MSC Cruises unveils MSC World Europa with an eye on the fleet of the future
When MSC Cruises named its newest ship in Doha, Qatar, in November last year, the privately-owned cruise line pulled out all the stops. The MSC World Europa naming ceremony included an incredible drone show, an impressive fireworks display set against the Doha skyline, and an appearance from a distinguished member of the Qatar royal family, Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani.
Most would agree the fanfare was worth it. The trailblazing MSC World Europa is the first vessel among the brand’s new World-class ships. Europa is the first liquified natural gas (LNG)-powered vessel offered by the line, and boasts a range of new features travelers will love.
Among them are the tallest dry slide at sea, which spans 11 decks and graces an outdoor grand promenade flanked with staterooms, 13 dining venues and a family area complete with bumper cars.
What You’ll Find on the Newest Ship
Your first step on MSC Cruises’s newest ship is a lot like embarking on any other MSC Cruises vessel, yet you’ll quickly notice that every aspect of Europa is over-the-top. The interior promenade has the same LED dome ceiling found on some other MSC ships, yet with a uniquely modern shape and added design elements, like sparkling chandeliers and spiral staircases on each side. Meanwhile, the outdoor promenade features a built-in lighting system that lets the walls sync with music in an explosion of color and sound.
MSC World Europa offers 19 different stateroom categories in total, seven of which aren’t offered on other MSC ships. Guests can book a Premium Aurea Suite with promenade and ocean views, for example, or an Infinite Ocean View stateroom with a panoramic window that slides open and turns into a glass balustrade.
Dining options offer culinary and cocktail experiences you can’t find elsewhere. In addition to the regular restaurants you can expect from MSC Cruises and other lines, MSC World Europa offers a Chef’s Garden Kitchen with a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients and a groundbreaking seafood dining venue called La Pescaderia. Of course, MSC favorites like the Butcher’s Cut steakhouse and Kaito Teppanyaki Grill and Sushi Bar are also on board, along with the street food-inspired Hola! Tacos & Cantina.
Spirits may be where MSC World Europa really shines. The ship boasts its own onboard brewery where craft beers are expertly made from ocean water using advanced desalination techniques. The Elixir Mixology Bar offers an incredible list of signature cocktails, including a full menu of drinks inspired by the Aperol spritz. Cruisers will also find a full-fledged gin bar called The Gin Project, which serves up every gin drink you can think of. For teetotalers (and everyone else), a South Asian-style tea room, a coffee bar, and a juice bar are also offered on board.
While MSC World Europa began its journey in the Middle East with stops in ports like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Dammam, Saudi Arabia, the ship positioned into the Mediterranean in March 2023. Current 7-night itineraries stop in the Italian ports of Genoa, Naples, and Messina, along with Valletta, Malta; Barcelona; and Marseille.
Looking Ahead to MSC World America
MSC Cruises’ ambition to take over the U.S. market never ceases, and the line never stops building new ships as a result. In what is perhaps the most anticipated MSC Cruises vessel so far, the travel brand plans to begin sailings on MSC World America in summer 2025. MSC World America will be the second of MSC Cruises’ World-class ships, and will feature many of the amenities and design elements of MSC World Europa but with more of a focus on dining and entertainment for the American market. When she comes into service, MSC World America will have 2,600 cabins and 420,000 square feet of public space while measuring 22 decks tall and150 feet wide.
The sheer size of MSC World America will make it the brand’s largest ship cruising from North America. However, there’s no word yet on the exact itineraries the vessel will offer once bookings are open to the public.
Watch Out for MSC Euribia: June 2023
Cruise enthusiasts will also want to keep their eyes out for the brand new MSC Euribia, which will be unveiled during a naming ceremony in Copenhagen, Denmark, in June 2023. This ship will be LNG-powered like MSC World Europa, and will feature an advanced wastewater treatment system that will help protect the marine ecosystem. Notable onboard features will include a stunning promenade with an LED dome (similar to MSC World Europa, MSC Meraviglia, and MSC Bellissima), shopping options, 10 exclusive dining venues, 21 bars and lounges, and five pools. The ship will also feature a large water park
that should be one of the most elaborate at sea.
MSC Euribia will sail its inaugural season in Northern Europe with 7-night sailings that include stops in Kiel, Germany, and Copenhagen, Denmark, along with Geiranger, Ålesund, and Flåm in Norway. After that, MSC Euribia will offer 4- and 5-night sailings from Genoa, Italy, with stops in several famous cities along the Mediterranean.
By Holly Johnson
This is an excerpt from the latest issue of Porthole Cruise and Travel Magazine. To continue reading, click above for a digital or print subscription.