|Christine Duffy, president, Carnival Cruise Line, was godmother at a Vista 2 splashdown ceremony in Italy. Also shown is John Heald, the line's brand ambassador. // Photo courtesy of Lynn and Cele Seldon.|
With a dramatic splashdown, a 300-foot-long hull section of Carnival Cruise Line's second Vista-class ship had its first taste of the sea on May 19 at historic Castellamare di Stabia shipyard, Fincantieri’s oldest, in Naples, Italy.
|Christine Duffy in front of a forward section of the Vista 2 hull. Photo courtesy of Lynn and Cele Seldon.|
Christine Duffy, Carnival's president, served as godmother at the dramatic ceremony.
Using what Carnival and Fincantieri officials described as an “old school” launching technique, the lower deck bow portion of the ship -- which had taken approximately eight months to construct -- slid down a ramp into the sea.
“In all of my years in the industry, I’ve never experienced anything like this," said Duffy in witnessing the splashdown.
This yet unfinished section of the unnamed ship (temporarily called Vista 2), is now being moved via sea to Fincantieri’s shipyard near Venice. There the vessel will be fully assembled using approximately 15 to 20 additional sections. It's expected to launch in 2018.
Also participating in the festivities was John Heald, Carnival's popular brand ambassador.
The ceremony was timed to cooincide with the arrival of the new 3,954-passenger, 333,500-grt Carnival Vista, which was docked in Naples for a port call.
Travel Agent is onboard the ship this week. Stay tuned for our first look at the new ship early next week.