MSC Grandiosa Is Christened

From the Grandiosa christening

MSC Cruises has christened the MSC Grandiosa in the city of Hamburg on the fourth and final night of celebrations in the Blue Port as Sophia Loren named her 15th MSC Cruises ship.

Since arriving in Hamburg on Nov. 6, MSC Grandiosa has been the subject and star of an immersive light show. The traditional christening ceremony took place in different locations across the ship, and the proceedings were hosted by talented actress, TV presenter, model and singer, Michelle Hunziker alongside co-host TV host & actor Jochen Schropp, one of Germany’s favourite entertainers.

From the Grandiosa christening

The festivities included a purpose-built “MSC Village” on the banks of the River Elbe will bring the festivities to shore, welcoming 5,000 locals to experience the christening from land with live music and food trucks. Guests be joined by the popular German TV couple Annemarie & Wayne Carpendale who will act as presenters and hosts.

The evening’s main spectacle occurred as MSC Grandiosa passed the Elbphilharmonie just as a special light show illuminated the building and ship. She then took centre stage on the River Elbe as Godmother Sophia Loren officially named the vessel.

From the Grandiosa christening

The MSC Grandiosa starts her seven-night program in the Western Mediterranean on Nov. 26 with six embarkation ports calling Genoa, Civitavecchia, Italy; Palermo, Sicily; Valetta, Malta; Barcelona, Spain and Marseille, France.

Photos: Vallbracht for MSC Cruises

Strong Growth Prospects for Hamburg

The AIDAblue Makes a Winter Call to Hamburg

Traffic is up 12 percent year-over-year for the port of Hamburg, with 800,000 passengers expected this year.

The widening of the harbor basin adjacent to the Altona terminal has been among the items driving the good news, with additional berth assignment options now available for large ships according to Kathrin Schweppe-May of Cruise Gate Hamburg.

First time callers include the MSC Preziosa, the Norwegian Jade and Independence of the Seas.

“This year’s Hamburg Cruise Days and Blue Port are expected to see record participation of ten cruise ships calling over the weekend. Participating ships will include AIDAprima, MSC Preziosa, Hapag Lloyds’ Europa and the Europa 2, the Mein Schiff 3 from TUI Cruises, Albatros and Amadea of Phoenix Reisen, Silver Wind, as well as Norwegian Jade and Plantours’ Sans Souci – which will be the first appearance of a river vessel at the event,” said Schweppe-May.

The parade takes place on September 9, with six cruise ships leaving the port jointly.

The port has also been able to drive winter business, with the AIDAprima homeporting year-round, but set to take a break this coming winter.

There are also regular calls, as 2017 started with the Queen Elizabeth docking on Jan. 5 and is going to close with the Aurora, which calls on Dec. 31.

December has also been a hit with Hamburg’s Christmas markets and calls from British cruise lines, said Schweppe-May.

“There is a good potential for new partners for regular calls during the weekdays as we have proven with this year’s debut of Norwegian Cruise Line that there is much more to come out of the world’s second largest source market,” noted Schweppe-May . “With the proof that the winter season is able to attract large numbers of passengers we are optimistic that this concept will develop further. Prime locations will with regard to the number of ships on order have to extend its seasons.”

A new cruise terminal is set to open in 2021, and will be integrated into a real estate complex including shopping, hotel, and entertainment options.