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 Lines. MSC Cruises currently operates 12 cruise ships, and around 70 percent of those carry 4,000 or more passengers and crew.  

Of the 12 MSC cruise ships, four have installed an advanced sewage treatment systems, resulting in a grade of D for the company’s 33 percent sewage treatment score. In determining the air pollution reduction grade for each cruise line, only ships that dock at a port that currently has shoreside power facilities (thereby avoiding burning dirty fuel in port) were considered. In total, none of MSC’s ships that dock at a port with shoreside power are plug-in capable, giving the company an F in this category. No MSC cruise ships traveled to Alaska in 2010, 2011 or 2012.

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 2787 Europe, Mediterranean, Middle East F F N/A F
MSC Divina 5284 Caribbean, Europe, Mediterranean, Mexico, U.S. East Coast A F N/A C-
MSC Fantasia 5284 Europe, Mediterranean A F N/A C-
MSC Lirica 2769 Europe, Mediterranean, Middle East F F N/A F
MSC Magnifica 4000 Arctic, Europe, Mediterranean, South America F F N/A F
MSC Musica 4000 Arctic, Caribbean, Europe, Mediterranean F F N/A F
MSC Opera 2755 Africa, Arctic, Europe, Mediterranean F F N/A F
MSC Orchestra 4000 Europe, Mediterranean, South America F F N/A F
MSC Poesia 4000 Arctic, Europe, Mediterranean, South America F F N/A F
MSC Preziosa 5329 Europe, Mediterranean, South America A F N/A C-
MSC Sinfonia 2787 Africa, Europe, Mediterranean F F N/A F
MSC Splendida 5284 Europe, Mediterranean A F N/A C-

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Grading methodology for the 2013 Cruise Ship Report Card

Friends of the Earth’s Cruise Ship Report Card ranks 15 major cruise lines and 148 cruise ships -- Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, 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 three environmental criteria: Sewage Treatment, Air Pollution Reduction, and Water Quality Compliance.

  • 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, only ships that dock at a port and plug in to available shoreside power hookups were graded.
  • To determine the Water Quality Compliance grade for ships operating in Alaska, we used 2010 notices of violation issued for individual cruise ships to each cruise line by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. 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.
  • The grades for each of the criteria were averaged to calculate the Final Grade for each cruise line.