The MSC World Europa, the natural-gas powered flagship of MSC Cruises, will set sail on its first itinerary this December. The ship is the first of the cruise line’s new fleet of World Class vessels.

The MSC World Europa will be the cruise line’s largest ship ever. It also is the first to be powered by liquid natural gas (LNG), considered to be a more eco-friendly fuel than the marine diesel commonly used by cruise ships.

MSC World Europa’s inaugural season will be in the Gulf region, beginning with a special four-night sail from Doha, Qatar to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The ship will then offer 7-night cruises from Dubai to Abu Dhabi and Sir Bani Yas Island, a nature preserve. Other port calls will be at Dammam, Saudi Arabia to visit Al Ahsa oasis, and Doha, the capital of Qatar.

MSC World Europa will then return to Dubai for an overnight stay before setting off for the Mediterranean Sea. During summer 2003, the ship will operate seven-night cruises, with calls at Genoa, Naples and Messina in Italy; Valletta in Malta; Barcelona, Spain, and Marseilles, France.

Like the other World Class ships to come, MSC World Europa will be 22 decks tall, more than 150 feet wide, and feature 2,626 cabins and 430,000 square feet of public space. The latter will include a 341-foot-long long, 7-deck-high outdoor World Promenade.

Other notable ship features are

  • The Venom Drop @ The Spiral, the longest dry slide at sea, spanning 11 decks
  • The World Galleria, with bars, restaurants, shops and boutiques under a dome
  • 33 restaurants, bars and lounges, including new dining concepts like Chef’s Garden Kitchen, with the first hydroponic garden at sea, and La Pescaderia, a new signature Mediterranean fish restaurant
  • Children’s programs for ages 0-17
  • seven swimming pools and 13 hot tubs, including pools with water slides
  • Seven new cabin designs, including new Infinite Ocean View cabins with panoramic windows

For more information, visit MSC Cruises.