Our cruises allow people to visit some of the most beautiful and exciting destinations that the world has to offer – and we want to help to keep them that way. We want to deliver positive social and economic outcomes for the local communities we visit. Our investments in the development of new sustainable cruise terminals are creating jobs and bringing new visitors to these places. Collaboration with local authorities, community groups and partners, such as the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), to share information and integrate policies and strategies helps support responsible tourism management. We are also a member of both the CEO-led Sustainability Committee and the Sustainability Task Force of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), working closely with travel industry partners to develop and implement sustainable solutions for our industry.
Economic Impact: Terminal development
We have invested in the creation of new terminal facilities in Durban, Miami, and Barcelona. These are allowing – or will allow – us to deploy our most environmentally advanced vessels in these locations. To ensure we are building these terminals with the environment front of mind, all new MSC Cruises’ port terminals are certified to LEED silver or higher. LEED – which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – is a widely used global green building rating system. Its rigorous score-based systems ensure high levels of efficiency in both building design and operation.
Miami: In March 2022, we broke ground for our new cruise terminal in Miami which, when it opens in late 2023, will be North America’s largest. Most ships at berth at the new Miami terminal will be able to plug in to the local power grid, in line with PortMiami’s plans to enable shore power connectivity. A comprehensive environmental and social management system is in place for the construction and subsequent operation of the terminal. At a minimum, the terminal is expected to meet the LEED Silver rating, and a third-party audited system will ensure extensive data collection, reporting and incident notification practices.
Barcelona: The terminal will have shore power connectivity and will also be ready for LNG bunkering. It is on track to meet the LEED Gold rating, and we will seek LEED Zero Energy and LEED Zero Water certification within 12 months of operation. LEED Zero Energy requires the incorporation of solar panels and the use of renewable energy from the grid, as well as a low energy consumption design. To achieve LEED Zero water, we will demonstrate that the terminal has a low water demand, reuses rainwater, and directs stormwater directly to the sea.
Economic Impact: Terminal development
Unmanaged tourism is a challenge for many of the world’s most popular travel destinations, and we are committed to playing our part in addressing this. We work with our tour operators and relevant local authorities to find ways to minimise crowding on city infrastructure and traffic. This includes finding new sites to visit, expanding the area of interest beyond city centres. We are determined to be a positive and engaged player in driving responsible and sustainable tourism.
Transport: The first step in offering greener tours is to consider how we transport passengers from ports to places of interest. We are committed to expanding our utilisation of green ground transportation over time. During 2022, where possible we switched from fossil-fuelled vehicles to electric and hybrid shuttle buses in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Spain and Sweden.
Protectours: Excursions with a lower carbon footprint are growing in popularity and, in 2022, we offered more responsible shore excursions called ‘Protectours’ at 57 destinations. These tours, first introduced in 2020, include walking, hiking, bicycling, canoeing and kayaking excursions ashore – all low carbon activities. We aim to have at least one ‘Protectour’ in each destination by the end of 2024.
Supporting tour operators: Our partnership continued with Travelife, a training and certification initiative specifically designed to help tourism companies that want to understand their responsibilities and become more sustainable. Travelife provides our tour operators with information and training that allows them to take action to reduce their environmental impact.
Nature Positive tourism: In 2022 we supported two nature tourism focused initiatives of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). ‘Towards Nature Positive Travel & Tourism’ is a comprehensive report to highlight the important role that the travel and tourism industry must play in reducing impacts that result in biodiversity loss and support nature conservation. MSC Cruises was highlighted in this report for several nature positive actions, including the diversion of ships away from sperm whale populations in the East Mediterranean. Further to this, and to strengthen the commitment by the travel and tourism industry at the UN Biodiversity conference (COP 15), MSC Cruises signed the WTTC Nature Positive Vision for Travel & Tourism, to help position the travel and tourism sector as a ‘guardian of nature’ and to demonstrate the important role the sector can play in the implementation of global biodiversity goals.
Supporting local communities
The MSC Foundation supports communities in need through a variety of projects and programmes, including long-term partnerships with Marevivo, UNICEF and Mercy Ships.
Emergency relief: Responsive as always to emergencies, the MSC Foundation continues to consolidate its global role assisting those most in need by donating goods, instigating fundraising schemes, and working with the MSC Group to provide logistics support. During 2022, the Foundation supported eight emergency relief initiatives in nine countries.
Onboard education and involvement: Five of our cruise ships now host a dedicated MSC Foundation Centre, designed to inform and inspire our guests on the MSC Foundation’s aims, programmes, and initiatives to tackle to the most pressing global needs.
New partnerships: MSC Foundation launched two new strategic partnerships in 2022. In November, at the naming ceremony of MSC World Europa, it committed to provide grant funding to an innovative multi-stakeholder programme to conserve and restore Qatar’s coastal environment. In December, at the naming ceremony of MSC Seascape, the Foundation launched a partnership with the Mayor’s Fund to support vulnerable communities in New York City. It will support two programmes: the NYC Junior Ambassadors (NYCJA) and the
Supporting local communities
Sustainability reportsOur sustainability programme is organized around four key pillars: Planet, People, Place and Procurement.
Browse our Sustainability reports and find out what we do to promote sustainable cruising.