At MSC Cruises we believe cruising can be sustainable. From introducing cleaner fuels across our fleet to producing freshwater on board, we are pushing the boundaries of what is possible at sea. Our growing fleet is a statement of our commitment to the future of this planet.

Decarbonising our marine operations is a core element of our sustainability strategy. To demonstrate our commitment to this we have in place an ambitious goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, which goes further than the current IMO (International Maritime Organization) ambition of 50% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050.

Reducing Carbon Intensity

We currently estimate that we will meet the IMO (International Maritime Organization) intensity ambition of a 40% reduction by 2027 – three years earlier than the industry target date of 2030 set by the IMO and adopted as a goal by CLIA.

Since decarbonizing marine operations is one of our main priorities our ambitious goal is to reach zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Energy Efficiency and Advanced Ship Design

For every new ship class that we develop, we completely revise the design to achieve optimal efficiency. We rethink the ship’s overall structure, deck space, weight distribution including the ship’s hull, rudder and bulbous bow to reach optimal hydrodynamics, aerodynamics, and maximise energy and fuel efficiency.

Reducing air pollution

    We have installed hybrid Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGCS) on 15 of our cruise ships which reduce SOx emissions by 98%, and Selective Catalytic Reduction Systems on 3 ships, which reduces NOx by up to 90%.

Underwater radiated noise

Our latest low-noise propellers and innovative hull designs reduce impacts on marine life and enhance Guest and Crew comfort.


Water is precious
Over 80% is of our freshwater is produced on board. Aeration faucets cut consumption by up to 2/3 and advance wastewater treatment systems purify all water consumed.
Waste management

We keep waste to a minimum and separate paper, aluminum, glass, plastic and other recyclables for delivery to specialist port recycling facilities


  • New fuel types
    In 2022, we have launched MSC World Europa, our first LNG-powered ship. LNG largely eliminates sulphur oxides (SOx) emissions and particulate matter in the exhaust, reduces nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions by up to 85%, and CO2 by up to 25%.


  • Maximising Energy efficiency
    LED lighting and smart heating, ventilation and cooling systems have contributed to achieving a fleet-wide 35% efficiency improvement since 2008.


  • Shore power capability
    11 of our ships are now able to connect to shore power, potentially enabling the onboard engines to be switched off whilst in berth


  • Advanced analytics
    Digitalisation is allowing us to anticipate and address inefficiencies in systems and equipment, and provide the crew with specific guidance for performance improvements.


  • Heat recovery
    Heat recovery systems allow the intelligent redistribution of heat and cold where needed throughout the ship.


  • Trim stabiliser
    A software application monitors the ship’s stability to support the deck officers in optimising the vessel’s trim – and therefore reducing fuel consumption.


  • Reducing drag
    Our ship hulls are coated with hi-tech paints that slow the growth of marine organisms, thereby reducing drag and improving energy efficiency.


  • Ballast water treatment system
    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.

Leading the energy transition

New technology and low carbon fuels are fundamental to our carbon reduction strategy. In June 2023 we will deliver MSC Euribia, one of our latest ships and one of the most environmentally-advance ships at sea. MSC Euribia is powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). LNG enables us to reduce greenhouse gas CO2e emissions by up to 20% and virtually eliminate sulphur oxides and fine particulates, while reducing nitrogen oxides by up to 85%. Our next ships powered by LNG MSC World America (2025).

We are also collaborating with technology and energy providers to support and test innovative technologies and deploy renewable fuels to further reduce our emissions.

Improving Quality of Ships Emissions

Today, 15 of 21 MSC Cruises ships are equipped with Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGCS) to reduce sulphur from ship emissions by 98%.

Our hybrid EGCS can operate in an open or closed loop, allowing wash water to be collected in holding tanks to avoid direct discharge into ports or other sensitive areas.

5 of our ships are fitted with a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system, which significantly reduces nitrogen oxides (NOx) from the ship exhaust and transforms it into harmless nitrogen and water, through advanced active emissions control technology. SCR systems will be on fitted on all future ships.

12 of our ships, including all our new ships, are been fitted with shore power capability. This enables onboard engines to be switched off, cutting emissions. We are committed to using these systems whenever shore power is available.


Our ships are fitted with the latest freshwater production plants and 80% of all freshwater used onboard is produced from the sea using desalination technology. This means that we minimise taking this precious resource from destinations ashore where freshwater can be scarce. On our newset ships we self-produce up to 3 millions liters each day, the equivalent of an Olympic swimming pool!

With the freshwater produced on board we even make our own beer. Our micro-brewery MSC World Europa uses freshwater produced onboard from seawater, so not only we save water but we also transport less beer onto our ships, and manage less waste, such as beer cans and bottles.

Reducing noise

Our ships are designed to reduce noise radiated under the water surface, thus minimising noise or vibration that might impact aquatic mammals. Noise reduction is achieved on various levels. A significant amount of effort goes into studying and perfecting the ship’s hull design, hydrodynamics and propulsion system.

Through extensive testing and simulations, MSC Cruises creates optimal hull design and bulbous bow to minimise resistance when moving through the water. Less ‘drag’ means smoother movement through the water and less noise. Insulation of potentially noisy equipment such as engines and generators on board the ship will also have a positive impact on reducing under water noise.

We are also reducing noise thanks to our propeller which is equipped with an air lubrication system that balances the pressure around the propeller. As the ship moves through the water, the propeller blades create low pressure and the bubble system is able to equalize this therefore reducing the noise.

Saving energy on board

Our ships’ lighting is provided by energy-efficient LED. The LED bulbs we use on our ships are up to 75% more efficient than traditional bulbs and last at least 7 times longer.

Heat recovery systems allow the intelligent redistribution of heat and cold where needed throughout the ship. In particular we ensure the waste heat from the engines does not go to waste but is used to heat water for the laundry and to generate freshwater from seawater through evaporation.

In addition, our ships gather and continuously transmit thousands of different data sets to our expert teams on shore. We use this data to better understand how we operate, and to improve efficiency across all areas of our operations.

Ballast Water Treatment

One of the challenges in operating a cruise ship is keeping the weight, centre of gravity, and stability requirements balanced and consistent throughout a voyage. To help us do this, there are tanks distributed in the lower part of a ship which can be filled with seawater to act as ballast.

Scientific studies over the years have revealed that this practice has allowed bacteria, microbes, small invertebrates, larvae and other microorganisms to be transported from one location to another around the world, potentially threatening local ecosystems.

To prevent this, and to comply with strict international regulations, all our ships are fitted with a ballast water treatment system that complies with the standards set by the UN international governing body, the International Maritime Organization (IMO). This system protects against the involuntary introduction of invasive marine species. In 2022, 100% of ballast water was filtered and UV treated before being discharged at sea.

Cleaner Water

Most of the water used on our ships is produced on board, with highly efficient systems producing clean freshwater from seawater. We keep the ocean as it should be: clean. All the water used on board our ships is treated and cleaned to excellent international standards before it goes back in the sea.  All our ships are equipped with wastewater treatment systems designed and maintained to the highest standards – even higher than many on-shore facilities.

Although regulations generally allow untreated sewage (blackwater) to be discharged once a ship is travelling more than 12 nautical miles from land, we do not allow this under normal operation in any circumstances and require that the ship requests permission from the Company, when a rare and exceptional discharge is necessary.

Solid Waste Management

All our ships are equipped with comprehensive solid waste management and recycling facilities.

All organic waste, as well as recyclable disposable items including plastics, metals, paper and glass, are collected and separated by specially trained waste handling crew members. Waste is compacted, separated or incinerated, and residual waste is carefully delivered to dedicated port facilities.
Training our crew, not only to handle waste, but to understand the importance of waste management, is central to what we do. Our crew members receive ongoing training to ensure they remain abreast of the highest standards and can inform our guests about the need to separate and recycle.

The Environmental Compliance Officer on every ship is responsible for ensuring waste management protocols are followed


Our sustainability programme is organized around four key pillars: PlanetPeoplePlace and Procurement

Browse our Sustainability reports and find out what we do to achieve sustainable cruising.

Report 2021

Report 2020

Report 2019