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Geneva, Switzerland and St-Nazaire, France November 13, 2023 MSC Cruises confirmed orders today for two liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered vessels with French ship builder Chantiers de l’Atlantique. This sees the company’s options for two World Class vessels converted to firm orders, along with an option for a fifth ship. The two new vessels – currently referred to as World Class 3 and 4 – will be delivered in 2026 and 2027.

MSC World Europa and MSC World America are already the most energy efficient ships in the industry, performing significantly better than the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) requirement. The newly ordered ships will be an evolution of the state-of-the-art World Class prototype with innovative solutions to maximize energy efficiency, including extensive use of heat recovery and other technological solutions, which will further reduce their carbon footprint. The new ships will also be ready for a variety of alternative fuels like bio and synthetic methane, and green methanol, and will be fitted with the next generation dual fuel internal combustion engines with reduced methane slip.

Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises, said: “We are proud to continue our 20-year partnership with the Chantiers de l’Atlantique, with whom we have already built 18 ships with our 19 under construction. The World Class is a truly innovative prototype and together we are building some of the most advanced ships in the world. We are committed to researching and investing in future environmental technologies as they become available, to ensure we continue progressing on our decarbonization journey to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”

Laurent Castaing, General Manager, Chantiers de l’Atlantique added, “At a difficult time for the European shipbuilding industry, MSC Cruises has shown its confidence in our abilities and skills with this order. We would therefore like to express our gratitude to MSC Cruises for its renewed confidence at this crucial time. In addition, MSC Cruises, always seeking to reduce the environmental impact of its ships quickly and significantly, has accepted a significant cost premium to improve the energy efficiency of these new ships which, according to the IMO's EEDI index, will emit 50% less CO2 than the IMO's 2008 benchmark.”

Castaing continued, “We would also like to thank our government, whose support for our R&D policy to make our ships greener has enabled us to meet the customer's expectations for this order.”

The new World Class vessels will feature shore power plug-in connectivity to reduce carbon emissions in port, the most advanced wastewater treatment systems designed in line with the IMO, new advances in waste management, and a comprehensive range of onboard energy efficient equipment to optimize engine use and hotel energy needs to further reduce emissions.

The two new orders will be subject to access to financing, as per industry practice.

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MSC Cruises’ first LNG ship, MSC World Europa, was launched in November 2022. MSC World America will be delivered in spring 2025, designed for the North American cruise market. The vessel is being built at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire in France. Last month it reached a construction milestone when LNG tanks were installed. MSC Euribia, a Meraviglia class ship constructed by the French shipbuilder, is also powered by LNG and entered service in June 2023.

LNG is the world’s cleanest marine fuel available at scale today and is set to play a key role in the decarbonization of international shipping. It substantially reduces local air pollutant emissions like sulphur oxides by up to 99 percent and nitrogen oxides by up to 85 percent. LNG also plays a key role in climate change mitigation as it offers up to a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and is paving the way for the uptake of sustainable non-fossil fuels such as bio and synthetic LNG.

As bio and synthetic fuels become available at scale, emissions from MSC Cruises’ World Class vessels will be further reduced.

LNG is key to the development of low carbon solutions for shipping as emerging technologies such as fuel cells can be operated with LNG until zero emissions bio-LNG, e-methane or green methanol become available at scale.

MSC Cruises and Chantiers de l’Atlantique are actively involved in several projects to develop and make these technologies viable in partnership with regulators, academia, and industry.

About MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises is the world’s third largest cruise brand as well as the market leader in Europe, South America, the Gulf region, and Southern Africa. It is also the fastest growing global cruise brand with a strong presence in the Caribbean, North America, and the Far East markets.

Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, MSC Cruises is one of the two brands that sit within the Cruise Division of MSC Group, the world’s leading and privately held shipping and logistics conglomerate with over 300 years of maritime heritage. MSC Cruises – the contemporary brand - has a modern fleet of 22 vessels combined with a sizeable future global investment portfolio of new vessels, terminals, and other assets. The fleet is projected to grow to 23 cruise ships by 2025, with options for six more vessel orders in place through 2030.

MSC Cruises offers its guests an enriching, immersive and safe cruise experience inspired by the Company’s European heritage, where they can enjoy international dining, world-class entertainment, award-winning family programs, and the very latest user-friendly technology on board. To learn more about MSC Cruises’ itineraries and experience on board its ships, click here.

The line’s number one priority has always been the health and safety of its guests and crew, as well as the communities at the destinations its ships serve. In August 2020, MSC Cruises implemented a new comprehensive and robust health and safety protocol to become the first major line to return to sea. To learn more about MSC Cruises’ health & safety protocol, click here.

MSC Cruises has long been committed to environmental stewardship, with a long-term goal to achieve net zero emissions for its operations by 2050. The Company is also a significant investor in next-generation environmental marine technologies, with the objective to support their accelerated development and availability industry-wide. To learn more about the Company’s environmental commitment, click here

Finally, to learn more about the MSC Foundation, MSC Group’s own vehicle to lead, focus and advance its conservation, humanitarian and cultural commitments, click here.

Thanks to the expertise of its teams and its network of subcontractors, combined with top industrial technology, Chantiers de l’Atlantique is a key leader in the design, integration, testing and precise delivery of cruise ships, naval vessels, electrical substations for offshore wind farms and fleet services. The company is a pioneer in the challenges of tomorrow. Thanks to its research and development, Chantiers de l’Atlantique offers ships with the highest environmental performance, as well as equipment for offshore wind farms, making it a major player in global energy transition.

For further information, click here.



Media Relations - MSC Cruises USA