MSC Cruises’ newest, most environmentally advanced ship MSC Grandiosa lit up Hamburg’s Elbe River with her star-studded christening last Saturday.

The 6,334-passenger high-tech ship ‘sets a new standard for sustainability at sea’ and features new Cirque du Soleil entertainment, food by three Michelin starred German chef Harald Wohlfahrt and dedicated children’s areas.

Germany’s favourite entertainers like Michelle Hunziker and Jochen Scropp welcomed the ship. International celebrities like the ship’s godmother Sophia Loren was there to name her 15th MSC Cruises ship and British singer Emma Lanford was also part of the line’s largest and longest christening event.

The festivities took place at a purpose-built “MSC Village” on the banks of the River Elbe brought the festivities to shore, welcoming 5,000 locals to experience the christening from land with live music and food trucks. Guests were joined by the popular German TV couple Annemarie & Wayne Carpendale who acted as presenters and hosts.

The christening also showed off light installations by renowned artist Michael Batz which bathed the port in shades of blue at the German city’s Blue Port. MSC Grandiosa’s series of celebrations will span a record 27 days, eight countries and 11 ports.

The ship highlights include two new original shows from Cirque du Soleil at Sea, a 93-metre-long Mediterranean Promenade lined with international shops and restaurants, an immersive art experience featuring etchings from Edgar Degas’ Danse Dessin series.

There is also a dedicated children’s areas designed in partnership with Chicco and LEGO. Every cabin will also come with ZOE, the world’s first virtual digital cruise assistant.

Guests onboard can enjoy an exclusive gourmet menu created by renowned three Michelin starred German chef Harald Wohlfahrt one night a week.

For a sneak peak of chef Wohlfahrt’s menu, the gala dinner started with Chilled king crab salad with crustacean coulis and imperial caviar or Guinea fowl napoleon with apple-ginger quenelle, Riesling gelée and brioche. Next up was the traditional German dish, “Maultasche” – pasta filled with winter truffles and pistou sauce.

The main dish was oven-roasted turbot in a saffron-mussel fumet and vegetable mélange or Duo of veal tenderloin and braised cheek, tender savoy cabbage, glazed carrot and roasted herb jus. Finishing off the gourmet feast, guests can choose a Pistachio parfait with orange granité and exotic fruit cocktail or Chocolate tart with caramelised pears and vanilla-mascarpone ice cream.

MSC Grandiosa sports an energy efficient hull and overall design which uses 28 per cent less fuel compared to Fantasia Class ships. The ship also has a selective catalytic reduction system and hybrid exhaust gas cleaning system to reduce nitrogen oxide and sulphur oxide emissions.

The smart heating ventilation and air conditioning system also creates heat recovery loops to intelligently redistribute heat and cold from the laundry room and machinery spaces to warm up the swimming pools or other parts of the ship.

MSC Grandiosa will commence her regular 7-night cruises in the Western Mediterranean from 23rd November with six embarkation ports calling Genoa, Civitavecchia, Italy; Palermo, Sicily; Valetta, Malta; Barcelona, Spain and Marseille, France.