MSC Cruises, the world’s third largest cruise brand, recently hosted the naming ceremony of its newest flagship MSC World Europa at the brand-new Grand Cruise Terminal in Doha, Qatar.

Together with partners Qatar Airways, the celebrations were part of MSC’s overall commitment to supporting the growth of international tourism in Qatar as well as the broader Middle East region, where MSC Cruises is a brand leader.

Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, Cruise Division of MSC Group, 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."

Vago continued: "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."

Akbar Al Baker, Chairman of Qatar Tourism and Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, 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. 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.”

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, with 215,863 GT’s, 47 metres wide, 40,000 sq m 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.

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 distinguished 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.

The glamorous night culminated in a spectacular firework display against the stunning Doha skyline, and a gourmet gala dinner in the ship’s elegant restaurants.

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