It was a star-studded affair – as befits the world’s newest mega liner. MSC’s Meraviglia was christened at the weekend in Le Havre, France, with film icon Sophia Loren doing the honours.

The Italian movie icon, aged 82 but looking amazing,  cut a blue ribbon to send a bottle of tranditional champagne smashing against the ship’s hull.

There were also performances from French stars Patrick Bruel and Kids United. And, of course, there were fireworks.

“We have an ambitious vision for the future, and MSC Meraviglia marks the start of the second phase of growth for our company,” Pierfrancesco Vago, the line’s chairman, told the crowd.

And indeed, they do. New World Class ships with astonishing design features, are to be launched after 2020. And more Meraviglias are coming.

Meraviglia is the fourth largest cruise vessel ever built, smaller only than the three Oasis Class vessels from Royal Caribbean.

She is capable of holding up to 5,714 passengers.

Nineteen decks high and more than 1,000 feet long, Meraviglia is the first MSC vessel to rank among the top five biggest cruise ships.

She has twelve dining venues, a race car simulators, a flight simulator, a 4D cinema and a full-sized bowling alley as well as an interior promenade covered by the largest LED dome at sea.

There also is an aft pool that transforms into a dance area at night, a massive kiddie zone and exclusive Cirque du Soleil shows performed in a custom-made entertainment venue.

Meraviglia this summer will sail in the Mediterranean, operating seven-night voyages that include stops in France, Italy, Malta and Spain.

MSC has announced a massive expansion plan, with more ships in the class and new and innovative World Class vessels coming after 2020.