MSC World Europa

Former name: MSC Europa

Specifications of MSC World Europa

Year built2022 new ship
BuilderChantiers de l’Atlantique (Saint-Nazaire, STX France)
ClassMSC World
Building costEUR 1,125 billion (USD 1,255 billion)
OwnerMediterranean Shipping Company (MSC)
OperatorMSC Cruises
Speed22 kn / 41 kph / 25 mph
Length (LOA)333 m / 1093 ft
Beam (width)47 m / 154 ft
Gross Tonnage205700 gt
Passengers5264 - 6774
Crew2126
Decks20
Cabins2634
Decks with cabins12
Sister-shipsMSC World 2024, MSC World 2025, MSC World 2027
Former namesMSC Europa
Christened bytba
MSC Cruises Coronavirus update

MSC World Europa Review

Review of MSC World Europa

MSC World Europa cruise ship (initially announced as "MSC Europa") is the first in a 4-unit "MSC World Class" series of passenger liners designed and built for MSC Cruises. The first vessel (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 2027.

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) - the 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 the world's 4th largest cruise company (after Carnival Corporation, RCCL-Royal Caribbean and NCL-Norwegian) with over 5% global market share.

As of 2021, 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 NCLH by combined berth capacity) with a 29-vessel fleet that includes 15 newbuilds (2017-2027) and the unprecedented USD 13 billion budget for new shipbuilding projects.

MSC Cruises World-Class liners

On April 6, 2017, during MSC Meraviglia's delivery ceremony at STX France Shipyard (Saint-Nazaire), MSC signed a new shipbuilding MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with STX France for a new series of 2 vessels (World Class) at a total cost ~EUR 4,5 billion (~USD 4,8B). 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.

MSC World Europa cruise ship (MSC World Class liner)

The order for the two optional ships was announced in January 2020, making MSC the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard's largest customer - with a total of 21 units constructed there.

World Class MSC ships are with max passenger capacity 6774 (5264 lower berths). Building cost per ship is EUR 1,125 billion (USD 1,255B). The shipbuilder is Chantiers de l'Atlantique (fka 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), draft 9 m (30 ft).

When was first announced by MSC (in April 2016), this ship design was planned with GT 200,000 tons, 2760 passenger staterooms, and max passenger capacity 6850 (world's biggest by capacity). By GT tonnage/volume, MSC's 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).

MSC World Europa cruise ship (MSC World Class liner)

Reviewing the boat's currently available design concepts (renderings and videos) could be suggested a similar to the Oasis-Class interior structure with a Promenade (ship-long wraparound complex) with numerous dining and drink venues (on the ground floor - Aurea Restaurant, Tea Room, Gin Bar, Juice Bar, Elixir Mixology Bar, Champagne Bar, Smoker's Bar, Ice Cream Bar), Promenade Cabins (interior-facing balcony rooms) and aft-located swimming pool (family pool deck).

MSC World Class ship Sun Deck (waterslides)

The Lido Deck is dome-covered (by a retractable glass roof with solar panels) and with a large resort-style swimming pool, 6x Jacuzzis (4 cantilevered whirlpool hot tubs / porside and starboard), kids' Aquapark with 1x swimming pool and 3x waterslides (aft-located outdoor playground adjacent to the funnels/smokestacks) and aft-located adults-only Sundeck (with 2x swimming pools). Forward is the MSC Yacht Club (exclusive Sundeck with its own swimming pool, Spa pool, bar lounge).

 

The large ship has 39000 m2 (420,000 ft2) of public spaces, 15000 m2 (161,000 ft2) outdoor deck space, 6x swimming pools, 14x Jacuzzis (outdoor whirlpool hot tubs), multiple bars, lounges, retail shops, 13 dining venues, "Zen district" (adults-only complex), "Family district" (with 10 kids facilities/pools, clubs, playgrounds), family sundeck (kids-friendly sunbathing area), Aquapark (playgrounds, splash pools, water cannons, waterslides with virtual reality experiences). A teens-exclusive Sundeck has its own swimming pool and Jacuzzi. There are also several family-themed "villages" (open-air districts arranged similarly to RCI's neighborhoods) with their own venues and specific amenities.

The list of restaurants features 3x buffet-style and 6x specialty, including Kaito Teppanyaki Restaurant & Sushi Bar (Asian), HOLA! Tacos & Cantina (Latin American and Mexican food), Marketplace Buffet (20-hours-a-day-open Lido Restaurant), Eataly Restaurant (Eataly Food Chain designed food store), La Piazzetta (self-service buffet and pizzeria/Afternoon tea service, midnight buffet, seafood), Butcher's Cut (American steakhouse with an open kitchen), Jean-Philippe Maury Chocolaterie (patisserie and creperie by pastry chef Jean-Philippe Maury, also offers homemade gelato/gourmet ice creams).

New (fleet-first) venues include "Chef's Garden Kitchen" (food bar selling specialties based on microgreens/young vegetable greens with aromatic flavors and concentrated nutrient content), "La Pescaderia" (seafood grill with alfresco seating), "Masters of the Sea Pub" (brewery and craft beer bar spanning 2 decks).

MSC World Europa features a futuristic design with an arrow-shaped (90-degree/vertically positioned) G-bow and a Y-shaped stern that opens onto the Europa Promenade. Europa Promenade has length 104 m (341 ft) and is partially covered by a LED screen on which are projected HD images and videos throughout the day and night.

On the Promenade ends "The Spiral" - a stainless-steel "dry slide". Spanning 11 decks, the slide is the quickest (and most fun) way to get from Deck 22 down to Promenade Deck (deck 8).

 

Decks and cabins

MSC World Europa staterooms (2634 total, in 19 categories) include 159x Suites and ~65% of all cabins are with step-out balconies.

Of all the 19 cabin grades, 7 are new for MSC types of cabins and include:

  • Staterooms with balconies that overlook the Lower Promenade deck.
  • MSC Yacht Club Duplex Suites (2-deck accommodations) with large terraces with Jacuzzi and alfresco dining area.
  • AUREA Suites with balcony jacuzzis.
  • Infinite Oceanview cabins with French Balcony (down-sliding window opening to a false balcony/glass balustrade).

The boat has 20 decks, of which 16 are passenger-accessible and 12 with cabins.

Itineraries

In March 2019, Gianni Onorato (MSC's CEO) announced that the first World Class MSC ship (Europa) will be USA-homeported (in Miami Florida) at least for the inaugural cruise season (Caribbean 2022-2023 winter).

In November 2019, MSC and Qatar signed an agreement for chartering two liners (Europa and Poesia) to serve as hotel ships during FIFA World Cup 2022 (football championship's 22nd edition). During FIFA 2022 tournament (November 21 through December 18), both MSC cruise ships will be permanently moored at Port Doha to accommodate soccer fans.

On May 31, 2021, were opened for booking MSC World Europa cruises, with the inaugural season in the Middle East. The ship's Arabian Gulf deployment (December 2022 through March 2023) is based on a 7-day itinerary leaving roundtrip from 3 homeports - Dubai UAE (Port Rashid), Abu Dhabi (UAE) and Doha (Qatar).

  • The itinerary's call ports include Sir Bani Yas Island (UAE), and Dammam (Saudi Arabia, port to Al-Ahsa Oasis). Prices for the 7-night roundtrips started from EUR 815 (USD 995 / GBP 700) per person with double occupancy.
  • The ship's Maiden Voyage departs on December 20, 2022. The 9-night cruise is a Doha roundtrip visiting Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas, Dammam, ending in Doha on Dec 29. Prices started from EUR 1280 (USD 1565 / GBP 1100) per person. The "Inaugural Cruise" was also offered as a 4-night Doha-Dubai voyage.

The "Arabian season" ends on March 25, 2023, with the 19-day repositioning cruise to Europe (Dubai to Genoa) with call ports Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas, 1 seaday, Muscat (Oman), 4 seadays, Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), Suez Canal transit (April 6-7), 2 seadays, Naples, Civitavecchia-Rome, Genoa (April 12).

The ship's Mediterranean itinerary program is based on 7-night roundtrips from homeports in Italy (Genoa, Naples, Messina Sicily), Spain (Barcelona) and France (Marseille), all visiting Valletta (Malta).

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The vessel's construction (hull/yard number X34) 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).

MSC World Europa cruise ship (MSC World Class liner)

The vessel's keel-laying / coin ceremony was held on June 29, 2020. During the special event, the ship was presented under the name "MSC World Europa". The ceremony was attended by two "godmothers - Zoe Africa Vago (daughter of Pierfrancesco Vago / shipowner) and Aurore Bezard (shipbuilder employee / in the shipyard's HR / human-resources department). The godmothers placed two specially minted coins under the keel (hull's first block) for good fortune - shipbuilding's historic maritime tradition. At the keel-laying ceremony were also present Pierfrancesco Vago (MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman) and Laurent Castaing (Chantiers de l’Atlantique Shipyard's General Manager).

Ship technology

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 organization) 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).

Among "MSC World Class" key features are the new generation LNG-powerplant, new wastewater treatment plants, ultra-modern marine architecture with a 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 January 2020, the Finnish company Wartsila was contracted to supply the engines, fuel systems, and propulsion systems (thrusters, propellers) for both "MSC World" ships (2022 and 2024). Each boat has 5x Wartsila 46DF dual-fuel engines (14-cylinder, run on MDO marine diesel oil, each is fitted with NOx reduction units), 2x Wartsila LNGPac (gas supply system/fuel storage), 7x Wartsila thrusters (steerable), 2x Wartsila FPPs (fixed pitch propellers). The machinery was scheduled for delivery in mid-2020 (Europa) and mid-2022 (tbn 2024).

This class is also the industry's first to introduce LNG-powered SOFC (solid oxide fuel cell) to produce all the electricity and heat needed for onboard services. The technology is expected to further reduce (by ~1/3) greenhouse gas emissions in comparison to conventional LNG-powered cruise ships.

  • SOFC is an electrochemical conversion device using solid oxide electrolyte to produce electric power directly from oxidizing a fuel (in this case LNG/liquified natural gas).
  • SOFCs are best known for having relatively fuel flexibility, low cost, low greenhouse gas emissions, high heat and power efficiency, long-term stability.
  • SOFCs operate at very high temperatures (500-1000 C) thus don't require platinum catalyst material and are not vulnerable to CO catalyst poisoning. IT-SOFCs operate at "intermediate temperatures" (600-800 C). LT-SOFCs operate at "low temperatures" (350-650 C). SOFC-GT is a system that combines a SOFC and a gas turbine.
  • SOFCs are often used in stationary generators (with max power outputs 2 MW). The higher operating temperatures allow SOFCs to be used in the marine industry (engine heat recovery systems), which further increases the ships' overall fuel efficiency.

MSC's ZOE

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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