It’s not every day we see the launch of an exciting new mega-ship, but over the weekend the cruise world was wowed by the christening of MSC Cruises’ new vessel, MSC Grandiosa.

Special guests, travel agents, media and VIPs all gathered together in the port city of Hamburg, where celebrations which had spanned 27 days, eight countries and 11 ports culminated in one huge bash.

MSC Cruises Grandiosa christening

 

Leading the celebrations was legendary actress and model Sophia Loren, who named the new ship in the Blue Port.

The ship was the 15th MSC vessel Loren has named, with the ceremony followed by a firework display and the passing through a gateway of blue light.

MSC Cruises Grandiosa christening

 

Along with festivities on board, a purpose-built MSC Village was erected on the banks of the River Elbe, where 5,000 Hamburg locals could enjoy live music and food trucks, while looking out at the ship.

On the ship, special guests included international celebrities Michelle Hunziker, Jochen Schropp, Annemarie and Wayne Carpendale, Mousse T. and Emma Lanford.

MSC Cruises Grandiosa christening

 

They were treated to a gourmet four-course meal created by three Michelin-star chef, Harald Wohlfahrt. Dishes included chilled king crab salad with crustacean coulis and imperial caviar, traditional German dish, “Maultasche” – pasta filled with winter truffles and pistou sauce and veal tenderloin and braised cheek, tender savoy cabbage, glazed carrot and roasted herb jus

Following the christening, MSC Grandiosa embarked on a grand tour, visiting Southampton, Lisbon, Barcelona, Marseille and Genoa, before embarking on seven-night cruises from 23 November.

MSC Cruises Grandiosa christening

 

As the Italian cruise line’s new flagship, MSC Grandiosa will sail 6,297 passengers around the Caribbean and Mediterranean. Top features include a 111-metre-long indoor promenade covered by a 93-metre ‘digital sky’, MSC Aurea Spa, 31 drinking and dining venues and the in-room personal assistant, Zoe.

For more information, visit msccruises.co.uk.