Latest MSC Cruises ship floated out at the shipyard

Latest MSC Cruises ship floated out at shipyard

The latest in a series of new MSC Cruises ships have been floated out at its shipyard in France.

MSC Virtuosa is the second Meraviglia-Plus vessel following MSC Grandiosa and will now move docks at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint Nazaire for further construction and fitting until delivery in October 2020.

The float out follows the delivery in October of MSC Grandiosa as well as the steel cutting ceremony on the same day of MSC Europa.

MSC Virtuosa will be the second ship in the company’s fleet to have a selective catalytic reduction system and next-generation advanced wastewater treatment system to minimise the environmental footprint and ensure cleaner air emissions.

The catalytic reduction technology aims to help reduce nitrogen oxide by 80% by converting it into harmless nitrogen and water.

MSC Virtuosa will also be fitted with shore-to-ship power which connects it to a port’s local power grid to further reduce air emissions.

The line will soon reveal exact details of the features onboard MSC Virtuosa.

But like MSC Grandiosa, the ship will have a promenade lined with restaurants and shops underneath a 93 metre-long LED Sky Screen, two new shows from Cirque du Soleil at Sea and the Zoe personal cruise assistant in every cabin.

The ship’s maiden voyage will be a seven-night six-port western Mediterranean cruise in November 2020 from Genoa, Italy.

After a winter season in the Mediterranean, MSC Virtuosa will be deployed in summer 2021 to Northern Europe with itineraries to the Norwegian fjords and Baltic capital cities.

The third of three Meraviglia-Plus ships, yet to be named, will enter service in 2023 and be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).

MSC Cruises is spending €5 billion to build five LNG-powered ships with the first ‘world class’ type named MSC Europa entering service in May 2022.

The line plans to expand its fleet to 25 ships by 2027 at a cost of €11.6 billion.

MSC Marine Ops Goes Carbon Neutral in Industry First

MSC Armonia

MSC Cruises today announced its commitment to become the world’s first fully carbon neutral major global cruise line, according to a press release.

MSC said it will offset all direct carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from its fleet marine operations through a blend of carbon offset projects developed according to the highest standards by leading international entities that take immediate action on greenhouse gas emissions. All costs for the offsets as well as any other associated items will be covered directly and in full by MSC, the company said, in a prepared statement. 

Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises Executive Chairman said: “Our focus on innovation since we built our first cruise ships only in 2003, ensures that we have one of the most modern fleets at sea as well as one of the highest environmentally performing. And, thanks to our long-term planning, this will allow us to already achieve a fleet-wide 29 per cent reduction in carbon intensity (rate) by 2024 vs. 2008, on our way to meet the 40 per cent reduction target set for 2030.

“Additionally, last week we announced that the LNG-powered fuel cells PACBOAT project will be hosted onboard MSC Europa – the first of five LNG-powered cruise ships that are due to join our fleet. This is not only a world-first for a technology that promises to be most efficient for high-power maritime operations but also yet another concrete example of our firm commitment to partner and support the accelerated development of the next-generation technologies that will lead us and this industry to zero-emissions ship operations.”

“As we recognize that today’s even most advanced maritime environmental technology alone is insufficient to immediately reach carbon neutrality, the further commitment we make today ensures that our fleet makes no negative contribution to climate change, starting January 1, 2020.”

Vago added: “We will work with leading providers in carbon credits able to offset CO2 emissions with the highest level of integrity. Our vision is to also invest in projects that provide quantifiable community benefits, protect the environment and support the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

In particular, MSC said it aims to develop a carbon offset portfolio that incorporates projects which protect and restore ocean and coastal habitats while also absorbing more CO2 than currently occurs. 

Vago concluded: “Blue carbon offsets will be a specific area of focus of our commitment to ensure carbon neutrality with immediate effect. We will put our people and our resources to work to also support the development of the specific type of projects, and the enabling certification processes, that can generate this innovative form of offsets which directly benefit the oceans and communities that live by the sea. As more of these become available, we will steadily increase our reliance on them as an additional area of focus within our overall long-term commitment to achieving zero-emissions operations.”

MSC Seaside Set for Starring Role in Season Six of Family Travel

MSC Seaside

MSC Cruises has announced that travel celebrity Colleen Kelly and her family will set sail with the MSC Seaside on a cruise to the Caribbean for Season 6 of the PBS show Family Travel with Colleen Kelly.

The sixth season takes the Kelly family to Caribbean hotspots including Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico; and Nassau, Bahamas and will offer tips for family vacations throughout the U.S. and abroad, a company statement said.

“The MSC Seaside is an ideal ship for families seeking a fun and enriching vacation,” said Ken Muskat, EVP and COO of MSC Cruises USA. “With the debut of Family Travel with Colleen Kelly, we’re thrilled that PBS viewers will have the opportunity to get a first-hand look at the varied programming and experiences MSC Cruises, and specifically the MSC Seaside can provide for multi-generational families.”

The MSC Seaside sails year-round from Miami to the Caribbean.