The star line-up for MSC Bellissima’s naming ceremony in Southampton will include TV presenter Holly Willoughby, Nile Rodgers and DJ Craig David. Sophia Loren will also be present and perform the traditional ribbon-cutting and officially name the new ship over the weekend of 1-3 March.

This Morning and Dancing on Ice co-presenter, Holly Willoughby, is to host the naming ceremony on 2 March. Three-time Grammy award-winner Nile Rodgers and his band Chic will provide live music in the evening.

Guests will also see an exclusive Cirque du Soleil at Sea performance during the ceremony on the pier as a taster of two new shows, VARÉLIA and SYMA to be showcased on the ship.

The entertainment will continue into the evening back on board the ship with a gala dinner followed by live music from platinum-selling UK singer Leee John.

The following day, March 3, will see 3,500 travel agents from the UK and Ireland invited on board MSC Bellismia and will see further celebrations with a day of activities and entertainment. The highlight of the evening will be a performance from Southampton-born Craig David.

MSC Bellissima will depart Southampton on 4 March on a ten-night inaugural cruise to Genoa. From 17 March, MSC Bellissima will commence seven-night cruises in the Mediterranean calling Genoa, Naples, Messina, Valetta, Barcelona and Marseille.

MSC Cruises UK and Ireland managing director Antonio Paradiso said:

I am so proud to be hosting the Naming Ceremony of MSC Bellissima in Southampton and to have the opportunity to showcase our newest ship to so many of our travel agent partners, media outlets, valued guests and future cruisers.

He also went on to say:

MSC Cruises is on a fantastic journey in the UK and Ireland, and the growth and development we have seen in the last five years has been remarkable. The MSC Bellissima launch celebrations are the next step in this journey that promises, with the continued support of our travel agents to exceed all our expectation.