The Christening of a New Ship from Lynne Clarke

Today’s blog post article was written courtesy of Managing Director of MSC Cruises (Australia/New Zealand), Lynne Clarke.

One of the most exciting events in our work lives is definitely the christening of a new ship. It is not just the event itself but the lead up, which is best likened to an Indian wedding.  Tradition and ritual play a prominent role commencing from the flag ceremony which is the handover of the ship from the yard and culminating in the final breaking of the champagne bottle by Sophia Loren a week later.

Lynne Clark with MSC Cruises godmother, Sophia Loren

I am sure the handover day must be emotionally charged  ranging from immense pride to relief and perhaps a little pang of sadness to something that has been part of their lives for so long starting from the drawing board and finally bearing witness to the finished product.  It is true teamwork

I recall one such occasion when I stood waving to the  team from the yard in St Nazaire – France.  They were all lined up along the pier, huge smiles on their faces and talking to one another as they watched her sail into the distance, it was the end of a chapter in their lives and the beginning of a new chapter in ours.  A new ship that will carry the secrets, hopes, dreams and memories of  thousands and thousands of passengers that will sail on her in the forthcoming years.

When I embark the ship for the first time, there is a split second, and I hope I do not sound too crazy saying this, that is so important and momentous to me.  It is that instant when I can feel the ship the true essence and personality of her.  Now, we agree that all ships are referred to as “she” however some are more feminine in feel than others.  For example MSC Lirica, has a very light happy feel about her.  She reminds me of a mermaid, whilst MSC Opera, is deeper and reminds me of King Neptune – not of course that I am saying I have met him, otherwise I definitely do have a problem…

MSC Opera christening – Genoa

MSC Lirica christening – Naples

MSC Poesia with her lavender hue’s reminds me of summer and peace and tranquillity whilst MSC Musica once again is more solid and earthy.

MSC Poesia christening – Dover

MSC Musica christening – Venice

When we embarked  MSC Splendida for the first time, I did not have the opportunity to feel her as we had to attend a global meeting on board.  We therefore embarked and rushed directly to the meeting room.  I decided that I would not really look at her until I could find the peaceful alone time to “feel her” I am sure I must have looked strange walking around the ship with my head down as everyone else  around me was taking time  to look and study her and the beautiful soft furnishings

MSC Splendida christening – Barcelona

It was early the following morning that I managed to walk around her.  Her soft furniture and design is truly amazing, it is like going to an art museum with the difference that you can touch, feel and really enjoy and experience all she has to offer.

One of the other wonderful aspects about the christening, is that we get to once again meet our colleagues from around the world and of course our on-board crew and officers, some whom we have not perhaps seen for a number of years.  I am sure you can understand the excitement in seeing and talking to one another.  The air is emotionally charged with excitement, anticipation and expectations of this new product that has now become part of our all lives.

MSC Magnifica christening – Naples

MSC Divina christening – Marseilles

Once again on Saturday March the 23rd, I will have the opportunity of welcoming MSC Preziosa into our work lives.  The event itself is going to be magical.

To read about all the excitement surrounding MSC Preziosa’s christening, including a flash mob with light and music display that will include both MSC Opera and MSC Splendidia, click here.