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

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines to revamp three ships

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Fred Olsen Cruise Lines is sending Braemar, Balmoral and Black Watch into dry dock this winter in preparation for the 2020-21 season.

All three will receive new public areas and cabin improvements during their revamps, taking place from now until December 21 at Blohm+Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany.

In addition, a number of cabins on 804-passenger Black Watch will receive bathroom upgrades.

On Balmoral, an Oriental Room will be added on deck six, where teas and Far Eastern-themed cocktails and drinks will be served.

A photo gallery and flower shop will also be installed on to the 1,325-passenger ship.

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Engineering works, general maintenance and other refurbishments will also be carried out.

Braemar entered dry dock on Thursday and will return to service on November 24 when it sales a nine-night French, Belgian & Spanish City Overnights cruise from Southampton.

Balmoral will enter the yard on December 10 before emerging 10 days later, while Black Watch will go in on December 11 and come out on December 21.

The line’s fourth ship – 880-passenger Boudicca – will go into dry dock in autumn next year.

Peter Deer, managing director of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines said: “We are very proud of our smaller, classic cruise ships and we recognise the importance of investing in ongoing upgrades to ensure that our guests can continue to enjoy them at their very best.

“Our refreshed and the renewed fleet has been very well-received by both new and existing guests following the last round of improvements at Blohm+Voss in 2017 and 2018, and we are keen to showcase the latest enhancements to our guests before Christmas.”

TUI Cruises Featuring Tattoo Parlor Aboard the Mein Schiff 2

Tattoo Studio Aboard Mein Schiff 2

TUI Cruises is featuring tattoo artist Chris Krafft and colleagues from B. Liberty Tattoo in Hamburg aboard Mein Schiff 2 throughout May.

TUI said that maritime symbols, such as anchors and compasses were popular, but also are so-called cover-ups, where old tattoos are replaced with new ones.

“Tattooing aboard a cruise ship is a very special challenge,” commented Krafft in a prepared statement. “If it rocks, a steady hand is a must. And in case of doubt, I take a break. A tattoo is a memory for life.”

After a test phase on Mein Schiff 2, TUI will decide whether to introduce the tattoo parlour across the fleet.

“The likelihood is high,” said Sven Irmer, product development manager. “The parlour is fully booked every day; the response has been overwhelming.”

The cost of a tattoo is calculated according to the effort and starts at 100 euros.