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 13 cruise ships, and all but two of those carry more than 3,000 passengers and crew, with the line’s newest ship MSC Seaside accommodating more than 6,500 passengers and crew.

Of the 13 MSC cruise ships, five have installed advanced sewage treatment systems, resulting in a grade of D for the company’s sewage treatment score. In the air pollution reduction category, only three of MSC’s ships have installed scrubbers or shoreside plug-in capability, earning the line an F. No MSC cruise ships traveled to Alaska between 2010 and 2014. 

MSC Cruises - Cruise Ship Fleet

Ship Name Total Persons on Board Destinations Sewage Treatment Air Pollution Reduction Water Quality Compliance Final Ship Grade
MSC Armonia 3400 Mediterranean, Africa, Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, U.S. East Coast F F N/A F
MSC Divina 5733 Caribbean, Mediterranean, Mexico, U.S. East Coast, Central America, South America A F N/A C-
MSC Fantasia 5733 Europe, Mediterranean, Africa, Middle East A C N/A B+
MSC Lirica 2705 Asia F C N/A D-
MSC Magnifica 4261 Europe, Mediterranean, South America, Africa F F N/A F
MSC Musica 4237 Europe, Mediterranean, Africa, South America F F N/A F
MSC Opera 2878 Europe, Mediterranean, Caribbean, Central America, Mexico F F N/A F
MSC Orchestra 4277 Mediterranean, South America, Africa, Caribbean, Central America, Mexico F F N/A F
MSC Poesia 4262 Mediterranean, South America, Africa, Caribbean, Central America, Mexico F F N/A F
MSC Preziosa 5733 Europe, Mediterranean, South America, Africa A F N/A C-
MSC Sinfonia 3400 Africa, Mediterranean, Middle East F F N/A F
MSC Splendida 5733 Europe, Mediterranean, Africa, Arctic, Middle East A F N/A C-
MSC Seaside 6592 Africa, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Mexico, U.S. East Coast A C N/A B+

« Back to the cruise report card

Grading methodology for the 2016 Cruise Ship Report Card

Friends of the Earth’s Cruise Ship Report Card ranks 17 major cruise lines and 171 cruise ships -- Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Fathom, 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, we graded ships on whether they had installed scrubbers or were capable of plugging into shoreside power. Cruise ships that installed both technologies and docked in ports with shore power received an A, while ships that only installed scrubbers or only installed shore power capability but did not dock at ports with shoreside power were given a C. 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.
  • 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 2014. 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.
  • To determine the Transparency grade for each cruise line we graded each line based on whether it responded to our 2015 requests for information regarding their environmental practices.
  • The grades for each of the four criteria were averaged to calculate the Final Grade for each cruise line.