MSC Cruises on Saturday christened the latest addition to its luxury fleet, the MSC Preziosa, during a spectacular ceremony held in Genoa, Italy.
The ship is particularly notable because it is the fourth and final addition to MSC Cruises celebrated Fantasia-class. Well, that and the fact that the MSC Preziosa was originally built for the Gaddafi regime prior to the Libyan revolution in 2011.
MSC Cruises purchased the 140,000 ton ship in March 2012 from its builder STX France after the shipyard’s agreement with the original owner, Hannibal Gaddafi- aka the exiled son of the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi- fell through.
Original plans called for the vessel to include all the luxuries of a modern-day cruise ship, including a rumored custom built 120-ton saltwater tank to house Hannibal’s wide-ranging collection of man-eating sharks. To the relief of future passengers, the cruise ship was only about half-way completed when the Gaddafi regime was overthrown, leaving the hull up for sale.
The MSC Preziosa was officially christened by Sophia Loren during a lavish celebration before setting sail on her first Mediterranean adventure.