MSC Cruises hosts naming event of ‘MSC World Europa’

MSC Cruises, the world’s third largest cruise brand, yesterday hosted the Naming Ceremony of its newest flagship ‘MSC World Europa’ at Grand Cruise Terminal, Doha Port.

Together with partners Qatar Airways, the celebrations are part of MSC’s overall commitment to Qatar, reinforcing its commitment to supporting the growth of international tourism. Executive Chairman, Cruise Division of MSC Group, Pierfrancesco Vago and MSC Cruises CEO,  Gianni Onorato briefed media about the MSC World Europa.

Pierfrancesco Vago said that MSC World Europa is the most innovative and environmentally advanced cruise ship in the MSC Cruises fleet. “On top of ground-breaking advances in terms of reduction of emissions and energy efficiency, the LNG-powered ship also paves the way towards the uptake of carbon-neutral synthetic and other alternative fuels as soon as they are available at scale.”

Spanning 22 decks, 47 metres wide, 40,000 m2 of public space and 2,626 cabins, MSC World Europa is an ultramodern urban metropolis at sea offering a veritable world of different experiences whilst setting a new standard for the cruise industry. MSC World Europa will spend her inaugural season in the Middle East offering 7-night cruises to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island, UAE; Dammam, Saudi Arabia; and Doha, Qatar. Her season will commence on December 20 with a special 4-night sailing from Doha to Dubai.

Departing Dubai on March 25, 2023, MSC World Europa will head to the Mediterranean Sea for summer 2023. She will offer 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.

Chairman of Qatar Tourism and Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive H E Akbar Al Baker commented: “While Qatar Airways is the global aviation gateway to Qatar, the marine industry is very important to tourism and the long term economic and cultural connections it brings."

H E Akbar Al Baker said: “As sustainability is vital to the future growth of aviation, MSC World Europa illustrates how the marine industry is addressing the challenges of efficiency and emissions reductions.  

“The naming ceremony of MSC World Europa is an important prelude to the FIFA World Cup 2022 and shows the enormous endeavour and collaboration necessary to deliver the best World Cup ever.”

A drone display during the naming ceremony of the MSC World Europa cruise ship at Doha Port yesterday.

Akbar Al Baker said that Qatar welcomed over 150,000 visitors in three pre-COVID cruise seasons. “Since launch of cruise tourism, we welcomed over 560,000 visitors and there were 182 port calls by cruise ships. For 2021-2022 season, the top nationality of cruise visitors to Qatar are Italians,” he added.

Al Baker said Qatar has taken significant steps to consolidate its position as a world-class destination for cruise tourism.

To a question, he said that the occupancy rate of Qatar Airways during the months of November and December 2022 amounted to 100 percent. Al Baker stated that the floating hotel “MSC World Europa”, which arrived at Doha Port on Thursday, is one of the three floating hotels designated to host fans during the World Cup, and the remaining two hotels will arrive successively.

Pierfrancesco Vago 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.”

He added: “Over the years, we have proven our commitment to supporting Qatar’s economic diversification, which is guided by Qatar National Vision 2030. And of course, to further developing Qatar’s profile as a global tourism destination. Qatar has a wonderful tourism offering to meet a huge variety of interests, and an array of destinations. In 2016, our own MSC Fantasia became the first major cruise ship to call at Doha. We have been reliable partners ever since.

And today, we renew our commitment to Qatar by homeporting our most modern and innovative ship in Doha.” 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 guests from around the world.

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. 

MSC World Europa is the first LNG-powered vessel in MSC Cruises’ fleet and the most environmentally advanced to date. It virtually eliminates local air pollutant emissions like sulphur oxides and reduces nitrogen oxides by up to 85%.