|Captain Scala, Sophia Loren & Pierfrancesco Vago |
Cut the Ribbon to Christen MSC Seaside
"MSC Seaside's naming embodies a pivotal moment for MSC Cruises and the industry overall. She is the first ship of the fifth new prototype that we have developed since we entered this industry only in 2003, and she introduces a wholly-innovative concept that has already set a new standard for the industry to follow," said Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises' Executive Chairman. "The distinctive and unique Seaside Class is designed to bring guests closer to the sea to enjoy cruising in warm weather, while pushing the boundaries of maritime and guest-centric technology—the way only a cruise line with over 300 years of maritime tradition could have done."
"MSC Seaside has been designed to spearhead the next phase of our growth in North America, a cornerstone of our global strategy. She will be one of three MSC Cruises ships to homeport in Miami—MSC Seaside, MSC Meraviglia, and MSC Divina, one from each of our newest classes of ship. She marks our ambition to establish a significant presence in North America, after firmly rooting our position as number one cruise brand in Europe and having established a leading presence in other key cruise markets globally," added Mr. Vago.
MSC Cruises also announced a new partnership specifically for MSC Seaside and relevant for the North American market. The new partnership with the Andrea Bocelli Foundation (ABF) where MSC Cruises' guest donations will support ABF's valuable work in Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world currently facing exceptional challenges. Every dollar donated on board by a guest will go directly to the Foundation to make a real difference, establishing schools that become community centers and launching projects such as the Mobile Clinic, providing health care assistance and prevention, clean water, lighting and agricultural development, transforming the lives of their communities.
Mr. Vago commented on the ABF partnership, "MSC Seaside will sail year around in the Caribbean, and with this partnership we wish to express our commitment to giving something back to the places where we operate. This charitable activity is in fact focused on helping the children of Haiti. They are the future and deserve the best and, as a family-owned company, this is a cause close to our hearts."
To mark the launch of the partnership with ABF, the world-famous tenor Andrea Bocelli took to the stage during the naming ceremony with 30 children from the Voices of Haiti, a talented choir of Haitian school students aged between 6 and 14 that brings music into the schools of the ABF and St. Luke Foundation for Haiti.
"The sea is a place of freedom; it is the guardian of fascinating wonders, of answers that help us grow. Being an artist means being an explorer. It is therefore a particularly joyful opportunity for me to bring on board my singing and most importantly the voices, joy and enthusiasm of the children's choir the 'Voices of Haiti,'" said Andrea Bocelli. "This choir is the result of one of the educational projects carried out, in Haiti and beyond, by the Foundation bearing my name." Mr. Bocelli continued, "MSC Cruises has always supported philanthropic projects and, in line with this tradition, MSC Seaside's naming marks a further inauguration: the launch of the partnership between MSC Cruises and the Andrea Bocelli Foundation. It will therefore be possible to set sail together and to simultaneously begin a compelling adventure of solidarity, of getting to know each other and supporting our important initiatives while on board." In collaboration with the Andrea Bocelli Foundation, the project aims to reach over 2,550 children in five communities in Haiti.
High quality, international dining is one of the key highlights of the MSC Cruises offering for guests and MSC Seaside takes this to the next level with six specialty restaurants featuring concepts from around the globe. One of these is a brand new dining experience from pan-Asian chef and international culinary pioneer, Roy Yamaguchi, with whom MSC Cruises has partnered to create a new Asian-Fusion dining concept, Asian Market Kitchen.
To celebrate the coming into service of MSC Seaside, the Swiss-based global cruise line hosted a high-profile event in PortMiami and paid homage to traditional seafaring customs. Guests in attendance included guests from around the globe, including authorities and key partners from the travel industry, as well as US and global media alongside guests from closer to home.
Headlining the entertainment for the evening's Naming Ceremony was multiple GRAMMY and LATIN GRAMMY winner, Ricky Martin, who is well-known for his high-energy and thrilling performances that have captivated millions of people throughout the world. Beloved by fans worldwide for his instinctive understanding of rhythm, passion for performing, and equal compassion for giving, Ricky Martin truly encompasses the international spirit of MSC Cruises and the city of Miami.
Making a guest appearance at the event was Miami football legend and Hall of Fame quarterback, Dan Marino, who was with the Miami Dolphins for 17 years. Earlier this year, MSC Cruises signed a partnership with the Miami Dolphins and became the official cruise line for the team, further strengthening the cruise line's relationship with the South Florida community—where its US operations are based. Fans and guests will have the chance to experience the Miami Dolphins at sea and meet team alumni on a themed cruise on MSC Seaside in 2018. Marino presented MSC Cruises USA President Roberto Fusaro with a signed football helmet to be displayed on board as a symbol of the partnership.
The finale of the evening's events was the time-honored tradition of breaking a bottle of champagne over the bow of the ship as MSC Seaside was officially named aloud. As a company with a strong maritime heritage dating over 300 years, observing these seafaring traditions is important to MSC Cruises and bringing good luck to this new ship, as always, was Sophia Loren as Godmother to her 12th MSC Cruises ship. As one of the most celebrated Italian actresses of our time, the glamorous screen-legend is practically part of the MSC Cruises family.
In charge of the whole evening's entertainment was actor and popular American TV host, Mario Lopez, who served as the Master of Ceremonies. Lopez also welcomed guests to the star-lit festivities on the "Blue Carpet," where celebrities gave interviews, took photographs, and met the crowds. Lopez then took to the stage to host the evening's entertainment.
But the main star of the show was none other than MSC Seaside. Quite unlike anything else at sea, MSC Seaside will shine among Miami's skyline commanding attention with its revolutionary design. Inspired by the architecture and lifestyle of Miami, the ship will be right at home in warm South Florida waters. Highly-innovative in design as well as on board features, the ship will feature world-class entertainment, a range of international dining concepts, a gorgeous spa, outstanding family-friendly facilities, the private "ship within a ship" MSC Yacht Club, and expansive outdoor spaces. The striking MSC Seaside is just one more reason for guests from North America, and all over the world, to join MSC Cruises on an unforgettable trip that follows the sun. MSC Seaside will sail year-round from Miami to the Caribbean offering 7-night eastern and western Caribbean itineraries, which started December 23.
Image Courtesy MSC Cruises