Switzerland-based cruise operator MSC Cruises said that its first LNG-powered cruise vessel, MSC World Europa, has returned to Chantiers de l’Atlantique’s yard in France after the ship completed its first sea trials.
This comes some seven months after Chantiers launched the LNG-powered vessel at its yard in Saint-Nazaire on December 2.
MSC Cruises said in a statement on Monday that the ship completed its first set of sea trials in the Atlantic Ocean.
The trials included testing the performance of the ship’s engines, maneuverability, fuel consumption, safety systems, speed and stopping distances.
The cruise division of MSC Group claims this 323 meters long vessel would become the biggest LNG-powered cruise ship in the world once completed later this year. It will have the capacity to accommodate 6,762 passengers.
MSC World Europa will debut in the Arabian Sea in winter 2022/23 with MSC Cruises set to deploy its largest-ever capacity in the Middle East for the season as it aims to strengthen its position as the region’s “market leader for holidays at sea”, it said.
The ship will offer seven-night voyages between December 2022 and March 2023 from Dubai to Abu Dhabi and Sir Bani Yas Island in the United Arab Emirates, Dammam in Saudi Arabia and Doha in Qatar before returning to Dubai.
Second LNG-powered ship launched
In addition to MSC World Europa’s sea trials, Chantiers also floated out the second LNG-powered ship, MSC Euribia, during the weekend.
This vessel has now been moved to a wet dock for work to continue on the ship before its also joins MSC Cruises’ fleet in June 2023, the cruise operator said.
MSC Euribia from June 2023 will spend its inaugural season in Northern Europe from the German port of Kiel with seven-night itineraries to the Norwegian fjords. The calls include Copenhagen, Denmark; Hellesylt, Norway for the Geirangerfjord; as well as Alesund and Flam, also in Norway, among other destinations.
Chantiers will also build a third LNG-powered ship for MSC Cruises and work on this vessel is due to start in early 2023.
MSC Cruises said the total investment in these LNG-powered vessels exceeds 3 billion euros ($3.15 billion).