MSC Cruises has confirmed an order for two World-class liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered vessels with French shipyard Chantiers de l’Atlantique, expanding its largest class of ship to four.
The order included an option for a fifth ship, with the two confirmed vessels, currently referred to as World Class 3 and 4, due for delivery in 2026 and 2027.
The two vessels will join sister ships MSC World Europa and MSC World Americaas an evolution of the state-of-the-art World Class prototype, with innovative solutions to maximise the energy efficiency, such asextensive use of heat recovery and other technological solutions.
This will ensure the vessels have an even further reduced carbon footprint than World Europa and World America, which are already among 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 will also be ready for a variety of alternative fuels including bio and synthetic methane and green methanol and will be fitted with next generation dual fuel internal combustion engines with reduced methane slip.
LNG’s Role in the Cruise Industry
LNG is the world’s cleanest marine fuels available at scale today and is set to play a key role in the transition to the decarbonisation of international shipping. It substantially reduces local air pollutant emissions like sulphur oxides by up to 99 per cent and nitrogen oxides by up to 85 per cent. LNG also plays a key role in climate change mitigation as it offers up to a 20 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and is paving the way for the uptake of sustainable non-fossil fuels such as bio- and synthetic LNG.
LNG is key to the development of low carbon solutions for shipping as emerging technologies such as fuel cells can be operated with LNG until zero emissions bio-LNG, e-methane or green methanol become available at scale.
“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 19 under construction,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises.
“The World Class is a truly innovative prototype and together we are building some of the most advanced ships in the world,” he added. “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.”
The new World Class vessels will feature shore power plug-in connectivity to reduce carbon emissions in port, the most advanced wastewater treatment systems designed in line with the IMO, new advances in waste management, and a comprehensive range of onboard energy efficient equipment to optimise engine use and hotel energy needs to further reduce emissions.
MSC Cruises’ first LNG ship, MSC World Europa was launched in November 2022 for the European market,and MSC World America will be delivered in spring 2025, designed for the North American cruise market.