Sophia Loren christens MSC Grandiosa in Hamburg. Credit: Ivan Sarfatti

Sophia Loren selects her favourite cruise destinations

Author: Kaye Holland

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The iconic Italian actress, 88, is godmother to MSC Cruises’ fleet. Ahead of the naming ceremony in New York for MSC Seascape in New York, the cinema legend shares her favourite cruise destinations with World of Cruising readers.

La Loren is gearing up to christen her 21st ship for MS Cruises having first been asked by the Aponte family, which owns the Swiss-based company, to be a cruise ship godmother for the 2003 launch of MSC Lirica.

Leading up to the naming ceremony in New York on December 7, Sophia Loren has let us in on some of the favourite spots she’s visited with MSC Cruises throughout the years.

She said: “Throughout my life, I have had the privilege of visiting some of the most beautiful places in the world, so it was hard to pick just a few that top the list.

“What makes these destinations so special are the unique experiences I have had in each one, from naming a glamorous cruise ship to creating special memories with my family. For me, travelling is all about experiencing new people and places and, in turn, discovering yourself all over again.

Each of these destinations provides a chic atmosphere to unwind, relax and truly immerse yourself in a new place and its unique culture.”

Experience the bright lights of the Big Apple with Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Credit: Shutterstock

1. New York City
Full of energy, bright lights, and renowned landmarks, New York City is filled with experiences for every type of traveller. On December 7, 2022, the Hollywood royaltyL will name MSC Seascape while docked in Manhattan, making it the fleet’s first ship to be launched in “the city that never sleeps”. The ceremony will reflect MSC Cruises’ commitment to the North American cruise market as, from April 2023, MSC Meraviglia will homeport in the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal.

2. Barcelona, Spain
Catalonia’s charismatic capital served as the backdrop for the naming ceremony of MSC Splendida in 2009 and is the spot for many of Sophia Loren’s vacations throughout the years. With vibrant city life, world-class art museums, and designer restaurants, bars, galleries and shops, it’s no wonder this city is one of the Hollywood icon’s top chic destinations.

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3. The Caribbean
Home to pristine white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and MSC Cruises’ very own private island – take a bow Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve – the Caribbean is the perfect spot for a relaxing escape. In 2021, MSC Cruises and Sophia Loren named MSC Seashore at Ocean Cay, marking the official opening of the island. The unique private island destination and marine reserve was designed as a part of the cruise line’s commitment to the environment.

4. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
With the tallest buildings in the world, the most luxurious hotels, and the boldest architecture that coexists with historic palaces, Dubai is a destination full of enchanting experiences and astounding views. MSC Virtuosa was christened in the city of gold in 2021, with godmother Sophia Loren cutting the ribbon and welcoming guests to the ship.

Santorini is a stunning destination in the Greek Isles that NCL sails to.

5. The Greek Islands
With a rich historical and cultural heritage combined with awe-inspiring landscapes and fantastic beaches of long stretches of white sand to tiny bays and hidden coves, the Greek Islands are universally recognised as must-visit destinations. Sophia Loren brought fame to the island of Hydra in the 1950s when she fell in love with the beauty of Greece while on a film set.

6. Copenhagen, Denmark
Another popular filming spot for the actress, Copenhagen provides an energetic and hip waterside vibe with a compact city centre. Café culture permeates the city and top-notch museums await travellers seeking to discover the area’s unique art and history.

Sophia Loren was born in Rome but spent her entire childhood in Pozzuoli, a suburb of Naples (pictured)..

7. Naples, Italy
Loren has fond memories of growing up in Naples, Italy. The destination is home to a bustling Mediterranean port with a variety of unique spots waiting to be discovered. From historic streets to lively quarters, Italian culture can be found around every corner of the celebrated actress’ hometown.


About Kaye Holland

Kaye is a London-based wordsmith who has written for a range of publications including The Times, The Independent, The I, Culture Trip, The Sun, and ABTA among others. In June 2022, Kaye joined the Real Response Media where she looks – together with Lucy Abbott – after the World of Cruising website. Want to get in touch? Kaye can be reached at: [email protected]