Sophia Loren to christen MSC Splendida in Barcelona

The MSC Splendida will be christened in Barcelona, Spain, on July 12 in a ceremony presided over by the vessel's godmother, Sophia Loren.

Loren previously served as godmother for the MSC Lirica, MSC Opera, MSC Musica, MSC Orchestra, MSC Poesia and MSC Fantasia.

The Splendida is the second in MSC Cruises' Fantasia class of ships; the other, the Fantasia, entered service in December 2008.

Jose Carreras, one of the Three Tenors, will perform at the ceremony as well.

The Splendida will sail a series of seven-night Mediterranean itineraries roundtrip from Barcelona before repositioning to Genoa, Italy, for a series of 11-night Med sailings, beginning in November.

The seven-night sailings will call in La Goulette (Tunis), Tunisia; Valletta, Malta; Messina, Civitavecchia (Rome) and Genoa, Italy, and Marseille, France.

The 11-night sailings will call in Katakolon, Piraeus (Athens), Rhodes and Heraklion, Greece; Alexandria, Egypt; Marmaris, Turkey; and Messina and Naples, Italy.

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