Every captain needs a first mate. And at Virgin Voyages, the adults-only cruise line set to debut in 2020, its second-in-command will be none other than travel agents.
GENOA, ITALY – MSC Cruises’ new flagship, MSC Seaview, was christened last weekend in Italy in a glittering ceremony attended by celebrities and VIPs.
Hosted by Italian TV actress Michelle Hunziker, the star-studded ceremony included everything from live entertainment and speeches to fireworks and a gala dinner.
Highlights include special appearances by ‘father of Italian blues’ Zucchero Fornaciari and TV star Lorella Cuccarini, and a performance by Italian children’s choir Piccolo Coro Dell’Antoniano that paid tribute to MSC Cruises’ efforts in improving the lives of children and families in developing countries. Matteo Bocelli, son of world-famous Andrea Bocelli, also took to the stage during the Officers’ Parade.
Godmother Sophia Loren, legendary screen actor, ended the traditional proceedings with the official ribbon-cutting and launch of the bottle of champagne. As the godmother of all MSC Cruises’ ships, Loren is considered “part of the MSC Cruises family”, said the cruise line.
Also present at the ceremony was Ramon Freixa, the Spanish two Michelin-starred chef who recently extended his partnership with MSC Cruises to launch his first restaurant at sea onboard the MSC Seaview. Pan-Asian chef Roy Yamaguchi was also in attendance to celebrate his second restaurant at sea.
Described as a “game-changing cruise ship”, MSC Seaview was designed to bring guests outside to the open decks and walkways. It features the highest ratio of outdoor space of any MSC Cruises ship, and boasts staterooms and suites with elongated balconies, dining and drinking al fresco style, as well as outdoor fitness and luxury spa cabanas in the open air.
MSC Seaview is the 15th addition to MSC Cruises’ fleet and the third ship to come into service in just 12 months under the line’s industry-unprecedented US$12.4 billion investment plan.
The ship commenced its maiden voyage from Genoa on June 10, after which it will journey to South America to call on a variety of destinations, including Brazil.