MSC Cruises officially christened its newest cruise ship, the MSC Meraviglia, in a ceremony led by the ship’s godmother, Sophia Loren, over the weekend.
The event took place Saturday in Le Havre and was broadcast live on Facebook. You can watch it below:
The ceremony included entertainment from top international performers and an exclusive gala dinner in the company of special guests, authorities, key partners from the travel industry, global media and top management from MSC Cruises and its parent company MSC Group. Gianluigi Aponte, MSC Group’s founder and executive chairman as well as the ship owner, attended together with the Aponte and Aponte-Vago families.
MSC Meraviglia is the company’s new flagship and the 13th addition to the MSC Cruises fleet, as well as the first new MSC Cruises ship due to come into service under the cruise line’s new investment plan. The christening ceremony follows the official delivery of the new ship, where MSC Cruises announced more details on its other, upcoming World Class of ships.
The christening ceremony itself was hosted by comedian Gad Elmaleh, with other entertainment by Patrick Bruel and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors Kids United. The evening also included a parade of the ship’s officers, when Sophia Loren cut the ribbon and named MSC Meraviglia to a crescendo of champagne and fireworks. Loren has held a close relationship with MSC Cruises for over a decade, the cruise line said, when she first became godmother of MSC Lirica, in 2003. As the MSC Cruises fleet continued to grow, she blessed each and every new ship.
Hélène Darroze, a chef with two Michelin stars, created a menu for the VIP gala dinner as well as an exclusive dish for all guests.
In addition to entertainment from Cirque du Soleil with two exclusive Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows created especially for the ship, MSC Meraviglia will offer guests 12 dining venues and 20 bars, a dedicated family deck area and the new MSC for Me digital experience. Additionally, the ship’s MSC Yacht Club will incorporate new features over three decks, private facilities and butler service around the clock.
MSC Meraviglia will commence its inaugural voyage from Le Havre to Genoa on June 4 and then its summer itinerary from Genoa from June 11. MSC Meraviglia will offer multiple embarkation ports in the Western Mediterranean including the ports of Genoa, Marseille and Barcelona as well as visit other much sought after Mediterranean destinations including Naples, Messina in Sicily and Valetta in Malta.