MSC Cruises has held the coin ceremony for MSC Euribia and also celebrated the float out of MSC World Europa.
MSC Euribia is scheduled to launch in June 2023, while MSC World Europa will welcome its first guests in December 2022.
The ships will become the line’s first LNG-powered vessels when they launch.
MSC Cruises and the Chantiers de l’Atlantique have also confirmed the installation of a fuel cell pilot plant on board MSC World Europa, known as Blue Horizon.
This will use LNG to convert fuel into electricity and heat, to be used on board.
MSC World Europa will now be moved to a wet dock where work will continue on the ship until its delivery. It will spend its inaugural season in the Gulf region, operating seven-night cruises from Dubai.
MSC Cruises executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago said: “Today is another important milestone in our journey towards net zero emissions by 2050 for our marine operations.
“Following billions of euros of investment, we are announcing significant construction developments in not just one but two of our next generation LNG-powered vessels bringing us ever closer to our vision of an emissions free cruise industry.
“As the cleanest fuel currently available at scale for our operations, LNG is at the vanguard of the momentous energy transition we must go through.
“We have a lot more to do but I am pleased that despite all that we have faced from the pandemic over the last two years, we have still been able to achieve with our partners at Chantiers de l’Atlantique the launch of these new LNG vessels – the first ever made in France that will also introduce potential new fuel cell technologies to make them even more efficient.
“We now need to take even bigger steps and we will need the continued support of our suppliers, partners and governments to achieve this. We all need to work together to achieve our green future.”
Chantiers de l’Atlantique general manager Laurent Castaing added: “It is indeed a very special moment we are living today. This is not only because these ships are respectively the 15th and the 16th we are building for MSC Cruises, which shows the outstanding quality of the relationship we established between our two companies since the 90s.
“This is not only because they will rank among the largest and the finest of the world’s cruise market. But it is also and especially because they represent a giant step towards what the cruise ships of the future will look like.
“At their delivery, they will have the best carbon footprint of the market, in terms of emissions per passenger and per day.”