MSC Europa Review and Specifications
Specifications of MSC Europa
|Year built||2022 new ship|
|Builder||Chantiers de l’Atlantique (Saint-Nazaire, STX France)|
|Building cost||EUR 1,125 billion (USD 1,255 billion)|
|Owner||Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC)|
|Speed||22 kn / 41 kph / 25 mph|
|Length (LOA)||330 m / 1083 ft|
|Beam (width)||47 m / 154 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||205700 gt|
|Passengers||5264 - 6761|
|Decks with cabins||12|
Review of MSC Europa
MSC Europa cruise ship is the first in a 4-unit "MSC World Class" series of passenger liners designed and built for MSC Cruises. The first liner (MSC Europa) is scheduled for launch and inauguration in 2022, to be followed by a sistership (still unnamed) launched in 2024. The two optional vessels (if ordered by 2022) will be launched in the years 2025 and 2026.
History - construction and ownership
MSC Cruises (MSC Crociere) is a passenger shipping company headquartered in Genoa and Naples. It was established in 1960. Today, MSC Crociere is a subsidiary of MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company) - world's 2nd largest containership company. MSC Crociere is the world's largest privately-owned cruise company. By annual passenger shipping volumes, MSC is ranked world's 4th largest cruise company (after Carnival Corporation, RCCL-Royal Caribbean and NCL-Norwegian) with over 5% global market share.
As of 2019, MSC is ranked Europe's largest passenger shipping company. By the year 2026, MSC could become the world's 3rd largest cruise company (eventually surpassing NCL by combined berth capacity) with a 29-vessel fleet that includes 15 newbuilds (2017-2026) and the unprecedented USD 13 billion budget for new shipbuilding projects.
MSC Cruises World-Class liners
On April 6, 2017, during MSC Meraviglia ship's delivery ceremony at STX France Shipyard (Saint-Nazaire), MSC signed a new ship construction MoU (memorandum of understanding) with STX France for a new series of 2 vessels (World Class) at a total cost EUR 4.5 billion. The ceremony was attended by Emmanuel Macron (France's President), Bruno Le Maire (France's Minister of Economy), Pierfrancesco Vago (MSC's Chairman) and Laurent Castaing (STX France's CEO). The first World-Class ship order was officially signed on May 31, 2017.
World Class MSC ships are with max passenger capacity 6761 (5264 lower berths). Building cost per ship is EUR 1,125 billion. The shipbuilder is STX France. The shipbuilding order includes 2 initial units, plus 2 optional. Each vessel has Gross Tonnage 205,700 (GT tons), LOA length 333 m (1094 ft), beam/width 47 m (154 ft), height 68 m (223 ft). The number of staterooms is 2632.
Initially, this ship design was planned with GT 200,000 tons and max capacity 6850 passengers - the largest in the world's cruise fleet. By GT tonnage (volume), MSC Cruises World Class vessels are currently the world's second largest passenger ships. They are surpassed only by the Royal Caribbean's Oasis-Class which has GT 228,000 tons and max passengers 6370 (plus 2400 crew/staff).
Reviewing the ship's currently available design concepts (renderings and videos) could be suggested a similar to the Oasis-Class interior design structure with a Promenade (ship-long complex) with numerous dining and drink venues (on the ground floor), Promenade Cabins (interior-facing balcony rooms) and aft-located swimming pool (family pool deck).
The Lido Deck will be dome-covered (by a retractable glass roof with solar panels) and with a large resort-style swimming pool, six jacuzzis (4 cantilevered whirlpools / porside and starboard), buffet restaurant, kids' Aquapark with 1 swimming pool and 3 water slides (aft-located outdoor playground adjacent to the funnels) and aft-located adults-only sundeck with 2 swimming pools. Forward is the MSC Yacht Club-exclusive Sun Deck with its own swimming pool, whirlpool, bar lounge. The teens-exclusive sundeck has its own swimming pool and hot tub. The ship will have several family-themed "villages" (open-air zones arranged similarly to RCI's neighbourhoods) with their own venues and specific amenities.
Among MSC World Class' key features are new generation LNG-powered marine engines, new wastewater treatment plants, ultra-modern marine architecture with an Y-shaped superstructure (better panoramic views, significantly increased number of balcony staterooms), G-bow hull (vertically positioned / at 90-degree angle, improving the vessel's stability and hydrodynamics / fuel efficiency).
In March 2019, Gianni Onorato (MSC's CEO) announced that the first World Class MSC ship will be US-homeported (in Miami Florida) at least for the inaugural cruise season (Caribbean 2022-2023 winter).
MSC Europa - user reviews and comments
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MSC Europa Wiki
The vessel's construction officially started with the steel-cutting ceremony held on October 31, 2019, at Chantiers de l'Atlantique Shipyard in St Nazaire France. During the ceremony was also officially announced the newbuild's name - (MSC Europa) by Pierfrancesco Vago (MSC Cruises' Executive Chairman).
In conjunction with the steel-cutting of MSC Europa, the cruise company and the shipbuilder also unveiled the revolutionary R&D (research and development) project PACBOAT that focuses on integrating the new fuel cell technology (SOFC) on LNG-powered cruise ships. PACBOAT will be able to generate power (electricity) using as fuel LNG. PACBOAT project's partners are France's CEA (Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission / government-funded research organisation) and ADEME (Environment and Energy Management Agency / under the joint authority of country's Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Higher Education and Research), also ENTREPOSE Group (product design and manufacturing), BUREAU VERITAS SA (marine safety certification agency), CHANTIERS DE L'ATLANTIQUE (as shipbuilder, integrator, project coordinator / subsidiary of STX Europe AS) and MSC CRUISES (as shipowner, subsidiary of MSC-Mediterranean Shipping Company SA).
SOFC (Solid Oxide Fuel Cell) operates at very high temperatures (~750 Celsius / 1382 Fahrenheit). The new technology is ~60% more efficient than the Hydrogen-based PEMFC (Proton-Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell). PEMFC (aka polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells) is a low-temperature technology developed mainly for transport, stationary and portable applications. The LNG-fueled SOFC technology reduces greenhouse gas emissions by ~30% in comparison to the standard dual-fuel marine engines (LNG-diesel).
On February 1, 2019, MSC officially revealed the in-cabin digital assistant ZOE. The technology ("cruise industry first") was developed by Harman International (US-based company, fully-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics) which has developed digital audio solutions for major corporations like Google, Microsoft, Amazon.
- ZOE is an artificial intelligence device (voice-enabled, with advanced voice recognition software) available in all passenger staterooms.
- ZOE speaks 7 languages, answer cruise-related questions, provides info on shipboard services-activities-facilities, makes reservations and bookings.
- The digital device features far-field microphones, top-quality speaker, quad-core processor (for fast response times), direct phone connection (through Bluetooth). The system can also upgrade its own database to answer previously unanswerable questions.
- Passenger data (including itinerary/tour and shipboard preferences) is stored in the Cloud Storage system and used on the next scheduled voyage.
- The device (sized ~15 cm) can be activated whenever passengers choose. A waiver must be signed to agree for their personal data to be stored.
Starting with MSC Bellissima (2019), ZOE is planned for a fleetwide introduction (over the period 2019-2024) and available on all MSC newbuilds.
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