Vessel to homeport at Doha’s new terminal, serving as floating hotel for World Cup
MSC makes waves
Together with partners Qatar Airways, the naming ceremony celebrations were part of MSC’s overall commitment to supporting the growth of international tourism in Qatar as well as the broader Middle East region, where MSC Cruises is a brand leader. In 2016, MSC Fantasia became the first major cruise ship ever to call at Doha.
MSC’s newest, most technologically advanced vessel and first ship in the fleet to run on LNG, has started its journey as a floating hotel docked in Doha for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 guests. MSC World Europa is joined by MSC Poesia and MSC Opera to serve as floating hotels for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 fans. Between the three ships, they can accommodate 13,000 guests.
A long-standing maritime tradition, the official naming ceremony of the ship took place in the presence of the Master of the Vessel, Captain Marco Massa and distinguished guests from around the world.
MSC World Europa is joined by MSC Poesia and MSC Opera to serve as floating hotels for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 fans. Between them the three vessels can accommodate 13,000 guests
Hosted by comedian, producer and entrepreneur, Hamad Al Amari, event guests from around the world were treated to experiences from local artists, a cutting-edge video-mapping projection onto the ship’s hull, huge drone show and a grand finale performance by international singer-songwriter Matteo Bocelli, presenting his solo work for the first time ever in Doha.
Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, Cruise Division of MSC Group, said: “Just like Qatar, our Group has placed climate change at the forefront of its agenda. We are committed to reaching net zero carbon from our cruise operations by 2050. MSC World Europa is our most innovative vessel. She is the world’s best performing cruise ship in terms of CO2 emissions per guest. Running on LNG, the cleanest fossil fuel and, of course, Qatar’s most renowned export.”
The glamorous night culminated in a spectacular firework display against the stunning Doha skyline, and a gourmet gala dinner in the ship’s elegant restaurants.
Built at an approximate cost of $0.5bn, Doha’s Grand Cruise terminal will be officially inaugurated post FIFA World Cup Qatar 22 in January next year. The structure serves two berths, with twin halls, each capable of processing up to 7,000 passengers per day. A centrally located aquarium will wow cruise guests, when disembarking ships through escalators down into the new art gallery, with a huge backdrop of the aquarium. The art gallery and aquarium viewing area will also be open to the general public.
Akbar Al Baker, Chairman of Qatar Tourism and Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, commented: “Since the launch of cruise tourism in Qatar, we have welcomed over 560,000 visitors and 182 port calls. For the 2021/22 season, the top nationality of cruise visitors to my country were Italians and we enjoyed 29 port calls by two MSC vessels.
“Qatar Airways serves over 150 destinations around the world and growing, which include the major cruise cities internationally. Our network and our incredible people play a key role in connecting MSC cruise passengers to the most sought-after destinations and the authentic experience here in Doha.”
After her stint as a floating hotel docked in Doha International Cruise Terminal, MSC World Europa will spend her inaugural season in the Gulf offering seven-night cruises from Dubai to Abu Dhabi; Sir Bani Yas Island, UAE; Dammam, Saudi Arabia; and Doha, Qatar before returning to Dubai with an overnight to discover the city.
MSC World Europa will then head to the Mediterranean Sea in summer 2023, offering 7-night cruises calling the Italian ports of Genoa, Naples and Messina, as well as Valletta in Malta, Barcelona in Spain and Marseille in France.
“Spanning 22 decks, with 215,863 GT’s, 47 metres wide, 40,000 m2 of public space and 2,626 cabins, MSC World Europa is the eagerly anticipated new flagship that will join the MSC Cruises’ fleet,” says Karthik Radhakrishnan, Sales Manager, GCC and Sri Lanka, MSC Cruises. “MSC World Europa will be the first liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered vessel in MSC Cruises’ fleet and the most environmentally advanced to date.”
At a sustainability press conference that took place aboard the vessel, Bureau Veritas awarded MSC World Europa with 12 Golden Pearls, which is Bureau Veritas’s highest level of certification in terms of quality, health and safety and environment for cruise vessels.
MSC World Europa will be the first LNG-powered vessel in MSC Cruises’ fleet and the most environmentally advanced to date. The fuel she runs on, liquefied natural gas (LNG), is one of the world’s cleanest marine fuels available at scale and is set to play a key role in the decarbonisation of (or transition to zero emissions) international shipping.
In addition, MSC World Europa will feature selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems, shore-to-ship power connectivity, advanced wastewater treatment systems to comply with the so-called Baltic standard—the strictest global standard for wastewater disposal to sea, an underwater radiated noise management system to reduce potential noise and vibration impact on marine mammals, as well as a wide range of energy efficient equipment and systems to optimise engine use.