MSC Cruises welcomed its newest cruise ship, the MSC Seascape, to the fleet during a lighthearted but dignified ceremony at Pier 88 in Manhattan.
“Good evening New York,” yelled Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman, cruise division of MSC Group, kicking off the first of several speeches. “It's great to be back in the concrete jungle. Tonight, onboard the Seascape, our dreams are made of steel and this vessel is our dream come true.”
New York City took center stage several times throughout. MSC Seascape is the first MSC ship to be named in The Big Apple, and the line will be permanently home-porting MSC Meraviglia from the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal starting in April 2023.
“We realized for our next step in North America it was necessary to establish ourselves in this City and today with this MSC Seascape naming ceremony, we celebrate our commitment to New York,” said Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises.
“As the first MSC Cruises ship to be named in New York City, MSC Seascape represents a pivotal moment for the brand as we commit to further growing our presence in North America,” added Ruben A. Rodriguez, president of MSC Cruises, USA. “Why fly to your cruise when you can just hop on the subway.”
New York City will be the third North American homeport for MSC Cruises, after Miami and Port Canaveral.
Rodriguez also took time to describe the ideal U.S.-based MSC Cruises client.
“We call them cultured cruisers. They are passionate about international travel, discovering new cultures, engaging with nature and exploring new cuisines. They are also strong advocates for sustainability… as a segment of the U.S. population, cultured cruisers are a huge opportunity. Nearly 32 million consumers, many of them here in the tri-state area.”
More than 3,000 guests attended the ceremony including key travel advisor partners, global media, VIPs and top management from the entire cruise and shipping divisions of MSC Group. Notably absent was the line’s traditional godmother Sophia Loren, who appeared via video to bless the ship, as well as famed Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli who usually performs. His son, Matteo Bocelli, sang instead, crooning “Happy Christmas," followed by the Italian-language "Caruso."
Later in the evening, guests enjoyed a performance by Grammy Award winner Ne-Yo.
The 2,270-cabin MSC Seascape is the 21st ship in the MSC Cruises fleet and the fourth in the line’s Seaside Class of ships, which feature an expansive waterfront promenade; the glass-bottom Bridge of Sighs, which affords beautiful aft views; and extensive food and beverage options throughout the ship.
New on Seascape is the ROBOTRON, an amusement-park style ride that flips people upside down.
MSC Seascape will sail year-round to the Caribbean from PortMiami starting December 8.