MSC Cruises, the contemporary brand of the Cruise Division of MSC Group, launched a new global brand campaign today meant to educate consumers on the importance of sustainable vacationing and the critical role sustainability will play in the company’s future. The campaign—called “Discover the future of cruising“—spans more than 30 countries with ads on television along with outdoor, print, digital, and social media.
The bold and distinctive creative concept illustrates MSC Cruises’ vision for future cruise vacations by showcasing the fleet’s environmental performance alongside charming and engaging glimpses of life on board. From the sustainable technologies featured on new vessels to cutting-edge entertainment and innovative restaurant concepts, MSC Cruises is pushing the boundaries of a vacation experience at sea.
“Discover the future of cruising” is the first campaign in the industry to focus primarily on a brand’s sustainability commitment and make it central to its engagement with consumers, travel partners, and other stakeholders. For example, the TV spot focuses on some of the unique environmental technologies and solutions on board MSC World Europa—MSC Cruises’ first LNG-powered and most environmentally advanced ship to date—which came into service late last year. The campaign further showcases the cruise line’s wider commitment to the environment and progress made on sustainability across its fleet of 21 ships, alongside the broader Cruise Division of MSC Group.
Leading the industry toward sustainable cruising
With over 300 years of maritime history, the family-owned MSC Group and its Cruise Division have long held a special relationship with our blue planet and a fundamental commitment to protecting and preserving the oceans and the broader environment.
Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, the Cruise Division of MSC Group, said: “Already cruising is one of the best holiday options for consumers today, but many of our guests don’t realize that it has important sustainability aspects as well. We have long had a steadfast focus on sustainable and environmentally responsible business practices and on protecting guests, employees, and the communities in which we operate. Today more than ever, brands like MSC Cruises recognize the vital importance of the environment and a healthy and viable planet and this is why we think it is important for us to take a leadership role and make our sustainability commitments a key element of our discourse with consumers and overall society. Sustainability at MSC Cruises is central to the brand’s DNA and the way we operate as a business.”
MSC Cruises’ Sustainability Action Plan reflects those values establishing six key workstreams across the business and pairing them with goals and measurable targets:
- Transitioning to net-zero emissions
- Scrutinizing resource use and waste
- Supporting people
- Investing in sustainable tourism
- Building greener terminals
“We have been investing heavily, for many years, in solutions and technologies that continuously and progressively reduce our environmental footprint. From 2017 to 2023, we invested more than eight billion euros in a more modern and efficient fleet with ten new vessels that have each been progressively more environmentally advanced than the last. The new brand campaign for MSC Cruises is a vital tool to explain to consumers and other stakeholders how our commitment to sustainability is articulated on our ships and across our business and showcases how central it is to everything that we do,” Vago said.
The Cruise Division’s efforts to date have contributed to a carbon intensity reduction of 35% since 2008, putting it in a good position to meet the industry-wide IMO target of a 40% intensity reduction by 2030.
An ambitious roadmap to net-zero operations by 2050
The Cruise Division of MSC Group is firmly committed to achieving its long-term goal of zero-impact cruise operations by 2050 and is making significant progress on that front.
Linden Coppell, Vice President of Sustainability & ESG, MSC Cruises, said: “We have already virtually eliminated emissions like SOx and NOx from our operations and now we are focused on reducing carbon emissions with LNG. It is the fuel with the lowest carbon emissions available at the scale we need. We have already got one vessel using it and two more under construction with the third planned to incorporate new technology to minimize methane slip and thus further reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions when using LNG. This is the first step in our journey that involves transitioning to LNG in the short-term, low carbon in the medium-term, and net-zero carbon fuels, including synthetic and bio LNG and synthetic and bio methanol, in the longer term. As the low-carbon fuels aren’t yet available in any meaningful quantities, we are helping accelerate their development and scaling through our investments in ever more advanced ships and related environmental technologies. With every new cruise ship built, MSC Cruises introduces and tests new technical solutions that can utilize these fuels thus providing the encouragement needed to fuel suppliers and governments responsible for the provision by showing them that we are ready and hungry for low and net-zero carbon fuels.“
Delivered in October 2022, MSC World Europa is MSC Cruises’ first LNG-powered vessel. Compared to standard marine fuels, LNG nearly eliminates particulate air pollutant emissions (including sulfur oxides and fine particles), greatly reduces nitrogen oxides and achieves a CO2 reduction of up to 25%. LNG effectively paves the way for the adoption of low and net-zero carbon fuels, such as bio and synthetic-LNG, and ultimately green hydrogen, and enables the development of innovative technologies such as fuel cells. The Cruise Division of MSC Group is testing a solid oxide fuel cell technology on board MSC World Europa that offers the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional internal combustion engines. The Cruise Division intends to make further advances with this technology in future new builds and scale up the use of fuel cells.
MSC Cruises’ second LNG ship, MSC Euribia, will be delivered in June 2023. The third one, MSC World America, is under construction and will be delivered in 2025.
Consistent progress across a range of areas
While these major transitions happen, MSC Cruises is taking important steps to reduce its energy needs, including digitalization, route optimization, and the introduction of a wide range of energy-saving technologies.
“We are continually optimizing the use of energy onboard through specific and highly innovative solutions, including intelligent ventilation systems and advanced air conditioning systems, with energy recovery circuits, which allow effective distribution of heat and cold. Our ships gather and transmit thousands of different data sets to dedicated expert teams on shore. This data is used to better understand how ships operate, and to continuously optimize the use of energy and improve efficiency across all areas of operations,” Coppell said.
New ships use energy-efficient LED lighting. Their heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems self-adjust to the weather and the number of passengers onboard. Their hydrodynamic performance is optimized through propeller re-blading and drag reduction measures. Ship hulls are also coated with special paints that slow the growth of marine organisms, reduce drag and improve energy efficiency.
MSC Cruises started fitting new ships with shore power technology in 2017 and—together with retrofits—65% of the fleet was shore power-capable by the end of 2022. Additional ships will be retrofitted as the ports on their itineraries make shore power available. MSC Cruises is committed to using shore power wherever possible.
Hybrid Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGCS) are installed on most ships in the fleet, which reduces sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions by 98%. Selective Catalytic Reduction Systems (SCRS) are installed on the newest ships, which reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by up to 90%. In addition, all LNG-powered ships will immediately solve the issue of NOx emissions to the same level as achieved through the SCR, thus constituting another significant advantage of LNG versus traditional fossil maritime fuel.
Onboard Environmental Compliance Officers manage a dedicated waste management team, which is responsible for collecting, segregating, and safely storing waste and recyclable materials, including plastics, paper and cardboard, glass, aluminum, and other scrap metals. Materials disposed of onboard are compacted, separated, or incinerated, and the segregated and residual material is carefully delivered to dedicated port reception facilities for recycling or disposal. By engaging with its suppliers, MSC Cruises has considerably reduced packaging waste through more innovative packaging design.
Saving water and becoming water independent are also key areas of focus. MSC Cruises’ ships are equipped with modern water production facilities. Nearly all water used onboard is self-produced, with highly efficient reverse osmosis and/or evaporation systems producing clean freshwater from seawater. Each ship has the capacity to produce nearly 800,000 gallons of tap water per day.
MSC Cruises’ latest ships are fitted with advanced wastewater treatment systems, enabling the treatment of the wastewater onboard to a higher standard than many land-based wastewater treatment plants.
The Company is fully compliant with the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments. Vessels are fitted with approved and certified ballast water treatment systems. All ballast water is filtered and UV treated before being discharged at sea to ensure that it does not contain harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens.
Protecting biodiversity and promoting sustainable tourism
MSC Cruises’ ships are designed and built to minimize the impact on marine life using technologies that allow a reduction in underwater noise. In addition, the cruise line agreed to support efforts to preserve the endangered sperm whale population in the eastern Mediterranean Sea by re-routing ships to the west and south of the Peloponnese, and southwest of Crete. Modifications of routes between April and October, when cruises operate in this region, help contribute to the survival of at-risk whales. MSC Cruises has also underlined its commitment to the sustainable development of its activities in the Mediterranean by signing the Sustainable Cruise Charter at the Blue Maritime Summit in Marseille. This voluntary agreement reaffirms and strengthens environmental protection efforts by committing the signatories to achieve a higher standard than existing regulations across 13 action areas.
The broader Cruise Division is also determined to play a role in protecting wildlife and supporting habitat regeneration, thus making preservation another cornerstone of its overall sustainability commitment. As such, its flagship marine conservation program focuses on the waters around the Company’s own private island Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve in The Bahamas, 65 miles east of Miami. Once an industrial sand excavation site, the Cruise Division transformed Ocean Cay into a private island destination surrounded by crystal blue waters that are home to important marine species and coral habitats. The MSC Foundation announced the development of the new Marine Conservation Center on Ocean Cay in 2021 to facilitate collaborating with a team of academic and environmental experts in identifying hardy species and genotypes of coral capable of surviving rising ocean temperatures.
MSC Cruises works closely with tour operators and industry partners to support and promote sustainable tourism practices. The brand has partnered with Travelife, a leading training, management, and certification initiative for tourism companies committed to achieving sustainability.
MSC Cruises shore excursion team works with tour operators around the world to identify activities founded on strong sustainability principles. Known as ‘Protectours’, these excursions are specifically designed to educate guests. Around 70% of our Protectours now include low-impact transportation—including walking, cycling, or kayaking—and many make a direct contribution to the environment by supporting species or habitat protection. For instance, more electric and hybrid shuttle buses are being used for guests to shuttle from ports to places of interest in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Spain, and Sweden with MSC Cruises aiming to increase the utilization of green ground transportation in the future.
To find out more about the Future of cruising campaign and MSC Cruises’ sustainability commitment, click here.
[Source: MSC Cruises Press Release]