And they've just announced their 117-day, around-the-world cruise set for January 2022.

By Alison Fox
November 08, 2019
MSC Grandiosa Cruise Ship
Credit: Robin Utrecht/Getty Images

While it’s always great to see new places, travel has one of the biggest impacts on your carbon footprint. In an effort to be more environmentally friendly, MSC Cruises has committed that all of their voyages will be carbon neutral by next year.

The move comes as the Switzerland-based cruise line readies its new environmentally-advanced ship, the MSC Grandiosa, and announces that bookings are now open for it’s 117-day World Cruise, a jaunt around the globe that touches 24 different countries.

"The goal is… one day to arrive at zero emissions altogether (from the source)," Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ executive chairman, told USA TODAY.

According to the paper, currently the technology does not exist to produce zero carbon emissions at the source, so Vago pledged to “work with leading providers in carbon offsets able to offset CO2 emissions with the highest level of integrity.”

To that effect, MSC Cruises is buying blue carbon credits that support coastal habitats, according to USA TODAY. It is also investing in new technology that would support producing zero carbon emissions.

Critics, however, have accused companies that purchase these types of credits as "greenwashing," according to the Miami Herald, reporting that research shows they don’t always live up to what they promise.

“It’s really completely dependent on what they do,” Timothy Searchinger, a Princeton University research scholar, told the Miami Herald. “They should recognize that offsets have generally been mostly not real. But there have been chances to do better.”

For its part, the line’s newest ship, the MSC Grandiosa, which will launch Nov. 9, features hybrid exhaust gas cleaning systems, a ballast water treatment system to prevent introducing invading species, and includes energy-efficient LED lighting.

The announcement also comes as MSC Cruises is starting to promote bookings for its around-the-world cruise, which will sail from four European embarkation ports in January 2022. Sales opened this week for MSC Voyagers Club members, while the general public can sign up starting Dec. 9.

The cruise, on the MSC Poesia, will hit 43 ports of call over 24 countries and five continents, including France, Brazil, New Zealand, Malaysia, and India. It will also include 15 shore excursions in the price of the cruise, like the Highlights of Ubud in Bali and the Icons of Mumbai in India.