MSC Cruises celebrates the christening of one of its newest and largest cruise ships, MSC Virtuoso, at an event in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The name follows the ship which made its UK debut earlier in 2021 and ended its cruises in Europe.
Naming of MSC Virtuosa in Dubai
As the baptismal ceremony took place on November 27, MSC Virtuoso was eventually baptized after having already been in service since its debut in May 2021 in the UK. Hollywood superstar Sophia Loren has officially named the ship in Dubai. The event took place in Port Rashid, in partnership with the Dubai Ministry of Economy and Tourism and DP World.
Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises, noted, “We are delighted to host this ceremony dedicated to the maritime tradition in the United Arab Emirates during and with its Golden Jubilee year, to mark our long-standing and long-term commitment to this region. This is also why this winter, the MSC Virtuosa, a new vessel among the most technologically and environmentally advanced in our fleet, will be settling in the country as part of our deployment in the Gulf region.“
Also Read: MSC Virtuosa Cruise Ship – Overview & Things to Do
“Cruising is an integral part of the UAE’s vibrant tourism industry and, through our unique global distribution network, we will continue to promote the country and the Middle East worldwide as an attractive vacation option for support the future growth of the tourism industry. locally.”
A long-standing maritime tradition, the official christening ceremony of the ship took place in the presence of the ship’s captain, Captain Francesco Veniero, and local dignitaries. Hosted by famed UAE TV personality Omar Butti as master of ceremonies, Hollywood icon Sophia Loren took the stage to officially name her 17th ship MSC Cruises by cutting the bottle-breaking ribbon on the ship’s hull.
MSC Virtuoso has just completed a sailing season in Europe, including Barcelona in Spain, Lisbon in Portugal, Marseille in France and Genoa in Italy. The second Meraviglia-Plus class cruise ship debuted for the first time on May 20 in Southampton, UK, also becoming the first cruise ship to restart the industry in the country with national crossings.
After the baptismal ceremony, MSC Virtuoso will depart Dubai on November 28 on her maiden Gulf trip with visits to Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island and Doha.
The ship is the largest of the fleet with the sister ship MSC Grandiosa. Both are an evolution of the original Meraviglia class ships and are even larger with 181,541 gross tonnage with a carrying capacity of 6,334 and 1,704 crew members. The ship has 10 restaurants, 21 bars and lounges and five swimming pools.
A busy month for MSC Cruises
It has been a busy month for the fastest growing cruise line in the world. Beginning of November, MSC Preziosa became the 12th ship in the fleet to return to service, beginning crossings from Brazil to South America.
On November 18, the cruise line celebrated the chariot out of MSC Seascape, which will join the fleet in November 2022. The cruise line also had the cruise line’s very first christening ceremony on a private island for the new MSC Seashore.