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Largest cruise ship to be christened in UK arrives in Southampton ahead of naming ceremony

  • Watch a timelapse of the huge ship being built

The largest cruise ship to be christened in the UK has sailed into Southampton ahead of its star-studded naming ceremony.

The MSC Bellissima, which is 315m long and 65m high – with a deck surface area equivalent to 63 football pitches, has arrived for the event which will be hosted by Holly Willoughby.

The ship is a staggering 315 metres long. Credit: MSC Cruises
There are around 10 square metres of public space per guest. There can be up to 5,686 guests. Credit: MSC Cruises
The colossal ship weighs 171,598 tonnes. Credit: MSC Cruises

Among the stars taking part in the ceremony being held on Saturday will be Craig David, Nile Rodgers and Leee John – with Sophia Loren performing the ribbon-cutting duties.

The ship, the sixth largest in the world, was built at a cost of US$1 billion (£752 million) in Saint Nazaire in France.

It has 2,217 cabins with a capacity of 5,686 guests, 19 decks and 12 restaurants and a 985-seat theatre on board.

Around 15,000 croissants will be made every day on the huge ship. Credit: MSC Cruises
Galleria Bellissima is a 96 m central promenade filled with boutiques, restaurants and tranquil spots for shopping, eating and relaxing. Credit: MSC Bellissima
The Arizona Aquapark on the top deck has three exhilarating water slides. Credit: MSC Cruises
Complete with a thermal area, beauty salon and nail boutique, the MSC Aurea Spa will leave you feeling extra relaxed. Credit: MSC Cruises
A member of the public takes a photograph as MSC Cruises’ newest cruise ship, MSC Bellissima Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA

It also features a 96-metre long promenade with an 80-metre LED dome which shows atmospheric vistas, sunsets and starry night skies.

A spokeswoman for MSC Cruises said: “This morning the brand new $1bn cruise ship, MSC Bellissima, arrived in Southampton ahead of her official naming ceremony tomorrow.

The ship sailed into Southampton ahead of its star-studded naming ceremony. Credit: MSC Cruises
There's a voice-enabled Artificial Intelligence device called Zoe fitted in every cabin. Credit: MSC Cruises
The carousel lounge offers champagne and classic cocktails. Credit: MSC Cruises

“The biggest ship ever to be named in the UK, and the 6th biggest ship in the world, MSC Bellissima is a staggering 65m high and 315m long, with its deck surface area equivalent to 63 football pitches.

“The star-studded Christening will take place tomorrow evening, hosted by Holly Willoughby, with Craig David, Nile Rodgers, Sophia Loren and Leee John all gracing the blue carpet.”