MSC Musica Is Christened in Venice

More than 1,000 VIP guests witnessed the naming ceremony of the 2,550-passenger MSC Musica in Venice, Italy. Not surprisingly, the ceremony revolved around "music" as a central theme, with dancers, masted Venetian actors, and the official christening by Sophia Loren, the ship's godmother. Afterward, guests were treated to a gala dinner and fireworks display as the vessel sailed through the Grand Canal. MSC Cruises CEO Pierfrancesco Vago told the audience onboard the ship that MSC has proven it can compete with the world's big players in the cruise industry. He noted that MSC's huge cargo and shipping operations allow it to have the financial clout to add ships quickly and thus build a presence within the cruise segment in a fast-paced manner. MSC has multiple new ships on order and by 2009 will field 22,446 berths on 12 ships. Line officials said that MSC Cruises will carry more than one million passengers and reach $1 billion in sales by 2009.

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