MSC Cruises has christened Meraviglia-Plus class ship MSC Grandiosa in a star-studded ceremony in Hamburg.

In Hamburg’s Blue Port, artist Michael Batz put on light installations to symbolise MSC Cruises’ commitment to the ocean as Italian film star and the vessel’s godmother Sophia Loren named her 15th MSC ship.

MSC Grandiosa has two new Cirque du Soleil shows which are exclusive to the ship’s passengers, a 93-metre long promenade and virtual digital cruise assistant – MSC Zoe – among other features.

Guests heard performances from German DJ Mousse T and British singer Emma Lanford in the promenade after the ceremony.

More than 5,000 locals watched the ceremony from the banks of the river Elbe in a series of purpose-built structures – called “MSC Village” – where live music and food trucks were available.

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MSC Grandiosa’s launch celebrations span 27 days, across eight countries, and will be witnessed by more than 14,000 travel agents.

Before starting its maiden voyage on November 23, the 6,300-passenger ship will call at Southampton, Lisbon, Barcelona, Marseille, Genoa.