Largest ship ever to be christened in Southampton
The 171,000-ton ship, which will carry up to 5,700 passengers will be named in a traditional ship-naming ceremony on 2nd March 2019. The event will be attended by over 2,000 guests, including VIPs and more than likely by tradition, the actress Sophie Loren, who names all of the MSC Cruises ships.
Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises, said: “The crowning moment of the launch of any new ship is her Christening, a traditional maritime ceremony that holds great importance for us. For each new ship, MSC Cruises carefully selects a country and a port to host the Christening. We have chosen to host the Christening of MSC Bellissima in Southampton as a demonstration of our continued commitment to growth in the UK and Ireland. This is a truly beautiful ship, worthy of the name Bellissima and this Christening will be a truly beautiful moment for MSC Cruises and the UK .”
MSC Bellissima will become MSC Cruises’ fourth mega-ship to come into service in less than three years since 2017 and as part of a 12 new ship, ten-year €10.5 billion investment program. She will represent a further evolution of the award-winning Meraviglia prototype as her sister-ship, MSC Meraviglia, which came into service in June 2017 was awarded Cruise Critic’s Editors’ Picks “Best New Ship in the UK” in 2017.
Some of the highlights include:
• Two new shows from Cirque du Soleil at Sea that can only be seen on board MSC Bellissima. The shows are currently under creative development are the result of a long-term partnership with world-leaders in entertainment, Cirque du Soleil and will see a total of eight original productions created for the four Meraviglia generation ships.
• The theatre will offer newly devised West-End style entertainment every evening and the iconic LED Sky Screen, the longest at sea at an impressive 80 metres long, will delight guests with a series of exciting animations and shows.
• The on board dining has been further enhanced with the introduction of two new dining concepts – L’Atelier Bistrot, with terrace seating so that guests can enjoy the Promenade as well as the modern, street food inspired Market Street, serving a whole array of tempting delights throughout the day and into the evening.
• MSC Cruise’ award-winning family offering will also see some new features including the introduction of a fun Grand Canyon theme for the Aquapark and a host of new magic inspired kids entertainment for kids of all ages. The family deck will include the DOREMI Studio Lounge, a dedicated lounge for all family activities, DOREMI Tech Lab, a must visit destination for kids who love technology, as well as facilities designed in partnership with family experts including the LEGO Group and Chicco.
This 96 m central promenade is filled with boutiques, restaurants and tranquil spots for shopping, eating and relaxing… as well as socialising. And in the evening, it comes alive with music, parties and entertainment.
The longest LED dome at sea
The entire ceiling of the inside promenade will be covered by a giant 480 sq.m. LED screen transmitting visual magic round the clock: an atmospheric digital sky that animates the whole area from above with inspiring vistas, events, sunrises, sunsets and starry night skies.
With around 10 sq. m. of public space per guest, poolside space on MSC Bellissima is some of the most plentiful to be found at sea.
Beautiful lighting, a giant screen and atmospheric design make the main pool area even more alluring after dark.
The Horizon pool offers yet more open-air deck space for sun worshippers during the daylight hours. At night the area will be transformed into a stunning outdoor spot for dancing and entertainment.
The ship will remain in Southampton for three days after the naming ceremony, during which several thousand UK & Irish travel partners will have the opportunity to experience the ship first-hand. She will then sail on her inaugural voyage to Genoa, Italy.
MSC Bellissima will then spend her inaugural season in the ever-popular Western Mediterranean before moving to spend the winter in the United Arab Emirates, calling Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas, Muscat and Khasab.