- 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.
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.
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 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.”