MSC Cruises hosts MSC Virtuosa naming ceremony in UAE

MSC Cruises hosts MSC Virtuosa naming ceremony in UAE

MSC Cruises

Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises at the christening ceremony

MSC Cruises christened the new MSC Virtuosa during a ceremony held at Port Rashid in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) on 27 November.

“We are honoured to host this maritime tradition ceremony in the UAE during its Golden Jubilee year and with it, to mark our long-standing and long-term commitment to this region,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises. “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 holiday option to support the further growth of the tourism industry locally.” 

The naming ceremony was hosted by UAE TV personality Omar Butti and Italian actress Sophia Loren who officially christened MSC Virtuosa by cutting the ribbon which broke a champagne bottle on the ship’s hull in accordance with maritime tradition. Guests included royals, the master of the vessel, Captain Francesco Veniero and other officials from across the world. The ceremony also included a firework display, celebratory dinner and a performance by Rag’n’Bone Man. 

"Hosting the naming ceremony for MSC Cruises’ newest flagship vessel, MSC Virtuosa, in Dubai, is testament to the popularity of the city as the cruise gateway to the region,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, director general of Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism. “Dubai’s reputation as a cruise hub continues to grow in stature and iconic moments and milestone events such as these reflect the crucial contribution of cruising to the city’s tourism industry.” 

The ship, which can carry 6,334 passengers and 1,704 crew, features a wide selection of restaurants, bars, lounges, swimming pools and contributes towards the UAE’s shared goal of net zero emissions by 2050. MSC Virtuosa will depart from Dubai on 28 November for her maiden Gulf voyage, visiting Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island and Doha, Qatar.

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Alice Chambers
By Alice Chambers
29 November 2021

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