The newest offering from Italian line MSC Cruises will be named in Dover, with 90 percent of the ceremony's attendees hailing from the U.K. The entire event will be conducted entirely in English (Italy-based events are generally conducted in Italian).
MSC Cruises' push into the English marketplace began earlier this year, when the line launched its first itineraries departing from the U.K. on the 812-passenger MSC Rhapsody. For 2008, the line is deploying MSC Armonia, a ship with approximately twice the capacity as Rhapsody (which can accommodate 1,566 passengers) to Dover; that ship will sail itineraries to the Baltic, Norwegian fjords and North Cape over a longer season. MSC also offers a variety of fly-to cruise options fleetwide for U.K. cruisers.
MSC Poesia is a sister ship to 2006's MSC Musica and MSC Orchestra, which launched in the spring of this year.
While its design scheme is currently unannounced, expect MSC Poesia to share features similar to Musica's, such as:
A central foyer with three-deck-high waterfall -- and a piano above a pool of water, suspended via a transparent crystal floor.
A 13,000-square-ft. spa, which includes chromotherapeutic hydro massage and a Turkish bath along with the usual features.
A variety of entertainment venues including a three-deck theater, secondary show lounge and disco.
Dining options including the Garden Restaurant, a sushi bar, and a self-service pizza and grill cafe.
After its inaugural cruise, a 13-night Dover-to-Venice voyage, MSC Poesia will spend the next several months sailing weeklong Eastern Mediterranean cruises roundtrip from Venice.
--by Dan Askin, Assistant Editor