenhouse gas emissions cruise thanks to a mix of bio-LNG and careful itinerary planning.

The groundbreaking voyage will be made possible through the use of bio-LNG using a mass-balance system, the most eco-friendly way of delivering the benefits of renewable biogas, while the vessel’s supply chain will be compliant with the European Union’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED II).

All bio-LNG produced has been certified by the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC). Bio-LNG is a highly sustainable version of liquefied natural gas (LNG), with almost the exact same chemical makeup, but is derived from human and animal waste rather than fossil fuels.

MSC Euribia

It’s important to note, however, that this voyage will only be a proof of concept to show that existing technology available to the industry works. The ship will be sailing a delivery voyage from Chantiers in Saint-Nazaire, France to Copenhagen, Denmark, for her naming ceremony.

There will be no passengers onboard, and the itinerary for the four-day voyage has been designed specifically to minimize fuel consumption. Energy efficiency specialists from both MSC Cruises and Chantiers de L’Atlantique will be onboard the ship to ensure she produces no greenhouse gas emissions.

Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of the Cruise Division of MSC Group, said the net-zero emissions voyage was a demonstration of the cruise line’s commitment to its decarbonisation pledge.

“We cannot do this alone,” he said. “Given the absolute importance of alternative fuels for our industry as well as for other sectors across civil society to achieve decarbonisation, we all need to work together to increase their availability at scale.”

“Our purchase of bio-LNG 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,” Vago added.

Michele Francioni, Senior Vice President of MSC Cruises, said the delivery voyage would prove that the capability exists to operate on a net zero greenhouse gas emissions basis with existing ship technology.

“This is just the beginning. We are committed to this transition and putting in place everything we can do to facilitate it,” she added. It cannot be done without alternative fuels such as bio-LNG, e-LNG, green hydrogen or green methanol being made widely available at scale to fully realise the vision of net zero cruising.”

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