MSC Cruise’s new flagship, the MSC Splendida,
was christened last Sunday (12 July 2009) by screen legend Sophia
Loren. The ceremony was accompanied by a spectacular gala show
starring operatic maestro José Carreras and other acclaimed
The choice of Barcelona follows MSC Cruise’s
practice of christening its ships in different
countries, a tradition that started with MSC Poesia in Dover in
April 2008 and will continue with MSC Magnifica in Hamburg next
The arrival of MSC Splendida brings the number of
ships in the MSC Cruises fleet to 10. She and her sister ship MSC
Fantasia are the largest ships ever built by a European ship
owner. Each capable of carrying 3,959 passengers, these “floating
cities” are 333,3m long, 66.8m tall and weigh 137,936 metric tons.
MSC Splendida’s design, by leading naval architects De Jorio
Design International, boasts numerous technological innovations
dedicated to ensuring the highest levels of guest comfort and
“With MSC Fantasia, we believed we had
built the most beautiful ship in the world,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, CEO of MSC
Cruises. “Now I know we were wrong. MSC Splendida truly lives up
to her name, bringing more splendour to cruising than has ever
been seen before. With her arrival, our fleet now numbers ten
ships, an important milestone that could not have been achieved
without the qualities always shown by the MSC Cruises team:
energy, passion and professionalism. Qualities that could equally
refer to Barcelona itself, a dynamic city and a truly important
port for us, with 82 calls bringing 304,000 passengers here this
On Saturday 11 July, as a prelude to the
christening, the MSC Cruceros Cup was held in Barcelona’s Palau
Blaugrana arena. This charitable indoor football tournament
brought together three of the world’s most successful clubs - F.C.
Barcelona, A.C. Milan and Real Madrid C.F. - each team playing
both of the other teams. Proceeds from the event is being used
to help the victims of the recent earthquake in Italy’s Abruzzo
The event marking MSC
Splendida’s christening was as dramatic and awe-inspiring as the
ship herself. Featuring a performance by Flamenco dance troupe Los
Vivancos and a spectacular display of castells, the Catalan
tradition of human towers, the evening’s entertainment also
included a special concert by world famous tenor José Carreras.
Performing in his hometown, the maestro was accompanied by the 60
musicians of the Orquestra Simfňnica del Vallčs.
the colourful ceremony was a parade of the ships’ officers and the traditional cutting of the ribbon by the godmother of
the MSC Cruises fleet, Sophia Loren. The celebrations culminated
in a dazzling fireworks display.
MSC Splendida will be
launching a brand new cruising route starting from Barcelona
(Spain), then embarking in a series of inspiring itineraries to many
of history’s most famous sites, including Genoa (Italy), Tunis
(Tunisia), La Valletta (Malta), Messina (Sicily, Italy),
Civitavecchia (Rome/ Italy), and Marseilles (France).
November 16 onwards, the cruising route will extend and starting
from Barcelona (Spain), then embarking in Genoa (Italy), Katakolon
(Greece), Piraeus (Greece), Rhodes(Greece), Alexandria (Egypt),
Marmaris (Turkey), Heraklion (Crete), Massina (Sicily,Italy),
Naples (Italy), and ending at Genoa (Italy).
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