MSC Grandiosa officially named in Hamburg

In a dazzling event in the port of Hamburg last night MSC Cruises christened MSC Grandiosa, its newest, most environmentally-advanced flagship, on the fourth and final night of celebrations in the Blue Port. Part of the cruise line’s largest and longest christening event ever, this part of MSC Grandiosa’s series of celebrations which span 27 days, 8 countries and 11 ports and will engage over 14,000 travel agents from around the world. Following on from the Christening, MSC Grandiosa will embark on a grand tour, visiting Southampton, UK, Lisbon, Portugal, Barcelona, Spain, Marseille France and Genoa, Italy, before commencing her usual 7-night cruises on 23 November.

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Port of Hamburg turns blue in celebration Image: MSC Cruises

It’s an extraordinary welcome for an extraordinary ship. Designed to ensure even cleaner air emissions and improved overall environmental performance both at sea and ashore, MSC Grandiosa is equipped with advanced cutting-edge technologies and sets a new standard for sustainability at sea.

On board, guests of all ages and interests will find something exciting waiting, including:

  • Two original new shows from Cirque du Soleil at Sea exclusive to MSC Cruises guests
  • A 93-metre-long Mediterranean Promenade lined with international shops and restaurants
  • An immersive art experience featuring etchings from Edgar Degas’ Danse Dessin series
  • Dedicated children’s areas designed in partnership with Chicco and LEGO
  • The world’s first virtual digital cruise assistant – ZOE – in every cabin
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MSC Grandiosa arrives in Hamburg Image: MSC Cruises

Since arriving in Hamburg on 6th November, MSC Grandiosa has been the subject and star of an immersive lightshow at the German city’s Blue Port. Spectacular light installations by renowned artist Michael Batz have bathed the port in shades of blue reminiscent of the sea to symbolise MSC Cruises’ long-standing commitment to the ocean, and MSC Grandiosa’s striking silhouette can be seen shimmering alongside the famous Elbphilharmonie on Hamburg’s Elbe river.

The traditional Christening ceremony took place in different locations across the ship, and the proceedings will be hosted by talented actress, TV presenter, model and singer, Michelle Hunziker alongside co-host TV host & actor Jochen Schropp, one of Germany’s favorite entertainers.

 

The festivities didn’t stop there – a purpose-built “MSC Village” on the banks of the River Elbe will brought the festivities to shore, welcoming 5,000 locals to experience the christening from land with live music and food trucks. Guests were joined by the popular German TV couple and even hosts Annemarie & Wayne Carpendale. 

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Sophia Loren names her 15th MSC Cruises ship Image: MSC Cruises

The evening’s main spectacle occurred as MSC Grandiosa passed the Elbphilharmonie just as a special light show illuminates the building and ship. She’ll then take centre stage on the River Elbe as Godmother Sophia Loren officially names her 15th MSC Cruises ship, followed by a celebratory firework display. MSC Grandiosa will then pass through a spectacular gateway of blue night returning to her dock, symbolising the new ship’s entry to the world.

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MSC Grandiosa passes the Elbphilharmonie Image: MSC Cruises

Guests onboard will then enjoy a gourmet four course menu created by renowned 3 Michelin starred German chef Harald Wohlfahrt at the Gala Dinner. The menu for guests will start with Chilled king crab salad with crustacean coulis and imperial caviar or Guinea fowl napoleon with apple-ginger quenelle, Riesling gelée and brioche. Next up will be the traditional German dish, “Maultasche” – pasta filled with winter truffles and pistou sauce. The main dish will Oven-roasted turbot in a saffron-mussel fumet and vegetable mélange or Duo of veal tenderloin and braised cheek, tender savoy cabbage, glazed carrot and roasted herb jus. Finishing off the gourmet feast, guests can choose a Pistachio parfait with orange granité and exotic fruit cocktail or Chocolate tart with caramelised pears and vanilla-mascarpone ice cream.

Guests then danced into the night in the Galleria Grandiosa, the ship’s iconic 93-metre-long Mediterranean promenade where popular German DJ Mousse T. and from British singer Emma Lanford will perform.

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DJ Mousse T Image: MSC Cruises

MSC Grandiosa will commence her regular 7-night cruises in the Western Mediterranean from 23rd November with six embarkation ports calling Genoa, Civitavecchia, Italy; Palermo, Sicily; Valetta, Malta; Barcelona, Spain and Marseille, France.

I am lucky enough to be joining MSC Grandiosa during her visit to Southampton on Tuesday, so be sure to follow my social media channels for updates and images.

Thank you for taking the time to read my latest post.

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall to name Saga’s new cruise ship Spirit of Discovery

Saga is delighted to announce HRH The Duchess of Cornwall as the Godmother of its newly built boutique cruise ship, Spirit of Discovery. The naming ceremony will take place in Dover, Kent, on 5 July 2019. She will be the first cruise ship to be named at the Port of Dover for over a decade, and the first to be docked at Dover Western Docks following the £250m redevelopment of the area.

 Before the naming ceremony, HRH will be given a tour of the ship. In building Spirit of Discovery, classic and contemporary materials and furnishings have been combined to create a luxurious environment. The 1,000 plus pieces of art on board will include 400 original pieces commissioned from British based artists and artisans. Hush Heath, an independent wine producer from Kent, will provide a jeroboam of their sparkling wine for the naming ceremony that has been specially blended for Spirit of Discovery.

The Duchess of Cornwall and Saga share a common link in their support for The Silver Line, a charity founded by TV presenter Dame Esther Rantzen after she experienced intense loneliness following the death of her husband. HRH is the patron of the charity and The Silver Line is Saga’s first national charity partner.

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Spirit of Discovery seen during her Ems conveyance image: Saga Cruises

Lance Batchelor, Group CEO of Saga, said: “I am delighted that The Duchess of Cornwall has agreed to be Godmother of the Spirit of Discovery. The launch of our new ship is a key moment in both the history and future of Saga. Carrying fewer than 1,000 passengers, she is a boutique ship that offers our customers and members the highest standards of accommodation, furnishings, cuisine and entertainment. I am immensely proud of what we have created with shipyard Meyer Werft.”

Sophie Andrews, CEO, The Silver Line, said: “Our team is absolutely delighted to see this coming together of our Patron and our charity partner, Saga. The Silver Line helpline receives more than 10,500 calls every week from vulnerable and isolated older people, many of whom have nowhere else to turn which demonstrates the depth of loneliness felt by huge numbers of the UK’s older population.

Saga has shown its firm commitment to Britain as Spirit of Discovery has been registered in the UK and will proudly display London as her port of registry on her stern. Her sister ship, Spirit of Adventure, will also fly the Red Ensign when she launches in 2020.

Saga employed London based design company, SMC Design, to design some of the interiors onboard both new ships. The company has extensive experience with cruise vessel design. SMC Design’s also designed a number of interior’s for other cruise lines including P&O Cruises, (Sindhu / Indian restaurants), Viking ocean cruises (Explorers Lounge), Norwegian cruise Line (Mandara Spa).

One thing I have already fallen in love with is a sneak peak of the series paintings by the UK based artist Kate Jackson. Saga along with SMart Consultancy commissioned UK artist Kate who specializes in urban landscapes. Kate conceived a series of paintings designed to capture the essence of the Spirit of Discovery.

I really like the look of these paintings which although are obviously modern also remind me of the classic liner adverts from the 1930’s and am sure they wil look stunning on board.

 

Ship Factfile

IMO No: 9802683

Construction start: March 2019

Shipyard: Meyer Weft, Papenburg, Germany

Building Cost: USD 350 million

Overall Length: 236m

Width: 31.2m

Gross Tonnage: 58,250 tonnes

Max Speed; 23 knots

Decks: 10

Decks with Cabins: 6

Passengers: 1000

Crew: 505

Have you booked a cruise of Spirit of Discovery or are you planning to?

To find out more about Saga cruises take a look here https://www.saga.co.uk/

To find out more about the artist Kate Jackson check out her website here https://katejackson.co.uk/about

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog

THE COUNTDOWN IS ON: 182 DAYS LEFT UNTIL THE CHRISTENING OF MSC GRANDIOSA IN HAMBURG

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First of the enriched Meraviglia-Plus ships to come into service

Inaugural season to be spent in the stunning Western Mediterranean

New flagship to feature two brand new Cirque du Soleil at Sea Shows

With exactly six months before the christening of MSC Grandiosa on 9th November in the Port of Hamburg, MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and market leader in Europe, South America, South Africa and the Gulf, today revealed they would be welcoming back international TV star Michelle Hunziker to host the glamorous official naming ceremony of the Company’s newest and largest ship to date. Hunziker, internationally known as a TV presenter, actress and singer, also hosted the christening of MSC Seaview in Genoa in 2018. Growing up in Italy and of Swiss descent, Hunziker speaks five languages and embodies the international spirit and Mediterranean soul of MSC Cruises.

MSC Grandiosa will become the largest ship in the MSC Cruises fleet and the first of the Meraviglia-Plus class of ships. Enriched with more cabins, more public space and innovative new features, the highlights include:

·         The iconic Mediterranean Promenade will be the heart of the ship. Under the 98.5-metre-long LED sky, guests can enjoy a varied entertainment programme as well as being able to indulge in shopping and world class food and drink. 

·         MSC Grandiosa takes the onboard shopping experience to a new level with the indoor promenade offering mall-style boutiques, where guests will find their favourite brands of clothing, jewellery, technology and more, all at unbeatable prices. 

·         The speciality restaurants located in the promenade include the new restaurant concept L’Atelier Bistrot, a French-inspired bar with lounge area, which also offers a stage and dance floor as well as a seated terrace.

·         The entertainment highlight will be two brand new shows from Cirque du Soleil at Sea. The shows are created by world-leader in live entertainment, Cirque du Soleil as part of a unique long-term partnership with MSC Cruises. 

·         MSC Grandiosa will feature the world’s first virtual personal cruise assistant, ZOE. This artificial intelligence guest service will answer guest questions in the comfort of their cabin alongside a ground-breaking feature of connected cruise experience, MSC for Me.

·         Designed as a ship for all seasonsMSC Grandiosa will spend winter in the MediteranneanWith less visitors and the perfect winter sun weather, this is the ideal time of year to discover some of the top destinations throughout Italy, France and Spain without the crowds.

Michelle Hunziker commented, “I am delighted to be part of the christening ceremony of MSC Grandiosa in Hamburg. Since the christening of MSC Seaview last year, I feel a part of the MSC family. I am particularly pleased that the christening is taking place in Germany. I have met great people here and celebrated many professional successes. For me, Germany means a piece of home and Hamburg has such a wonderful maritime heritage, it will be an honour to become a part of it. I am also looking forward to discovering everything that this new and stunning ship has to offer.”

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A section of MSC Grandiosa’s hull seen at the shipyard © Andrew McAlpine

MSC Grandiosa is the third ship of the innovative Meraviglia generation and the first of the Meraviglia-Plus class. She will become the fifth new next-generation ship MSC Cruises has launched in just two and a half years as part of MSC Cruises’ investment plan of €13.6 billion spanning more than 10 years.  MSC Grandiosa will be followed by a further 12 ships through to 2027 with her sister ship, MSC Virtuosa launching next October 2020.

Meraviglia generation ships have been designed to meet every need of today’s cruise guest. The extraordinary design, wide array of facilities and entertainment make these ships ideal for the whole family. Designed for all seasons, they are able to call at most of the world’s international cruise ports.

Last year I was fortunate to get a glimpse of MSC Grandiosa under construction at in Saint Nazaire when I visited the shipyard to see MSC Bellissima float out.

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MSC Grandiosa seen under construction at Chantiers de l’atlantique in St.Nazaire

 

MSC Cruises have also announced that following her christening in Hamburg MSC Grandiosa will visit Southampton on 13th November, afterwhich she will sail on her maiden cruise to the Mediterranean with calls at Lisbon, Barcelona, Marseille and finally Genoa.

As always thank you for taking the time to read my blog

To find out more booking information www.msccruises.co.uk

MSC Bellissima Christening

For my very first post I have some exciting news, although if you already follow Cruise Ship Profiles on twitter or Instagram you will already be aware that on 2nd March I will be attending the christening of MSC Bellissima in Southampton.
In what will be one of the biggest events for the port it will also be the first christening in the UK for MSC Cruises and is set to be their biggest ever to date.
I am on board for two days and hoping to be posting updates on both twitter and Instagram over both days.

My invitation arrived inside a sugar glass champagne bottle, with the idea being that all guests could all have their own Sophia Loren moment when smashing it! however my plan to capture the moment didn’t quite work out!

I am so excited to see MSC Bellissima again and step on board to see how beautiful she looks now she is finished. In June last year I was among a number of journalists and other cruise,  travel bloggers who were invited by MSC Cruises to visit the Chantiers De l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint Nazaire. We were there to attend the steel cutting for MSC Virtuosa, coin ceremony for MSC Grandiosa and the float out ceremony for MSC Bellissima.

The visit gave us the opportunity to take a look around MSC Bellissima and see how construction was progressing. To say I was in my element was an understatement! as my interest also includes the technical side of the ships themselves, so to get the chance to three ships at different stages of construction was truly surreal experience.

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I plan to write about my visit to the ship yard at a later date but in the meantime check out my two part video story of my visit.

Pt 1:

Pt 2: