MSC Cruises Hosts MSC World Europa Launch Event

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MSC World Europa during her naming ceremony in the Port of Doha yesterday.

MSC Cruises, the third largest cruise brand in the world, yesterday hosted the naming ceremony of its newest flagship MSC World Europa at the Grand Cruise Terminal in the Port of Doha.

Along with partner Qatar Airways, the celebrations are part of MSC’s broader commitment to Qatar and reaffirm its commitment to supporting the growth of international tourism. Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Group’s Cruise Division, and Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises, briefed the media on MSC World Europe.

Pierfrancesco Vago said that MSC World Europa is the most innovative and environmentally friendly cruise ship in the MSC Cruises fleet. “In addition to pioneering advances in reducing emissions and energy efficiency, the LNG-powered vessel also paves the way for the introduction of carbon-neutral synthetic and other alternative fuels once they become available at scale.”

With 22 decks, 47 meters beam, 40,000 m2 of public space and 2,626 cabins, MSC World Europa is a state-of-the-art urban metropolis at sea, offering a true world of diverse experiences while setting a new standard for the cruise industry. MSC World Europe will spend its inaugural season in the Middle East, offering 7-night cruises to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island, United Arab Emirates; Dammam, Saudi Arabia; and Doha, Qatar. Her season begins on December 20th with a special 4-night cruise from Doha to Dubai.

MSC World Europe departs Dubai on March 25, 2023 and will set sail for the Mediterranean in summer 2023. She will offer 7-night cruises calling at the Italian ports of Genoa, Naples and Messina, as well as Valletta in Malta, Barcelona in Spain and Marseille in France.

Akbar Al Baker, Chairman of Qatar Tourism and Chief Executive of Qatar Airways Group, commented: “While Qatar Airways is the global air transport gateway to Qatar, the shipping industry is very important to tourism and the long-term economic and cultural ties it brings.”

SE Akbar Al Baker said: “As sustainability is key to the future growth of aviation, MSC World Europe showcases how the shipping industry is tackling the challenges of efficiency and emissions reduction.

“The naming ceremony of MSC World Europe marks an important kick-off to the 2022 FIFA World Cup and demonstrates the tremendous effort and collaboration required to deliver the best World Cup ever.”

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

Akbar Al Baker said Qatar welcomed over 150,000 visitors in three pre-COVID cruise seasons. “Since cruise tourism began, we have welcomed over 560,000 visitors and there have been 182 port calls by cruise ships. In the 2021-2022 season, Italians are the main nationality of cruise visitors in Qatar,” he added.

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

When asked, he said that Qatar Airways’ load factor in November and December 2022 was 100 percent. Al Baker explained that the “MSC World Europa” floating hotel that arrived in Doha Port on Thursday is one of the three floating hotels scheduled to host fans during the World Cup, and the remaining two hotels will arrive one after the other.

Pierfrancesco Vago said: “Like Qatar, our group has put climate change at the top of its agenda. We have committed to achieving carbon neutrality in our cruise operations by 2050. MSC World Europa is our most innovative ship. She is the best performing cruise ship in the world in terms of CO2 emissions per guest. Runs on LNG, the cleanest fossil fuel and of course Qatar’s most renowned export.”

He added: “Over the years we have demonstrated our commitment to supporting Qatar’s economic diversification, guided by the Qatar National Vision 2030. And of course for further developing Qatar’s profile as a global tourism destination. Qatar has a wonderful tourism offer for a variety of interests and a range of destinations. In 2016, our own MSC Fantasia became the first major cruise ship to call at Doha. Since then we have been reliable partners.

And today we renew our commitment to Qatar by bringing home our most modern and innovative ship in Doha.” The ship’s official naming ceremony, a longstanding maritime tradition, was held in the presence of the ship’s Master, Captain Marco Massa, and guests from the all over 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 state-of-the-art video mapping projection onto the ship’s hull, a giant drone show and a grand closing performance by an international singer. Songwriter Matteo Bocelli, who is presenting his solo work in Doha for the first time ever.

MSC World Europa is the first LNG-powered ship in MSC Cruises’ fleet and the most environmentally friendly to date. Local air pollutant emissions such as sulfur oxides are virtually eliminated and nitrogen oxides reduced by up to 85%.

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