MIAMI — MSC Seaside, MSC Cruises’ second ship to be launched in the past six months, was named in a star-studded ceremony last night by international screen legend Sophia Loren.
Loren, who serves as Godmother for all MSC ships, was joined by Master of Ceremonies Mario Lopez, Grammy-winning artist Ricky Martin, who headlined the entertainment for the event, and Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino, who presented MSC Cruises USA President Roberto Fusaro with a signed football helmet to be displayed onboard. Earlier this year, the cruise line signed a partnership with the Miami Dolphins and became the official cruise line for the team.
Two new partnerships were announced at the ceremony, one with the Andrea Bocelli Foundation (ABF) and the other with Joe Bastianich, the award-winning restaurateur and TV personality. With ABF, every dollar donated onboard by a guest will go directly to the Foundation, which helps establish schools, community centres, health care assistance, clean water and agricultural development in Haiti. The partnership aims to reach over 2,550 children in five communities on the island.
“MSC Seaside will sail year round in the Caribbean and with this partnership we wish to express our commitment to giving something back to the places where we operate,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises Executive Chairman. “This charitable activity is in fact focused on helping the children of Haiti. They are the future and deserve the best and, as a family-owned company, this is a cause close to our hearts.”
To mark the launch of the new partnership, Andrea Bocelli took to the stage with 30 children from the Voices of Haiti, a choir comprised of Haitian school students ages six to 14.
The new partnership with Bastianich brings new talent to MSC’s already impressive lineup of internationally renowned chefs and restaurateurs. Bastianich will create a signature dish exclusively for MSC Seaside that will feature on the Elegant Night menu.
The finale of the evening’s events was the time-honoured tradition of breaking a bottle of champagne over the bow of the ship as MSC Seaside was officially named aloud. This marked the 12th time Sophia Loren broke a bottle over an MSC ship’s bow.
“MSC Seaside’s naming embodies a pivotal moment for MSC Cruises and the industry overall. She is the first ship of the fifth new prototype that we have developed since we entered this industry only in 2003,” added Vago. “MSC Seaside has been designed to spearhead the next phase of our growth in North America, a cornerstone of our global strategy. She marks our ambition to establish a significant presence in North America after firmly rooting our position as the number one cruise brand in Europe.”
Along with MSC Meraviglia and MSC Divina, MSC Seaside will one of three MSC ships to homeport in Miami, one from each of the cruise line’s newest classes of ship. It will sail year-round from Miami to the Caribbean with seven-night eastern and western itineraries starting Dec. 23.