SOUTHAMPTON — MSC Cruises’ new flagship – MSC Bellissima – has been officially named at a traditional maritime naming ceremony in the port of Southampton.
Featuring a star-studded lineup of entertainers as well as several key travel partners, the ceremony took place on March 2 and was hosted by English TV presenter Holly Willoughby. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Nile Rodgers performed his most popular hits while world-famous tenor Andrea Bocelli and Matteo Bocelli sang a duet to kickstart the event. The event also included a special performance from Cirque du Soleil at Sea, marking the first time that Cirque has performed at the launch of a ship.
MSC Cruises’ Godmother Sophia Lauren was also on hand to officially name her 14th ship.
MSC Bellissima is the second Meraviglia class ship to come into service, designed as a ship for all seasons and featuring the latest guest-centric technology, including the world’s first virtual personal cruise assistant, ZOE. The ship will also offer two new Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows, exclusive to MSC Cruises’ guests: Syma and Varélia.
Other key highlights of the ship include 12 dining venues and more than 20 bars and lounges, including the Jean-Philippe Maury’s Chocolate & Café, which is dedicated entirely to elegant chocolate creations and desserts. There’s also a dedicated family deck area featuring kids activities and services from LEGO and Chicco, as well as the MSC Yacht Club, which spans three decks and offers butler service round-the-clock.
The Bellissima is also home to the longest LED Sky Screen at Sea, spanning 262 feet, a Mediterranean-style promenade, and 10 different types of staterooms to choose from. And just like its sister ship MSC Meraviglia, MSC Bellissima is fitted with a number of environmental features to reduce its footprint, including an exhaust gas cleaning system for cleaner emissions, smart heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, and LED lighting and smart devices to conserve energy.
The ship will spend its inaugural season in the Mediterranean with seven-night cruises before moving to the Emirates for Winter 2019/2010. Following that it will be deployed in Asia in 2020.