MSC Seaside, the ship that follows the sun, was named in a glittering ceremony by international screen legend and Godmother for all MSC Cruises’ ships, Sophia Loren. MSC Seaside is the second ship to be launched in the past six months by the European cruise line.
MSC Seaside is the first ship of the fifth new prototype that MSC Cruises has developed since the company entered the industry in 2003 and introduces a wholly-innovative concept. The distinctive and unique Seaside Class is designed to bring guests closer to the sea to enjoy cruising in warm weather.
“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.” – Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises Executive Chairman
MSC Cruises also announced two new partnerships specifically for MSC Seaside and relevant for the North American market. The first is 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.
Every dollar donated on board by a guest will go directly to the Foundation to make a real difference, establishing schools that then become community centers and launch projects such as the Mobile Clinic, for health care assistance and prevention, clean water, lighting and agricultural development, transforming the lives of their communities.
“MSC Seaside will sail year around in the Caribbean and with this partnership we wish to express our commitment to give 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.” – Pierfrancesco Vago
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.
In collaboration with the Andrea Bocelli Foundation, the project aims to reach over 2,550 children in five communities in Haiti.
MSC Cruises also announced a new partnership with Joe Bastianich the award-winning restaurateur, author and TV personality with thirty successful restaurants worldwide including New York City-based Babbo and Del Posto and Carnevino in Las Vegas. Bastianich will become the newest addition to the impressive line-up of internationally renowned chefs and restaurateurs partnering with MSC Cruises across its global fleet and will create a signature dish exclusively for MSC Seaside that will feature on the Elegant Night menu.
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.
Headlining the entertainment for the evening’s Naming Ceremony was multiple GRAMMY and LATIN GRAMMY winner, Ricky Martin.
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.
The finale of the evening’s events was the time-honoured tradition of breaking a bottle of champagne over the bow of the ship as MSC Seaside was officially named aloud. Bringing good luck to this new ship was Italian screen-legend Sophia Loren as Godmother to her 12th MSC Cruises ship.
In charge of the evening’s entertainment was actor and 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.
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. The highly-innovative in design as well as guest offering ship will feature world-class entertainment, a range of international dining concepts, a gorgeous spa, outstanding facilities for families, a private yacht club (MSC Yacht Club), and expansive outdoor spaces.
MSC Seaside will sail year-round from Miami to the Caribbean offering 7-night eastern and western Caribbean itineraries.