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MSC Euribia is the final ship in the cruise line's Meraviglia-Plus Class. (Photo: MSC Cruises)

Live From MSC Euribia: MSC Cruises Christens Newest Ship in Copenhagen

MSC Euribia is the final ship in the cruise line's Meraviglia-Plus Class. (Photo: MSC Cruises)
U.K. Executive Editor
Adam Coulter

Sep 11, 2023

Read time
6 min read

(1:05 p.m. EDT) – MSC Cruises christened its newest – and greenest – ship June 8 in a lavish ceremony in Copenhagen.

Film icon Sophia Loren, who has christened 18 of the line's previous ships, cut the ribbon to smash the Champagne bottle against the multi-colored hull of MSC's second liquefied natural gas ship – and its final Meraviglia-class ship.

Danish television host, actress and model Sarah Grünewald hosted the almost two-hour event, which included a ballet performance from the Royal Danish Ballet and closed with a four-song set from ex-Spandau Ballet front man, Tony Hadley.

In between, there was music, dancing and acrobatics from the onboard performers, as well as speeches from explorer Mike Horn, Danish UNICEF ambassador Cecile Hother and numerous MSC executives.

French DJ and producer Bob Sinclair closed out the evening, playing a set in the ship's main promenade till the wee hours.

Cruise Critic was onboard for a night to get a taste of the 6,334-passenger ship, which sets off on a series of northern Europe itineraries until October and will be based in the U.K. from October.

MSC Euribia Features Familiar Spaces and a Few Changes

The marine-inspired hull art on MSC Euribia was designed by Alex Flamig. (Photo: Adam Coulter)

MSC Cruises has not changed the blueprint for MSC Euribia, which is the fifth and final in the Meraviglia-class, but has changed a few features – both inside and out.

The first thing you notice is the striking hull art which – in a first for the line and to nail its green credentials firmly to the mast, as it were – is covered in a mosaic of marine life painted in blues and greens including turtles, a whale and the hashtag #SavetheSea. It's striking and sets the ship apart from the rest in the fleet. (At first glance you might think you've spotted a Norwegian Cruise Line ship).

Designer Alex Flamig won the worldwide competition to have his art displayed on the hull, and he took a bow at the ceremony last night. Art from the runners up is displayed around the ship.

MSC Euribia Has New Dining and Drinking Venues

We enjoyed Helios Wine Maker on MSC Euribia, where we indulged in some wine and learned a bit, too. (Photo: Adam Coulter)

There are a few changes in terms of dining and drinking, too. Gone is the Bionic Bar with "Rob" the robot barman serving cocktails. Instead, there is an altogether different experience: Helios Wine Maker.

 But in true MSC form, it's not your regular wine bar – it's a high-tech wine bar where customers sit at touchscreen tables and learn the story behind the glass they are drinking: its history, the grape varietal and the regions from where it comes.

There is a wide selection on offer, and it's a great way to learn something while enjoying a tipple.

Another big change is the disappearance of two of the most popular restaurants the line has: Butcher's Cut, the line's New York-style steakhouse which has been a mainstay on every ship since the original MSC Meraviglia in 2017; and Indochine, a French-Vietnamese restaurant that debuted on MSC Virtuosa.

Le Grill is a brand-new French-style steak restaurant onboard MSC Cruises' MSC Euribia. (Photo: Adam Coulter)

Both have been replaced by Le Grill, which is also a steakhouse, but more in a French bistro style and nestled within L'Atelier Voyageur, where Indochine once was located. A main dining room, Il Tempo, takes the spot where Butcher's Cut once was.

We didn't have the opportunity to eat in Le Grill, so we can't offer an opinion on the food, but we enjoyed the décor and the Julian Opie artwork on the back wall of L'Atelie

MSC Euribia's Carousel Lounge Has Been Given a Makeover

The Carousel Lounge on MSC Euribia by day. (Photo: Adam Coulter)

Since MSC and Cirque at Sea parted ways, the line has been trying to decide what to put in the Carousel Lounge at the aft of the ship.

Well, it might have hit upon a winning formula. The space, which did feature a stage in the round, has been removed to create a dance floor, and Big Band at Sea performs on a series of ascending levels behind the space. And that's indeed what it was on the night we were onboard. There must have been at least 15 musicians, maybe more, arranged across the back of the room, with two singers giving all they've got at the front.

The night we were onboard it was disco classics, and it didn't take long for the crowd to get up and boogie; the night before it was music from the Rat Pack era.

The Carousel Lounge has been given a makeover on MSC Euribia and now hosts Big Band nights. (Photo: Adam Coulter)

There is also a screen at the back for projections. It's a great fun, after-dinner spot for a nightcap and, if you're in the mood, a twirl on the dance floor.

(Find out which cruise lines offer the best entertainment at sea.)

MSC Euribia's Environmental Message is Loud and Clear

DJ Bob Sinclair closed out the christening ceremony of MSC Euribia, which the line says is its most environmentally friendly ship. (Photo: Getty Images)

Externally, the rest of the ship, to anyone who has sailed on a Meraviglia- or Meraviglia-plus class ship, is the same: a main promenade lined with shops, bars and restaurants; a huge main pool deck; an award-winning LEGO-themed Kids Club and ship-within-a-ship, all suite Yacht Club.

All the other changes on this ship, you likely won't see as they include behind-the-scenes advanced onboard wastewater treatment system, so no water is allowed to leave the ship without specific treatment; recycling of all waste onboard and no single-use plastics and a wide range of energy-saving equipment to maximize efficiency, such as smart heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

It's hard to ignore the environmental message that MSC is sending, and the line is to be lauded in terms of environmental stewardship. From the redevelopment of Ocean Cay in the Bahamas, evolving a concrete dumping ground into a marine reserve; to the work of the MSC Foundation, which works with UNICEF, to this ship, which the line claims will be the most environmentally friendly in the world. Many lines make similar claims, but all are striving to be more environmentally friendly, with a shared goal of being carbon neutral by 2050, or sooner.

Antonio Paradiso, MSC Cruises UK & Ireland managing director said: "We are thrilled to announce the arrival of MSC Euribia, our brand-new ship powered by liquefied natural gas fuel. From October 2023 and throughout winter 2023-2024, the flagship will sail into Southampton, meeting the high demand for no-fly cruises after the success of MSC Virtuosa."

(Learn more about LNG fuel and how it might change how cruise lines affect the environment.)

It's sad to say farewell to such a popular and successful class of ship as Meraviglia Class, but MSC Euribia is a fine way to bow out.

Updated September 11, 2023
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