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

Avalon emphasizes great views in river cruise TV ads

Avalon Cruise

Viking River Cruises is no longer the only river cruise line with a TV advertising presence. Avalon Waterways launched its first television ad campaign in September, with its first video spots airing on HGTV, the Travel Channel, CNN and BBC America.

Viking ads have introduced many Americans to European river cruising over the past four years. Now that consumers know more about it, Avalon “felt that now is the time to introduce the idea of an option,” said Steve Born, senior vice president of marketing for Globus, Avalon’s parent company.

Avalon created three playful spots that highlight the importance of having a good view, leading into Avalon’s stateroom design —  beds face outward to open-air balconies, providing passengers with views of the passing scenery while they cruise.

 Avalon latest TV advert.

A six-week ad run will be completed at the end of October. The company is hoping that the advertising will raise awareness about what Avalon offers and help agents sell the product when customers who have watched the commercials ask about Avalon.

“We wanted to give the agent a little bit of an assist by having the seed planted first before the inquiry begins,” said Born.

Avalon doesn’t have any further ad buys scheduled. Born said the company is waiting to see the return on investment.

Avalon also did a three-minute promotional video that showcases views from a river cruise.