MSC Cruises: Debut net-zero emission ship voyage

MSC Euribia, the cruise division of MSC Group’s newest LNG-powered vessel, completed a net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions voyage from St. Nazaire to Copenhagen using bio-LNG through a mass-balance system, in a bid to reduce shipping industry emissions.

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MSC Cruises: Debut net-zero emission ship voyage

Image: MSC World Europa

At a glance
Who: MSC Cruises
What: Net-zero emission ship voyage using bio-LNG
Where: From St. Nazaire to Copenhagen
Why: To reduce emissions from ship operations
When: Between 3 and 8 June 2023 

The Challenge  

Currently, the shipping industry accounts for 3% of global GHG emissions, and projections indicate that without intervention, these emissions could more than double by 2050. 

The shipping industry faces the challenge of reducing its operational emissions and making the industry more sustainable, with electrification not a plug-in solution like for road transport, other innovations have to be explored. 

The Solution  

MSC Euribia was powered using Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), which virtually eliminates sulfur oxides and particulates and reduces nitrogen oxides by 85%. It also reduces emissions of GHG by up to 20% (on a CO2-equivalent basis).               

LNG is a transition fuel. The onboard engine technology and fuel systems can already use bio and synthetic LNG today. The Group has future plans for its LNG-powered vessels to operate using green methanol. 

How the Project Works  

During the four-day voyage, MSC Euribia performed 11% better than its digital twin – a virtual ship reproducing the optimum energy flow and utilisation on board – achieving an overall saving of 43 tonnes of fuel.  

Optimal speed profiles, routing, trim and engine configuration, and strict optimisation of the hotel`s energy consumption, including HVAC, galleys, and lightings, ensured that MSC Euribia did not use more than two of its four engines available during the voyage. 

In addition, all the required heat for galleys, heating systems and hot water on board was recovered from MSC Euribia’s engines; therefore, reducing the need to utilise the boilers for the entire voyage. 


The MSC Group anticipates MSC Euribia to achieve an IMO Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) 55% better than currently required and to be the best-performing cruise ship in the world at the time of its launch.  

Furthermore, the Group estimates that MSC Euribia will emit up to 44% less GHG emissions per passenger per day than ships built only 10 years ago. 

The emissions intensity of its ship operations has decreased by 33.5% since 2008, and it has set an aim to achieve a 40% reduction by 2030. 

Business Benefits  

The data harvested and information gathered during this trip will be used to optimise the existing ships in the fleet, further driving down emissions intensity across the MSC Cruises fleet.   


The Group estimates LNG-powered ships to save approximately 43 tonnes of fuel, making them cost-effective.  

Industry Context 

In July 2023, at the 80th meeting of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 80), the Member States officially endorsed the 2023 IMO Strategy on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships. 

The new strategy has set targets for a minimum 40% reduction in CO2 emissions per transport work in international shipping by 2030, and a minimum 70% reduction, with an aspiration of 80%, in total annual GHG emissions from international shipping by 2040. 

MSC Cruises’ efforts to decarbonise shipping aligns with the broader context of the shipping sector’s targets and efforts to reduce global shipping carbon emissions.  

© Faversham House Ltd 2024 edie news articles may be copied or forwarded for individual use only. No other reproduction or distribution is permitted without prior written consent.

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