MSC Seaview Christened in Genoa

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MSC Christening in Genoa.

The MSC Seaview was christened on Saturday in Genoa in front of MSC executives, VIPs and key travel partners.

The Seaview will spend the summer in Europe before the 4,140 guest ship moves to Brazil for the winter.

Gianluigi Aponte, MSC Group’s founder and executive chairman as well as the shipowner, attended the ceremony together with the Aponte and Aponte-Vago families.

From the christening of the MSC Seaview

The christening ceremony was hosted by the star of Italian TV, Swiss-born Michelle Hunziker who welcomed to the stage the “father of Italian blues” Zucchero Fornaciari.

TV star Lorella Cuccarini hosted a special moment on stage, and Italian children’s choir, Piccolo Coro Dell’Antoniano, performed as the UNICEF ambassadors.

Also taking to the stage was the young talent of belcanto, Matteo Bocelli, son of the world-famous Andrea Bocelli who sang at the christening of MSC Seaside, MSC Seaview’s sister ship in Miami last December.

Godmother Sophia Loren cut the ribbon to officially name Fincantieri-built MSC Seaview, the 13th MSC Cruises ship.

Gianluigi Aponte and Cardinale Bagnasco

Also present at the ceremony was Ramon Freixa, the Spanish two Michelin-starred chef who has now extended his partnership with MSC Cruises to develop his first restaurant at sea onboard MSC Seaview. Pan-Asian chef Roy Yamaguchi, attended his second MSC Cruises’ ship christening to celebrate his second restaurant at sea, with his first launching on MSC Seaside. Other stars in attendance included Spanish model and actor Jon Kortajarena, Brazilian presenter and actor Giovanna Ewbank and French television personality Ariane Brodier.

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Queen Latifah Names Carnival Horizon

The Carnival Horizon was named by godmother Queen Latifah in a ceremony in New York on Wednesday evening that also showcased the talented young artists from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital whose artwork adorns the Dreamscape, a stunning three-deck-high LED sculpture in the ship’s atrium.

“Carnival Horizon’s naming ceremony was one of our best yet, with Queen Latifah carrying out her duties as godmother then battling it out with Super Bowl champion Jake Elliott of my hometown Philadelphia Eagles in an entertaining Lip Sync Battle,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “We were also delighted to showcase the wonderfully talented children from St. Jude whose artwork on the Dreamscape will be forever associated with this spectacular ship.”

Added Latifah, “My time aboard Carnival Horizon was nothing short of incredible. In addition to having the honour of serving as the ship’s godmother, meeting the amazing kids from St. Jude and their families and squaring off against Jake in an all-out Lip Sync Battle is certainly something I will always cherish.”

Following the ceremony, Latifah squared off against Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl champion Jake Elliott in Lip Sync Battle: Horizon modelled after the hit Paramount Network TV series and rolling out across the Carnival fleet.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital received a $100,000 donation from Carnival representing monies raised from various fundraisers, both onboard and ashore. The funds continue the line’s ongoing support of St. Jude with more than $16 million raised in the fight against childhood cancer since the partnership began in 2010.

“This is an absolute thrill for our patients and their families to have their artwork featured as a permanent display on this magnificent ship,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., president and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “The ongoing support of Carnival team members and their customers around the globe for our lifesaving mission plays a critical role in advancing research and treatment for pediatric cancer and other life-threatening diseases.”

Marella Cruises christens new Marella Explorer in Palma

Marella Cruises christens new Marella Explorer in Palma

Marella Explorer is the largest ship in Marella Cruises’ fleet (Image: Marella Cruises)

Marella Cruises has officially welcomed Marella Explorer to its fleet during a christening ceremony at the Port of Palma in Majorca, Spain on 17 May.

Formerly sailing as Mein Schiff 1 for Marella Cruises’ sister brand TUI Cruises, Marella Explorer was named by two godmothers – Susan Stewart, the line’s hotel operations manager, and Mandy Galloway, a travel agent at one of TUI Group’s retail stores in Edinburgh, Scotland. They were joined on stage by Marella Explorer’s master Captain Peter Harris and 10 crew members, who each represented a different part of the ship and held a beam of light that released the champagne bottle to christen the ship.

“I will remember this special moment forever,” said Galloway.

During the ceremony, invited guests, Marella Cruises employees, suppliers, travel agents and media also enjoyed a performance by a Take That tribute band, a fireworks display and an hour-long live DJ set from multi-platinum selling and award-winning recording artist, songwriter and rapper Craig David. The DJ set was accompanied by a show of mappable versatube lights, floating pool lights and lasers that was masterminded by Black Skull Creative’s Dan Shipton, Ross Nicholson and Jay Revell. Guests also wore LED wristbands that changed colour to the beat of the music.

“It was great celebrating the launch and performing on Marella Explorer in Palma,” said David. “I loved surprising the crowd, the atmosphere was electric.”

Marella Explorer was inaugurated following a four-week, multi-million-pound dry dock in Cadiz, Spain, which involved a team of 1,600 partners, contractors and Marella Cruises’ employees. Together they transformed the 1,924-guest ship by adding Marella Cruises branding, multiple new onboard venues and amenities, 45 square kilometres of carpet, more than 60 kilometres of data cabling and 650 wi-fi access points. A total of 35 public spaces were renovated by UK-based marine interior outfitter Trimline, while Northern Ireland-based company MJM Group revitalised the shopping area and Finnish company Makinen worked on the cabins.

Many of the public spaces were developed in cooperation with UK-based design consultancy 20.20, including a new flagship bar, club and casino named Indigo, several restaurants, the Hideout children’s area, the shimmer wall and the 962 cabins, nearly 40% of which have balconies. Other public spaces include the Broad Street Shops area and the first-ever Champneys Spa at sea. The spa will offer a full-service thermal suite, treatment suites with their own showers and mini saunas, a Finnish sauna with floor-to-ceiling windows, and spa cabanas on the adults-only Veranda Deck.

Guests will also be able to choose from 10 bars and 10 onboard restaurants. New venues include The Mediterranean, which has a retractable glass roof; The Dining Club, which offers French cuisine; Scoops vintage-style ice cream parlour; Umi Sushi; The Market Place buffet; Surf & Turf Steakhouse; pan-Asian restaurant Kora La; and Latitude 53 & Vista restaurants that serve Italian dishes.

“The launch of Marella Explorer marks an exciting time for us as she is the first ship to officially launch under the Marella Cruises name,” said Chris Hackney, managing director of Marella Cruises. “Marella Explorer marks the next step in the continued modernisation and growth of the Marella Cruises fleet. We pride ourselves on continuing to offer more ships, new destinations and fantastic service and the futuristic feel of this evening have given a real glimpse of how we are continuing to look to the ahead.”

Marella Explorer will embark on her first customer sailing around the Mediterranean, leaving from Palma on 19 May. The ship will then sail in the west Mediterranean this summer before moving to Barbados for winter.