Chantiers de l’Atlantique held a keel-laying ceremony for MSC World Europa, MSC Cruises' first LNG-powered ship.

And first French-built LNG cruise ship 

It also will be the first LNG-powered cruise ship built in France.

The 200,000gt-plus MSC World Europa — previously called MSC Europa — is scheduled to enter service in 2022.

Zoe Africa Vago, daughter of Alexa Aponte-Vago and Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ executive chairman, and Aurore Bezard of the HR department at Chantiers de I’Atlantique placed two coins under the keel for good luck.

‘MSC World Europa is further proof of our commitment to environmental stewardship as she is set to reduce carbon emissions even further than many other existing cruise ships powered by LNG, which is currently the most environmentally-friendly fuel for commercial maritime operations,’ Vago said. ‘With this vessel, we also reconfirm our belief in investing in advanced environmental technology to meet our long-term goal of zero emissions from operations.’

For Laurent Castaing, general manager, Chantiers de l’Atlantique, ‘We are proud to start building a ship which will set the standards for the cruise of the future. This is a major milestone in the history of our 20-year cooperation with MSC Cruises, which has already resulted in some of the most innovative cruise ships ever built.’

Firat LNG-powered fuel cell on a cruise ship

MSC World Europa will feature a 50-kilowatt demonstrator system that incorporates solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology and uses LNG to produce electricity and heat on board, the first time an LNG-powered fuel cell has been used on a cruise ship.

Cuts GHG emissions 30% compared to conventional LNG engine

This SOFC solution fueled by LNG is expected to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by about 30% compared to a conventional LNG engine, with no emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides or fine particles. It also offers the advantage of compatibility with LNG and several low carbon fuels such as types of methanol, ammonia and hydrogen.

Plus, MSC World Europa will feature a next-generation wastewater treatment system that exceeds some of the world’s most stringent regulatory standards, as well other cutting-edge environmental technology.

In addition to MSC World Europa, Chantiers de l’Atlantique is building MSC Virtuosa for delivery next year. The Saint-Nazaire yard also has firm orders for two additional LNG-powered ships, one each for the MSC World and Meraviglia classes.