MSC Cruises newest ‘diva’ MSC Divina was officially delivered to the line by STX France on Saturday, ahead of her christening on 26 May.

A traditional flag ceremony saw the shipyard’s pennant and French flag lowered to the sound of the French national anthem and the flags of Italy and MSC Cruises subsequently raised to the Italian national anthem.

MSC Cruises’ owner, Gianluigi Aponte, gave command of the ship to Captain Giuliano Bossi before wife of MSC vice president Diego Aponte, Ela Aponte, cut the ribbon.

A bottle of champagne was broken and three blasts of Divina’s siren signalled the end of the traditional ceremony.

“I am very proud of MSC Divina, the 12th addition to our wonderful fleet and our third Fantasia-class ship,” MSC Cruises CEO Pierfrancesco Vago said.

“I believe she is the most beautiful ship in our fleet and that he innovations and polished features bring this successful class to perfection. Dedicated to Ms. Sophia Loren, MSC Divina’s stylish refinement represents a new benchmark in cruising.”

Mr Vago also acknowledged the economic impact that the building of their Fantasia-class ships has had on the French economy, with an average investment of USD$700 million per ship.

“We believe that the success of a country’s economy relies on such investments in its unique industrial traditions.”