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Shipping: Smashing time in Dover for film legend Loren

Contributed by editor on Apr 07, 2008 - 09:49 PM

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Glamorous Italian film actress Sophia Loren smashed a bottle of best bubbly into the hull of the newest cruise liner to visit Dover.

MSC Cruises and godmother Sophia Loren wowed the guests as she christened the 93,300-ton MSC Poesia at midnight Saturday at the port's Western Docks after a gala dinner and onboard concerts by Andrea Bocelli and KT Tunstall.

Pierfrancesco Vago, CEO of MSC Cruises, hosted about 2,500 guests onboard for the celebration. The guests dined during two sittings and enjoyed the concerts in intimate surroundings. Bocelli performed in the 1,240-seat Teatro Carlo Felice and Tunstall in the 330-seat Moulin Rouge lounge.

Then, shortly before midnight, Loren was joined by Vago and the captain on the bridge where she cut the ribbon that sent the champagne bottle smashing into the hull. The actual christening took just a few minutes and was aired live on TV screens throughout the ship as guests continued to party.

Vago said MSC Cruises decided to hold the christening in Dover to showcase the product to U.K. cruisers. "MSC has done a lot of growing in the last four years, and we think we have the product to the standards the British market wants," Vago said during a press conference.