MSC Cruises has just revealed that new ship MSC Bellissima will be christened in the UK next spring.
This will be the first time the global line has christened a vessel in the UK since the launch of MSC Poesia in Dover in 2008.
Bellissima will dock in Southampton for three days from March 1st to 3rd, with the naming ceremony taking place on March 2nd.
MSC are expecting more than 3,000 guests to visit the ship over the three days.
With capacity for 4,500 passengers and weighing 171,600 tonnes, Bellissima will be the largest ship to be christened in the UK.
Traditionally, Film star Sophia Loren has been the godmother for all MSC ships however UK managing director Antonio Paradiso has stated Bellissima’s godmother is yet to be confirmed.
Loren added that the line was looking for UK celebrities to perform at the ceremony.
The ship’s inaugural sailing from Southampton to Genoa will depart on March 4th for a seven-night western Mediterranean itinerary.
Bellissima, which will be a sister ship to MSC Meraviglia which launched last year, will operate seven-night western Mediterranean itineraries next summer before moving to Dubai for winter 2019-20.
Paradiso revealed MSC’s decision to hold the christening in Southampton showed the line’s commitment to the UK market.
“We carefully select where to hold our christenings and choose locations which are key to our growth. We see an opportunity to grow our UK business massively.
The UK has gone from strength to strength so the christening is the icing on the cake.”
Bellissima will feature two new shows from Cirque du Soleil, a new French bistro dining concept, and boutiques selling British brands such as handbag designer Radley and luxury biscuit manufacturer Cartwright & Butler.
MSC Seaview is the next ship to launch for the cruise line, debuting in June this year a the sister to MSC Seaside with a capacity of 5,119-passengers.
What do you think of the MSC news today? Are you surprised the line will christen Bellissima in the UK? Do you plan to sail with her? Leave us your comments…
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