MSC Preziosa launch Sophia LorenMSC Preziosa was christened on Saturday in Genoa, Italy, at a glittering ceremony attended by Hollywood legend and MSC Cruises godmother Sophia Loren.

The launch event featured entertainment from top Italian and international performers, including Oscar-winning composer Ennio Morricone.

MSC Preziosa is the 12th addition to the MSC fleet and the precious fourth flagship in the company’s celebrated Fantasia class. Both the ship herself and Saturday’s event were inspired by the theme of preciousness, allowing guests to enjoy a precious first glimpse of MSC’s latest exquisite gem as she was unveiled to the world.

The ship boasts state-of-the art contemporary design, and new features including Vertigo, the longest single rider body waterslide on the waves, an aqua park for children, a thermal area, and the first two Eataly restaurants at sea. You can view a selection of images of MSC Preziosa here.

With the launch of MSC Preziosa, MSC Cruises is now the third biggest cruise line in the world.

(Pictured with Sophia Loren are MSC Cruises owner Gianluigi Aponte and Captain Bossi.)

You can watch a video of the christening ceremony below:

*Read more about MSC Preziosa and all the latest new ship news in the June/July issue of Cruise International, on sale May 3.