INTERNATIONAL. MSC Cruises will host a naming ceremony for its new flagship MSC Seashore at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve in the Bahamas on 18 November. It will be the first naming ceremony for a cruise ship to be held at a private island.

As reported, the ship – which will begin her inaugural cruise from Miami on 20 November – features a groundbreaking retail offer over 971sq m across three decks, with a “revolutionary open space” concept. Below we feature the latest images of the new vessel, courtesy of MSC Cruises.

MSC Cruises Head of Retail Adrian Pittaway said: “MSC Seashore is a retail concept built from entertainment. We initially created a multi-dimensional space that will host shows, retail events, promotions and spectacular moments of excitement called Times Square. It is the first ever three-deck high ‘phygital retailtainment’ space at sea.”

The spectacular ‘phygital retailtainment’ space under the Times Square branding onboard MSC Seashore. Below, some of the elegant retail zones within the open plan environment.

Times Square is built around a set of open, connected retail spaces which are +75% larger than sister ship MSC Seaside. Much of the extra space was used to create broad shopping and entertainment spaces that are “seamlessly connected and presented with an innovatively created strategy,” added Pittaway.

He said: “Each shop contains demonstration areas, presentation spaces, natural light, stunning sea views and interactive moments so that during each day and night across the cruise there is always something happening, excitement to be found and discoveries to be made from both our in-house retail and entertainment teams working together.”

MSC Seashore will showcase over 200 brands across 11 boutiques. New brand launches including IWC, Cartier, Panerai, Breitling, Acqua di Parma, Anastasia, Movado are at the heart of retail spaces, said the retailer. “MSC Seashore offers our widest product assortment to date with increased offerings for families and young travellers in particular,” added Pittaway.

He further noted: “The presence of the MSC Foundation and associated retail space, where all retail revenue goes towards sustainability projects around the world is an ongoing commitment to educate, inspire and support many projects associated with the preservation of the sea. Likewise, with our MSC Cruises own brand, we have developed a set of principles and expectations for all new products to reflect materials, sourcing and product innovation. This change is now at the heart of our buying and selling strategies to reflect the sustainability goals of the company.

“MSC Seashore will be truly a service-based retail offering. We passionately believe that ‘people buy people’ and the human power of our retail spaces is the single most important element of our opening. Additionally, we have created new positions for MSC Seashore to enhance the guest experience.

“For our inaugural season, our MSC retail family onboard will have over 100 years of combined MSC experience between them, and this service, commitment and passion will be clear for guests to enjoy when they visit all of our stunning new onboard boutiques.”

MSC Seashore prepares for her first seven-night cruise from Miami in November; below, more shots of the impressive retail areas

For the official naming ceremony, actress Sophia Loren will perform the role of ship’s ‘Godmother’. The festivities next month will take place both onboard and on the island as the ship will remain docked throughout the night, with a gala dinner, live entertainment and more.

The naming of MSC Seashore will see the formal inauguration of Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, which opened in late 2019 and closed shortly thereafter due to the pandemic. The island has since gone through further work and significant improvements.

MSC Seashore is the first Seaside EVO ship, an evolution of the pioneering Seaside class designed in the style of Miami beach-front condos. MSC Seashore offers a whole host of brand-new features, venues and experiences for guests as 65% of the public areas have been reimagined. The ship offers 13,000sq m of outdoor space (the most of any ship in the fleet).

Highlights include:

  • MSC Yacht Club: the all-inclusive ‘ship within a ship’ premium concept
  • Five speciality restaurants housed in the Chef’s Court on deck 8 with two elegant bars for pre and post dinner cocktails plus al fresco dining for The Butcher’s Cut
  • A new lounge, Cabaret Rouge, spanning two decks with panoramic views of the sea, offering new entertainment experiences
  • Six swimming pools with an enlarged indoor pool, a new interactive waterpark and a spectacular new Infinity Pool
  • The exclusive Top 19 Solarium with its chic outdoor lounge area and bar for Aurea guests
  • A 1,135m2 casino with 182 slot machines, 12 tables and the latest gaming technology
  • Times Square with an LED wall spanning four decks with a projection of the iconic Manhattan attraction.