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Ersteinlauf MSC Euribia, Ostuferhafen Kiel, Bild: Frank Erpinar

Save the sea: MSC Cruises sets sail with the most energy-efficient cruise ship ever

by Susanne Reuter

Copenhagen, Port. Atrium. High gloss and glamour welcomes me. And a fantastic-looking elegance captivates me. The staff is very active: “Welcome on board”. Equipped with my boarding pass, I embark on a journey on a very special ship: With the commissioning of MSC Euribia, MSC Cruises is sending a very strong signal in terms of commitment to protecting the maritime ecosystem and a far-reaching commitment to energy efficiency. The new flagship of the MSC fleet is powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Inside cabin MSC Euribia
Attractively equipped cabins available in various categories, Image: Susanne Reuter

It is the second ship in the MSC fleet to be powered by the cleanest marine fuel currently available on a large scale. With state-of-the-art technologies and solutions, the company is thus taking a big step closer to its goal of becoming climate-neutral by 2050. The cruise division is working with fuel providers and others to introduce sustainable fuels such as advanced biofuels and biogas. Although the ship can be powered by liquefied natural gas, it is already designed for the use of renewable fuels. Through retrofitting, it will then be able to run on renewable fuels that are not yet available, such as green methanol.

Responsible tourism: recycling on board

MSC Euribia will depart from Northern Europe this summer with 7-night departures from Kiel and Copenhagen to the fascinating Norwegian fjords, including Geiranger, Ålesund and Flåm. MSC Euribia is the 22nd ship in MSC Cruises’ fleet, spans 19 decks, is 43 metres wide, has 2,419 cabins and offers 35,000 m2 of public space. MSC Cruises is the leading cruise brand in Europe, South America, the Emirates and South Africa. Based in Geneva, the Swiss shipping company is the only major privately owned cruise line.
After I have moved into my meticulously prepared cabin on deck 10, I learn more about the concept. The 331-metre-long and 43-metre-wide MSC Euribia is currently the most energy-efficient cruise ship in the world, which meets the latest requirements of the IMO Energy Efficiency Design Index. It will emit up to 19 percent less greenhouse gas emissions per passenger per day than its sister ships and up to 44 percent less greenhouse gas emissions per passenger per day than those built just ten years ago. The wastewater is treated in a very high quality, in some cases in better quality than many municipal plants on land. The technology complies with the strictest international IMO standards – including the Baltic Standard. Advanced recycling systems promote the reduction, reuse and reuse of waste generated on board.

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Ceremony in Copenhagen

Christening of the MSC Euribia in Copenhagen
Christening of the MSC Euribia in Copenhagen, Image: Ivan Sarfatti

There is a reason that the christening of the MSC Euribia takes place in Copenhagen. The Danish capital is one of the most sustainable cities in the world. In doing so, the city presents the company’s values and promotes the exchange of responsible tourism throughout the region – from the Baltic Sea to the Norwegian fjords. The naming ceremony will be attended by high-ranking guests from all over the world, key travel partners and the top management of MSC Cruises and the MSC Group. The godmother and film legend Sophia Loren is also present to officially christen the ship, continuing the long-standing christening tradition. The Dresden artist Alexander Flämig receives great applause for the design of the MSC Euribia. According to his design, the ship’s hull is impressively decorated and symbolizes the commitment of the shipping company. Its design expresses the asset worth protecting, the maritime flora and fauna, in a simple yet effective way. Under #SaveTheSea, there is a call for the protection of the oceans. The hashtag thus reflects MSC Cruises’ ongoing commitment to the ocean and its commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Built for the future of modern cruising

Outdoor pool MSC Euribia
Outdoor pool of the MSC Euribia, Image: Susanne Reuter

“The cleanest energy is the one we don’t use, and MSC Euribia was built according to this principle,” says Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Group’s Cruise Division, highlighting the importance of MSC Euribia’s entry into service. “It is important to us that our ships built today are ready for the new sustainable fuels that are on the horizon. We also want to ensure that they can be easily retrofitted with new technologies and efficiency features that help reduce emissions. This is a ship that was truly built with the future in mind.” Christian Hein, Managing Director of MSC Cruises Germany , adds: “This innovative ship will be at home in Germany all year round and for the summer of 2024 it is already certain that MSC Euribia will set off from Kiel to the most beautiful World Heritage fjords in Norway”.

We depart from Copenhagen and reach Kiel early in the morning. And here, too, the shipping company is sending out another signal: MSC Cruises and the Hamburg Port Authority signed a letter of intent on the use of shore power. Linden Coppell, VP Sustainability & ESG of MSC Cruises, commented: “Shore power supply is an important piece in our puzzle on the way to greenhouse gas-free ship operations. Therefore, not only have all our newbuildings been equipped with a shore power connection since 2017, but the older ships in particular are also being made fit for shore power operation through consistent retrofitting. We are making great strides towards sustainability.” I leave the ship with a really good feeling.

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Citycheck Copenhagen

Copenhagen, Image: CatalinT / shutterstock

Hey Copenhagen! No glamour, just relaxed and good-humoured, friendly people – that’s what you notice right away in Copenhagen. Now I’m really lucky and enjoy 25 degrees in perfect sunshine. So a good mood is pre-programmed. And on such a beautiful day, the entire city turns into a lido. Those who can lie on the wooden planks by the water or on the walls along the canals of the city center.

The rest cycle around, almost a must in Copenhagen. Exploring the Danish capital in this way is especially fun. Delicately shaped and graceful, it sits on a stone not far from the shore, the waves humming a melody around what is probably the most famous landmark, the ‘Little Mermaid’. If you continue towards Nyhavn, the path leads directly past the Amalienbourg Slot, i.e. the castle. The square is lined with Rococo Palaces, the residence and official residence of the royal family. The changing of the guard in the castle courtyard daily at 12 noon is a much-attended spectacle. A stone’s throw away is the imposing Frederiks Kirke. The 46-meter-high dome is equipped with plenty of Norwegian marble. To the west of it, I come across the Roseborg Slot, which is located in the middle of a beautifully landscaped park. It houses many treasures such as silver furniture, valuable tapestries and the Danish Crown Jewels in the treasury. On the castle island, Christiansborg Slot, the Danish parliament meets in the granite building. Its origins go back to the city’s founding days.

Ruins of the castle, built by the city’s founder Absalon, can be seen in the catacombs. In the neighboring buildings are the Theater and War Museum. It is also worthwhile to take a detour over the bridge to Christianshavn, a district criss-crossed with canals with the Vor Frelsers Kircke. Once at the top of the 99-meter-high tower, you can enjoy a fantastic view over the city before strolling through the streets with the small pubs. Design art from the north is well known: At many points in the city, it is clear that old and modern construction can be perfectly combined.