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

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.

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On board the MSC Bellissima
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On board the MSC Bellissima
General view of the solarium on board the new MSC Cruise ship MSC Bellissima at dock in Southampton Port.
General view of sun loungers in the MSC Yacht Club area on board the new MSC Cruise ship MSC Bellissima at dock in Southampton Port.
General view of the Formula One simulator on board the new MSC Cruise ship MSC Bellissima at dock in Southampton Port.
General view of the solarium on board the new MSC Cruise ship MSC Bellissima at dock in Southampton Port.
General view of the bowling alley on board the new MSC Cruise ship MSC Bellissima at dock in Southampton Port.
General view of the solarium on board the new MSC Cruise ship MSC Bellissima at dock in Southampton Port.
A person makes their way along the Himalayan Bridge on board the new MSC Cruise ship MSC Bellissima at dock in Southampton Port.
General view of lounge in the MSC Yacht Club on board the new MSC Cruise ship MSC Bellissima at dock in Southampton Port.
General view of the Sportsplex on board the new MSC Cruise ship MSC Bellissima at dock in Southampton Port.
A picture of Queen Elizabeth II next to the master of the Sea pub on board the new MSC Cruise ship MSC Bellissima at dock in Southampton Port.
General view of the Amphitheatre pool on board the new MSC Cruise ship MSC Bellissima at dock in Southampton Port.
General view of the Atmosphere pool on board the new MSC Cruise ship MSC Bellissima at dock in Southampton Port.
General view of the entrance to the London Theatre on board the new MSC Cruise ship MSC Bellissima at dock in Southampton Port.
General view of the Atmosphere pool on board the new MSC Cruise ship MSC Bellissima at dock in Southampton Port.
General view of the Galleria Bellissima on board the new MSC Cruise ship MSC Bellissima at dock in Southampton Port.
General view of the Galleria Bellissima on board the new MSC Cruise ship MSC Bellissima at dock in Southampton Port.
A person makes their way along the Himalayan Bridge on board the new MSC Cruise ship MSC Bellissima at dock in Southampton Port.
A person makes their way along the Himalayan Bridge on board the new MSC Cruise ship MSC Bellissima at dock in Southampton Port.
General view of sun loungers in the MSC Yacht Club area on board the new MSC Cruise ship MSC Bellissima at dock in Southampton Port.
General view of the entrance to the London Theatre on board the new MSC Cruise ship MSC Bellissima at dock in Southampton Port.
General view of the speed walking and running track on board the new MSC Cruise ship MSC Bellissima at dock in Southampton Port.
General view of the Atmosphere pool on board the new MSC Cruise ship MSC Bellissima at dock in Southampton Port.
General view of the bowling alley on board the new MSC Cruise ship MSC Bellissima at dock in Southampton Port.
General view of the bowling alley on board the new MSC Cruise ship MSC Bellissima at dock in Southampton Port.
General view of the Amphitheatre on board the new MSC Cruise ship MSC Bellissima at dock in Southampton Port.
A chef makes finishing touches to a chocolate sculpture on board the new MSC Cruise ship MSC Bellissima at dock in Southampton Port.
General view of the speed walking and running track on board the new MSC Cruise ship MSC Bellissima at dock in Southampton Port.
General view of the speed walking and running track on board the new MSC Cruise ship MSC Bellissima at dock in Southampton Port.
General view of the Masters of the Sea pub on board the new MSC Cruise ship MSC Bellissima at dock in Southampton Port.
A person makes their way along the Himalayan Bridge on board the new MSC Cruise ship MSC Bellissima at dock in Southampton Port.
Members of the public look on as the MSC Bellissima, the largest cruise ship to be christened in the UK, arrives into berth 101 at City Cruise Terminal in Southampton for it's naming ceremony on Saturday.
A member of the public takes a photograph as MSC Cruises' newest cruise ship, MSC Bellissima, arrives into berth 101 at City Cruise Terminal in Southampton for it's naming ceremony on Saturday.
The MSC Bellissima cruise ship leaves 'Chantiers de l'Atlantique' shipyard of Saint-Nazaire on February 27, 2019. - The liner 'MSC Bellissima', built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire, was delivered on February 27, 2019 to the Swiss ship owner MSC Cruises. (Photo by Sebastien SALOM-GOMIS / AFP) (Photo credit should read SEBASTIEN SALOM-GOMIS/AFP/Getty Images)
An employee practices aerobic in the 'MSC Bellissima' cruise ship on February 27 2019, at Les chantiers de l Atlantique shipyard of Saint-Nazaire. - The ocean liner 'MSC Bellissima' built in Saint-Nazaire was delivered on February 27, 2019 to the Swiss shipowner 'MSC Croisiere'. (Photo by Sebastien SALOM-GOMIS / AFP) (Photo credit should read SEBASTIEN SALOM-GOMIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Workers of 'Les chantiers de l'Atlantique' pose in front of the 'MSC Bellissima' during its delivery ceremony on February 27, 2019 in Saint-Nazaire, eastern France. - The ocean liner 'MSC Bellissima' built in Saint-Nazaire was delivered on February 27, 2019 to the Swiss shipowner 'MSC Croisiere'. (Photo by Sebastien SALOM-GOMIS / AFP) (Photo credit should read SEBASTIEN SALOM-GOMIS/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken on February 27, 2019 shows the central lane of the MSC Bellissima cruise ship at 'Chantiers de l'Atlantique' shipyard of Saint-Nazaire. - The liner 'MSC Bellissima', built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire, was delivered on February 27, 2019 to the Swiss ship owner MSC Cruises. (Photo by Sebastien SALOM-GOMIS / AFP) (Photo credit should read SEBASTIEN SALOM-GOMIS/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken on February 27, 2019 shows the central lane of the MSC Bellissima cruise ship at 'Chantiers de l'Atlantique' shipyard of Saint-Nazaire. - The liner 'MSC Bellissima', built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire, was delivered on February 27, 2019 to the Swiss ship owner MSC Cruises. (Photo by Sebastien SALOM-GOMIS / AFP) (Photo credit should read SEBASTIEN SALOM-GOMIS/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken on February 27, 2019 shows the casino of the MSC Bellissima cruise ship at 'Chantiers de l'Atlantique' shipyard of Saint-Nazaire. - The liner 'MSC Bellissima', built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire, was delivered on February 27, 2019 to the Swiss ship owner MSC Cruises. (Photo by Sebastien SALOM-GOMIS / AFP) (Photo credit should read SEBASTIEN SALOM-GOMIS/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A picture taken on February 27, 2019 shows the MSC Bellissima cruise ship at 'Chantiers de l'Atlantique' shipyard of Saint-Nazaire. - The liner 'MSC Bellissima', built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire, was delivered on February 27, 2019 to the Swiss ship owner MSC Cruises. (Photo by Sebastien SALOM-GOMIS / AFP) (Photo credit should read SEBASTIEN SALOM-GOMIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Sunday, December 23, 2018, the liner MSC Bellissima returned to Chantiers de l'Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire, France, after having passed a series of sea trials for 4 days.The liner, 315 meters long and 43 wide, is expected to be delivered to the Italian cruise line in February 2019. (Photo by Estelle Ruiz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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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.

SOCIAL ShipA 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."

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