MSC, one of Europe’s biggest ship operators, launched its latest and most innovative vessel yesterday at a stat studded Miami ceremony.

The launch is one of a series from the company which will see it send 12 new mega ships into the market in the next nine years, signalling a major assault on US big ship supremacy.

International screen legend and Godmother for all MSC Cruises’ ships once again performed the honours. Tenor Andrea Bocelli was also n hand with 30 children from The Voices of Haiti. Singer Ricky Martin also performed.

MSC Cruises Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago said: “MSC Seaside has been designed to spearhead the next phase of our growth in North America, a cornerstone of our global strategy. She will be one of three MSC Cruises ships to homeport in Miami – MSC Seaside, MSC Meraviglia and MSC Divina, one from each of our newest classes of ship. She marks our ambition to establish a significant presence in North America.”

MSC Cruises announced a new partnership with Joe Bastianich, the award-winning restaurateur, author and TV personality with thirty successful restaurants worldwide including New York City-based Babbo and Del Posto and Carnevino in Las Vegas.

Bastianich will become the newest addition to the impressive line-up of internationally renowned chefs and restaurateurs partnering with MSC Cruises across its global fleet and will create a signature dish exclusively for MSC Seaside that will feature on the Elegant Night menu.

MSC Seaside has six specialty restaurants featuring concepts from around the globe. One of these is a brand new dining experience from pan-Asian chef and international culinary pioneer, Roy Yamaguchi, with whom MSC Cruises has partnered to create a new Asian-Fusion dining concept, Asian Market Kitchen.

The vessel features world-class entertainment, a range of international dining concepts, spa, outstanding facilities for families, the luxurious MSC Yacht Club, and expansive outdoor spaces.

What’s difference about Seaside?

She is called “the ship that follows the sun” and is inspired by Miami’s architecture and lifestyle. MSC says she will be “bringing guests closer to the sea”.

She has bowling alleys, the longest zip lines at sea, and an aqua park with five water attractions: the first cruise ship Slideboarding™ attraction, 525ft. duelling body slides, and two spray areas for kids.

And there are lots of culinary choices, including the exclusive Asian Market Kitchen from renowned Pan-Asian chef Roy Yamaguchi. There is a luxury seafood restaurant, Ocean Cay, an authentic American-style steakhouse, Butcher’s Cut, and a new French bistro, La Bohème.

MSC Seaside will also feature MSC for Me, a digital innovation program that uses the latest technology to connect travelers with the experiences that matter to them, whether at sea or on land. E-bracelets, an intuitive app, and interactive screens across the ship will make cruising easier and more engaging than ever.

MSC Seaside will sail year-round from Miami to the Caribbean offering 7-night eastern and western Caribbean itineraries starting December 23.