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ON BOARD WORLD EUROPA: New MSC vessel rises to new heights

Keeping sustainability at the forefront of all new ship builds, MSC Cruises has risen to new heights with the launch of its new flagship, the 6,762-passenger MSC World Europa.

As part of MSC’s commitment to the environment, the ship is touted to be one of the most environment friendly vessels at sea and the first in the MSC fleet to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), one of the world’s cleanest marine fuels available. It is also equipped with shore-to-ship power capabilities, allowing it to connect to local power grids (when available) and turn off engines while in port, reducing emissions.

The ship also features advanced wastewater treatment systems and an underwater radiated noise management system, as well as a range of energy efficient equipment and systems designed to optimize engine use. According to officials, Europa has the lowest carbon footprint per passenger in the industry.

Speaking at World Europa’s official naming ceremony in Doha, Qatar earlier this month – with Travel Industry Today in attendance – MSC Group Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago said the LNG-powered ship paves the way towards the uptake of carbon-neutral synthetic and other alternative fuels as soon as they are available at scale.

“This ground-breaking vessel represents the next phase in our journey toward net zero and sustainable cruising and a symbol of our unwavering commitment to both,” he said.

Vago described the ship as “elegant and sophisticated,” offering something for all cruisers, families, older couples and even solo travellers.

“Each one will find their own place,” he said.

Ian Patterson, MSC Country Manager for Canada, says the ship is a “game changer,” one that will resonate with the North American market.

Ian Patterson (c) and Canadian friends onboard the Europa

“It offers many special experiences,” Patterson told Travel Industry Today. “You can make your own gin. It has its own micro brewery. It definitely has an identity of her own. There’s something for everybody and not everyone gravitates to the same places which is important on a ship of this size. I can’t wait until sister ship MSC World America arrives in 2025.”

It will be based in Miami and offer a series of Caribbean sailings.

While he couldn’t give details, Patterson said MSC will introduce a special agent incentive program for Canadians early in the new year.

By the numbers

MSC World Europa is the line’s biggest ship, spanning 22 decks and sporting 2,626 staterooms. It is 47 metres wide and boasts more than 40,000 sq. m. of public space. There are seven swimming pools and 13 whirlpools.

Europa highlights

The World Promenade: The 104-m.-long outdoor World Promenade is described as the heart of the ship, a place offering all-day entertainment, including The Venom Drop, the longest dry slide at sea spanning nine decks. Connected to the Promenade is the World Galleria, an indoor promenade with shopping and dining experiences.

Food & Beverage: MSC World Europa offers a choice of 33 restaurants, bars, and lounges, including six specialty restaurants and seven new bar and café concepts. These include the Chef’s Garden Kitchen, a collaboration with Michelin-starred chef and TV personality Niklas Ekstedt. Focusing on natural ingredients, the restaurant features the first-at-sea hydroponic garden; La Pescaderia, the signature Mediterranean seafood restaurant where guests may get to choose their own fresh fish; Masters of the Sea, MSC’s first onboard microbrewery, in partnership with Teo Musso, the founder and brew master of Italian craft and farm brewery Birra Baladin; The Gin Project, a must-stop shop for gin aficionados with more than 70 craft gins; the Raj Polo Tea House, taking a step back in time to turn-of-the-century India, where “Indian and English tea traditions converge in a relaxing, tropical setting.”

Entertainment options: Guests have no reason to get bored while at sea with entertainment options including three concert-style shows in the multi-purpose Luna Park Arena; five new full-scale theatre productions in the 1,153-seat World Theatre; four themed experiences in the Panorama Lounge; and pop-up live exhibits throughout the ship; and Sportplex, multi-use venue home to Bumper Cars, roller skating and basketball. The ship also boasts MSC’s largest children’s area.

Yacht Club: MSC World Europa features an expanded MSC Yacht Club, the cruise line’s “ship within a ship concept,” offering suites – there are 152 on Europa – with butler service, exclusive public spaces, and luxurious levels of comfort.

MSC Europa’s Chandelier, The Venom Drop Slide and The World Promenade

One of the 17 Canadians onboard Europa in Doha for the christening was Rosa DeRienzo, franchise owner, Expedia Cruises, in Laval, Que.

“A naming ceremony is aways an amazing event, MSC Cruises and Qatar did not disappoint. It was truly a memorable experience. One of the best,” she said. “The World Europa is truly an amazing ship. MSC sure stepped up the ladder on this build, the next level of Italian design. This ship will be very successful wherever it will sail, from the waters of the Middle East to the Mediterranean. I cannot wait to sail on her again.”

Mylene Matteau of Access Croisieres et Voyages in Beauharnois, Que. said, “MSC World Europa is undoubtedly the most majestic ship that MSC has created. We dive from one atmosphere to another with such precise design details. The ship is simply magnificent.

“The efforts that MSC is also putting in place to achieve their goal of zero emissions by 2050 is equally admirable. It’s interesting to see the actions already taken onboard to recover the different materials,” she added.

After serving as a “floating hotel” during World Cup 2022, MSC World Europa will spend its inaugural season offering seven-day cruises from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Doha. She will then head to the Mediterranean for summer 2023, offering seven-night cruises calling at the Italian ports of Genoa, Naples, and Messina, as well as Valletta in Malta, Barcelona in Spain, and Marseille in France.

First published at Travel Industry Today

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