The launch of a new ship is always an exciting event, and you can count on every cruise line to mark its newest additions with flair and a spectacle to remember. Crowds gather to witness the classic champagne smashing on the bow and cruise ship godmother blessings. And why wouldn’t they? A brand new ship represents a marvelous feat of engineering each and every time, and as the future site of countless good times with loved ones, it only makes sense to honour the occasion with as much fanfare and hoopla as possible.
Here are three of the most exciting christenings of new cruise ships from the past 12 months.
The MSC Meraviglia
Not only is the MSC Meraviglia the largest ship to be launched this year, it’s also the largest ever to be built by a European-based cruise line. The Meraviglia took to the water for the first time on June 4 2017 for a maiden voyage from Le Havre in France, where it was christened by none other than Italian film star Sophia Loren.
With a name meaning ‘Wonder’ in Italian, it’s no surprise that the Meraviglia packs plenty of new highlights. The crowning feature of the ship is its massive 5,200 square-foot LED dome roof that arches above the indoor promenade and displays everything from sunrises to starry night skies.
It also introduces the only Cirque du Soleil shows at sea, and it’s the first ship in the MSC line to debut ‘MSC for Me’, a digital interface that helps passengers navigate their way around the ship, find their travel buddies onboard, and book activities.
The MSC Meraviglia will spend the summer season cruising throughout the Mediterranean.
The Viking Sky
The Viking Sky, another European ship, recently celebrated its launch with a truly unique event. The third ship in the Viking Ocean Cruises line was christened under the ‘midnight sun’ in Tromso, Norway on June 22 2017 in a special nod to the line’s Norwegian heritage. Thanks to Tromso’s northern location and the date’s status as the longest day of the year, the ‘midnight sun’ is a time when the clocks strike 12, right about the same moment as the sun both sets and rises again.
Aside from this spectacular christening, the Viking Sky offers a number of attractive features. The ship can accommodate 930 guests throughout its 465 staterooms, and importantly, every single one of those cabins includes a verandah. Additionally, passengers will enjoy perks included in the fare such as WiFi, beer and wine with lunch and dinner, and access to the thermal suite in the LivNordic Spa.
The Harmony of the Seas
Royal Caribbean changed the game with the christening of Harmony of the Seas in November 2016. Instead of the usual celebrity appearance, the line created a teachers-only contest for the honour of christening the new ship, which was won by 23-year-old Teach for America educator Brittany Affolter. As well as this sidestep from tradition, the event showcased the vessel’s technology by using a robot as part of the sequence that launched a 3-foot bottle of Veuve Cliquot champagne along the vessel’s zipline, which sent it crashing into the side of the boat.
The Harmony of the Seas is the largest cruise ship in existence, and features a collection of incredible additions such as the world’s tallest slide at sea, an ice skating rink, and a Bionic Bar where robots have replaced the bartenders.
Harmony of the Seas sailed Europe for its first few months, and is now based in the Caribbean.
Have you ever had the pleasure of attending a cruise ship christening? Let us know on our Facebook page!