Sophia Loren names MSC Virtuosa in Dubai

Nov 29, 2021

The naming ceremony of the MSC Virtuosa took place in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates on 27th of November. The famous actress and Hollywood icon Sophia Loren did the official naming of the ship at Port Rashid, which has made a partnership with Dubai's Department of Economy and Tourism and DP World. Captain Francesco Veneiro, the Master and many local important guests were present on the celebration of the long-established maritime tradition. The Master of Ceremonies and famous to the domestic people, Omar Butti was the host of this show, inviting the superstar Sophia Loren to the stage to officially name her 17th MSC Cruises’ ship by cutting the ribbon that breaks the bottle on the ship’s hull.

Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises, said, “We are thrilled to host this time-honored maritime tradition ceremony in the United Arab Emirates during its Golden Jubilee year and with it, to mark our longstanding and long-term commitment to this region. This is also why this winter, MSC Virtuosa, a new and one of the most technologically and environmentally advanced ships in our fleet, will homeport in the country as part of our deployment in the Gulf region.“

“Cruising is an integral part of the UAE’s dynamic tourism industry and, thanks to our uniquely global distribution network, we will continue to promote the country and the Middle East all around the world as an attractive vacation option to support the further growth of the tourism industry locally.”

The debut of the MSC Virtuosa, the second vessel of the Meraviglia-Plus class was in May, 2021, when it set sailed in Europe from the homeport Southampton, UK. The Cruise season in Europe included Barcelona, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Marseilles, France and Genoa, Italy. MSC Virtuosa is the first cruise ship to restart the industry in the country with domestic sailings.

MSC Virtuosa is departing on November 28 from Dubai on her first Gulf voyage, including  Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island, and Doha.

This ship, with capacity of 6,334 guests and 1,704 crew members, is the largest in the MSC's fleet, together with MSC Grandiosa, her sister ship. Great number of bars, lounges, swimming pools and restaurants show the evolution of the class and MSC efforts to be among the best cruise companies in the world.