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MSC Cruises - Final Grade: "F"

MSC Cruises was founded in 1970 by an Italian shipping company. Headquartered in Switzerland, MSC Cruises is a subsidiary of Mediterranean Shipping Company, and it is the fourth largest cruise operator in the world, after Carnival Corp., Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. MSC Cruises currently operates 17 cruise ships, and all of those carry more than 3,000 passengers and crew, with the line’s newest ships MSC Bellissima and MSC Grandiosa accommodating more than 4,500 and 6,300 passengers and crew respectively.

Of the 17 MSC cruise ships, nine have installed advanced sewage treatment systems, resulting in a grade of C- for the company’s sewage treatment score. In the air pollution reduction category, only five of MSC’s ships have shoreside plug-in capability and currently none travel to a port with shoreside power hookups, earning the line an F. No MSC cruise ships traveled to Alaska between 2010 and 2018.

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MSC Cruises - Cruise Ship Fleet

Ship Name Cruise Line Total Persons on Board Destinations Sewage Treatment

Sewage Treatment

Has the cruise line installed on its ships the most advanced sewage and wastewater treatment systems available instead of dumping minimally treated sewage directly into the water? In determining a cruise line’s Sewage Treatment grade, we compared the number of cruise ships in the cruise line that have installed advanced sewage treatment systems against the total number of ships in the cruise line.

Air Pollution Reduction

Air Pollution Reduction

Has the cruise line installed scrubbers or adopted cleaner fuel worldwide? In determining the Air Pollution Reduction grade for each ship in a cruise line, ships that dock at a port and plug in to available shoreside power hookups were graded. In addition, ships were given credit if they only utilize low sulfur fuels continuously at levels lower than required by international and U.S. law.

Water Quality Compliance

Water Quality Compliance

To what degree cruise ships violated water pollution standards designed to better protect the Alaskan coast. In determining the Water Quality Compliance grade for cruise ships operating in Alaska, we used the notices of violation issued to each cruise line by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation from 2010 to 2018 for individual cruise ships.

Final Ship Grade
Curved Grading Scale
A 100-85 Excellent
B 84-70 Satisfactory
C 69-50 Needs Work
D 49-25 Poor
F 24-0 Unacceptable
N/A Not Graded No Discharge In Alaskan Waters

**For the 2019 Cruise Ship Report Card, we graded 16 cruise lines and the 185 cruise ships of those 16 lines operating around the world. All cruise ships from each cruise line were included in this report card. Friends of the Earth relied on data gathered from the internet, government sources, the cruise line industry, and other public sources in order to determine the grades assigned to the cruise lines. Friends of the Earth did not independently verify that the technology graded in the report card was installed on the individual cruise ships.

MSC Fantasia MSC Cruises 5733 Africa, Europe, Mediterranean, Middle East 11 00 N/A 04
MSC Opera MSC Cruises 3407 Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Mediterranean, Mexico 00 00 N/A 00
MSC Bellissima MSC Cruises 6036 Mediterranean 11 04 N/A 08
MSC Divina MSC Cruises 5733 Caribbean, Central America, Mediterranean, Mexico, South America, U.S. East Coast 11 00 N/A 04
MSC Poesia MSC Cruises 4632 Africa, Europe, Mediterranean, South America 00 00 N/A 00
MSC Grandiosa MSC Cruises 8000 Mediterranean 11 04 N/A 08
MSC Seaside MSC Cruises 6842 Africa, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Mexico, U.S. East Coast 11 04 N/A 08
MSC Musica MSC Cruises 3537 Africa, Europe, Mediterranean, South America 00 00 N/A 00
MSC Orchestra MSC Cruises 4187 Africa, Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Mediterranean, Mexico, South America 00 00 N/A 00
MSC Preziosa MSC Cruises 5733 Africa, Europe, Mediterranean, South America 11 00 N/A 04
MSC Lirica MSC Cruises 3379 Asia, Europe, South America 00 00 N/A 00
MSC Sinfonia MSC Cruises 3400 Africa, Mediterranean, Middle East 00 00 N/A 00
MSC Armonia MSC Cruises 3400 Africa, Caribbean, Central America, Mediterranean, Mexico, U.S. East Coast 00 00 N/A 00
MSC Meraviglia MSC Cruises 6036 Arctic, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Mexico, U.S. East Coast 11 04 N/A 08
MSC Seaview MSC Cruises 6592 Mediterranean, South America 11 04 N/A 08
MSC Magnifica MSC Cruises 4261 Europe, Mediterranean, South America 00 00 N/A 00
MSC Splendida MSC Cruises 5733 Africa, Arctic, Europe, Mediterranean, Middle East 11 00 N/A 04

Grading Methodology For The 2019 Cruise Ship Report Card

Friends of the Earth’s Cruise Ship Report Card ranks 16 major cruise lines and 185 cruise ships — Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean Int’l, Seabourn Cruise Line and Silversea Cruises—according to four environmental criteria: Sewage Treatment, Air Pollution Reduction, Water Quality Compliance and Transparency.

. To determine a cruise line’s Sewage Treatment grade, we compared the number of cruise ships in the cruise line that have installed advanced sewage treatment systems against the total number of ships in the cruise line.

. To determine the Air Pollution Reduction grade for each ship in a cruise line, ships that dock at a port and plug in to available shoreside power hookups were graded. In addition, ships were given credit if they only utilize low sulfur fuels continuously at levels lower than required by international and U.S. law. Use of scrubbers was no longer considered since the significant majority of scrubbers in use by the cruise industry simply convert air pollution emissions into water pollution through their scrubber wastewater discharges.

. To determine the Water Quality Compliance grade for ships operating in Alaska, we used notices of violation issued for individual cruise ships to each cruise line by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation from 2010 to 2018. Ships were given an ‘N/A’ if they traveled to Alaska but avoided Alaska’s strong water quality standards by discharging outside of those protected waters or if they didn’t travel to Alaska at all.

. To determine the Transparency grade for each cruise line we graded each line based on whether it responded to our 2019 requests for information regarding their environmental practices.

. All seven Carnival Corp. companies graded on the report card committed criminal environmental violations in 2017 and 2018 while on federal criminal probation in the US for violations dating back to 2005.

. The grades for each of the four criteria were averaged to calculate the Final Grade for each cruise line. Carnival Corp. companies have all received an overall F grade on this year’s report card due to their ongoing criminal behavior from every line under the Carnival brand while on federal probation in the US.

Grades In Comparison: Report Cards From Previous Years 

 

**For the 2019 Cruise Ship Report Card, we graded 16 cruise lines and the 185 cruise ships of those 16 lines operating around the world. All ocean-going cruise ships over 100 passengers and crew from each cruise line were included in this report card. Friends of the Earth relied on data gathered from the internet, government sources, the cruise line industry, and other public sources in order to determine the grades assigned to the cruise lines. Friends of the Earth did not independently verify that the technology graded in the report card was installed on the individual cruise ships.