MSC Cruises has announced a new onboard partnership with celebrated French chef Raymond Blanc.

The 69-year-old, who has two Michelin stars, was unveiled to the world’s media at a press conference on new ship MSC Bellissima, which is being officially named today in Southampton.

Passengers on the 4,500-passenger ship will now be able to enjoy a dish created by Blanc for the line’s Elegant Dinner menu in the ships’ main restaurants.

Blanc said: “I am honoured and flattered to be part of this team. I believe we have a shared passion for the guest experience, and together we will create some truly memorable moments for diners on board.”

Gianni Onorato, the line’s chief executive, said dining was one of MSC Cruises’ main pillars.

“We believe it is important to listen to our customers – our front line – and from that we build and we improve things,” he said.

Onorato said the line had aspirations to grow “organically” and in a “cautious manner”.

“We have quite a few ships that can help us grow,” he added.

Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ executive chairman, revealed that there would be no cabins on board the four luxury ships, slated for delivery from 2023.

“There will no longer be cabins, but suites and verandas,” he said.