24 MAR 2013
Yesterday evening in Genoa, Italy, the latest jewel in the MSC Cruises fleet, MSC Preziosa, was christened in a glittering ceremony by international screen legend Sophia Loren. This glamorous, high-profile event included a gala dinner prepared by a team of Eataly chefs and entertainment from top Italian and international performers in the company of celebrities, selected guests, media, authorities and the top management of MSC Cruises.
MSC Preziosa is the 12th addition to the MSC fleet and the precious fourth flagship in the company’s celebrated Fantasia class. Both the ship herself and yesterday night's dazzling event have
been inspired by the theme of preciousness, and yesterday guests enjoyed the precious first glimpse of MSC’s latest exquisite gem as she was unveiled to the world.
Anticipation has been building in Italy since the launch of the MSC Social Game on the company’s Italian Facebook page and in Piazza de Ferrari, Genoa’s main square, while travel agents across the company’s main markets have been competing to experience the brand new flagship for themselves through an international trade competition.
“This evening we will celebrate MSC Preziosa: her sparkling beauty and outstanding features, from the longest single rider body waterslide on the waves, Vertigo, to the first two Eataly restaurant at sea,” said MSC Cruises CEO Pierfrancesco Vago. “And at the very heart of tonight’s celebrations is not only this magnificent ship, but also the city of Genoa, MSC Preziosa’s new homeport and a key MSC Cruises homeport since the start of our expansion programme in 2003. This year, MSC is deploying nine ships from the port and, over the course of the year, over 800,000 travellers will embark, disembark or transit during a total of over 211 calls here. The city continues to show a keen understanding of the major economic impact that MSC brings to the entire region, and tonight is the perfect opportunity to celebrate this unique and longstanding partnership.”
As testament to this important relationship and to make sure that Genoa’s residents don’t miss out on the glitz and glamour of yesterday celebrations, MSC also organized a spectacular laser show which was projected on and from La Lanterna, Genoa’s famous lighthouse. Italian comedians Ale and Franz together with comic actress Katia Follesa also took to the stage in the city’s Porto Antico, entertaining the crowd and narrating the christening ceremony as it unfolds on giant screens.
The christening itself was attended by numerous international artists, including Italian singer Gino Paoli who performed a selection of his classic hits, and maestro Ennio Morricone who conducted a 55-piece orchestra.
Star ballet dancer Roberto Bolle attended the event as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. MSC Cruises supports UNICEF through their joint “Get on Board for Children” initiative, which has raised over 2 million euros to date for disadvantaged children in Brazil. Bolle was welcomed on stage by the Genoa Russian Ballet College performing a sequence from Swan Lake, directed by Irina Kashkova.
During the show, MSC Preziosa was also the star of a completely original ‘flash mob’ involving the travellers on board MSC Splendida and MSC Opera, departing from Genoa on their regular itineraries that very night, as well as guests celebrating the christening of MSC Preziosa – a total number of over 10,000 people! Guests from all three ships were invited to join in a simple, fun and moving activity involving light games and sounds.
The highlight of the evening was of course the floodlit ceremony and parade of the ship’s officers, when the peerless Sophia Loren – treasured godmother to the MSC Cruises fleet –cutted the ribbon and named MSC Preziosa to a crescendo of champagne and fireworks.
Celebrations were crowned by a delicious Michelin-star gala dinner, a sophisticated blend of high quality ingredients and culinary art lovingly prepared by a team of chefs selected by Eataly: Ugo Alciati, the Michelin-starred chef of Guido, Pollenzo, Italy, Moreno Cedroni, the two-star Michelin chef of La Madonnina del Pescatore, Senigallia, Italy, Pino Cuttaia, the two-star Michelin chef of La Madia, Licata, Italy, and Enrico Panero, the chef of Marin Eataly, Genoa, Italy.
The menu was a celebration of the recent partnership between MSC Cruises and the popular Turin-based chain and a culinary voyage of discovery through the flavours of the Mediterranean.