MSC GROUP has presented findings from its groundbreaking 4-day test cruise aboard MSC Cruises’ flagship, MSC Euribia, with the goal of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions during the voyage. This breakthrough cruise has now cemented MSC Euribia as the most energy-efficient cruise ship on the ocean today.

MSC GROUP’s milestone achievement in achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions during its groundbreaking 4-day test cruise aboard the 183,500-ton MSC Euribia (built in France in 2023) marks a monumental shift for the cruise industry toward sustainable sailing.

MSC Euribia, the latest liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered vessel in MSC Group’s Cruise Division, now proudly stands as the most energy-efficient cruise ship currently in operation.

This historic voyage, which took place from June 3-8 2023, sailed from France’s Saint Nazaire to Copenhagen in Denmark and landed the title of the world’s first net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions cruise ship journey.

MSC Group is keen to demonstrate that net-zero emissions cruising is not just a future aspiration but a reality today, decades ahead of the industry’s stated goal of 2050. MSC Euribia employed bio-LNG to help it reach this goal.

MSC Cruises Smokestack (Photo Credit: Riccardo Arata / Shutterstock)

“Our engineers on board and our crew led by Captain Battinelli did a fantastic job optimizing the ship’s operation,” Michele Francioni, an MSC Group Senior Vice President, remarked. “MSC Euribia truly has the most energy-efficient cruise ship design to date, but we need greater availability of renewable fuels for the wider maritime industry to consistently repeat this feat.”

The company believes that with governmental and global support for tech innovation and sustainable fuels, the complete cruise sector can achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The data gathered during MSC Euribia’s trip will be used to improve MSC Cruises’ current vessels‘ fuel efficiencies, further reducing emissions fleet-wide.

The data gathered after MSC Euribia’s impressive 4-day cruise has a lot of industry watchers excited about a greener future and the viability of using sustainable fuel sources like (LNG) to give cruise ships the power they need to operate, without exacerbating pollution or other dangerous emissions.

During her 4-day journey in June 2023, MSC Euribia used engine waste heat for heating and hot water, eliminating onboard boilers. 

Efficient speed, routing, trim, and engine management, along with optimized energy use (HVAC, galleys, lighting), allowed the Meraviglia-class ship to use only two of its four engines during the entire voyage.

MSC Euribia Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Studio Porto Sabbia)

The ship outperformed its virtual counterpart by 11%, saving 43 tons of fuel. This net-zero performance was achieved by adopting cost-effective bio-LNG through a mass-balance system, which is an eco-friendly method for renewable LNG.

Read Also: MSC Cruises Launches New Sustainability Global Campaign

For the remainder of 2023, MSC Euribia will homeport in Kiel, Germany. Some of the locales this ultra-modern ship will visit during the rest of the year include Copenhagen in Denmark; Alesund and Maloy in Norway; Marseille in France; La Spezia and Naples in Italy; Palma De Mallorca and Barcelona in Spain; plus other Mediterranean ports of call.

In the world of bio-LNG production — like the fuels being utilized by MSC Euribia — the term “mass-balance system” refers to a method used to track and certify the sustainability of the feedstock used in fuel production.

This method helps keep tabs on the carbon footprint of bio-LNG while making sure the feedstock comes from eco-friendly sources. Bio-LNG feedstock refers to the organic materials or biomass sources in the production of bio-liquefied natural gas. Feedstock can include agricultural and forestry residues, organic waste materials, and other biomaterials.

MSC Euribia LNG (Photo Courtesy: MSC Cruises)

In simple terms, the mass-balance system — acknowledged by the EU — keeps a record of how much renewable feedstock is used in production and certifies that the resulting bio-LNG is indeed both renewable and environmentally friendly.

These types of systems are in line with the cruise industry’s aims of achieving carbon neutrality by the year 2050, and represent one more way to track the accountability of the cruise industry toward truly sustainable cruising.

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