British Royalty To Attend Launch Of MSC Poesia

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (MARCH 21, 2008) – In the presence of Their Royal Highnesses Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, MSC Cruises’ most exciting and anticipated ship to date, MSC Poesia, will make her debut in Dover on April 5.

Prince and Princess Michael of Kent will be joining Hollywood icon Sophia Loren, godmother to the new ship, at the star-studded event marking the first launch of an MSC Cruises’ ship outside of Italy.

As part of the “Musica” class, the MSC Poesia (which translates as “poetry”) will see her first night in Dover celebrated by live performances from headline acts including celebrated Italian opera legend Andrea Bocelli. Bocelli, having recently received a standing ovation at the Grammy Awards, captures the spirit and lyricism of the new ship. In addition, multi- award-winning singer/songwriter KT Tunstall will be on stage in the grand new music hall, as will 20-year-old jazz star Peter Grant, accompanied by the renowned Ronnie Scott Orchestra.

Throughout the evening, US artist Brian Olsen will provide entertainment with his unique style of dramatic performance art, which encompasses all of the senses. His paintings of famous musicians, actors and politicians are choreographed in an extraordinary auditory and visual performance

“MSC Poesia is the first of our new builds to be christened outside of Italy,” stated Pierfrancesco Vago, CEO of MSC Cruises. “Dover was chosen for her christening to highlight the importance of the British market for the cruising industry. The christening event will be spectacular thanks to the presence of the timeless Italian actress, Sophia Loren and the talented Maestro Andrea Bocelli and now, the presence of their Royal Highnesses Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.”

At 94,600 tons and 1,275 staterooms (with double occupancy for 2,550 guests), MSC Poesia blends cutting-edge technology, elegant surroundings, exciting entertainment venues and tantalizing dining opportunities. MSC Poesia is a sister ship to the popular MSC Orchestra and MSC Musica (launched in 2007 and 2006, respectively). She will become the ninth ship in the MSC Cruises fleet, which has experienced the industry’s largest fleet expansion in the last three years.

After the event, she will set sail on her 13-night pre-inaugural voyage from Dover to Venice, visiting Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Croatia, and finally Italy, arriving in Venice where she will be positioned for the summer of 2008.

MSC Cruises currently has a fleet of eight ships: MSC Orchestra, MSC Musica, MSC Sinfonia, MSC Opera, MSC Armonia, MSC Lirica, MSC Melody, MSC Rhapsody, and from April 2008, nine ships with the new addition of MSC Poesia , cruising in the Mediterranean year round and seasonally in Northern Europe, Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean and South America. The fleet will increase to 12 ships by 2010. In the autumn of 2008 the MSC Fantasia will launch, followed in spring 2009 by MSC Splendida. These will be two of the largest ships built by a European ship owner. Then in 2010 MSC Magnifica, the fourth ship in the” Musica” class, will enter service.

MSC Cruises is a partner of the city of Venice and a member of the Club – ‘Friends of Venice’ as well as one of the supporters for the project ‘Venice Blue Flag’ which sets the standards for the carbon emissions.