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Loren Gets Bottle Smashing Right on MSC Magnifica Launch

09 March 2010

MSC Magnifica

Sophia Loren has won two Oscars during her glittering acting career, but there was no appearance on the red carpet this year as she was in Hamburg instead unveiling a new ship from MSC Cruises.

The Italian film icon, who was wearing a full-length black dress, was joined in Germany by Greek singer Nana Mouskouri and Italian superstar Eros Ramazzotti for the christening ceremony of the MSC Magnifica vessel.

Both on board the latest member of the MSC fleet and at the port itself, a number of celebrities enjoyed a dazzling event entitled Carnival of Venice, with Ms Loren responsible for cutting the ribbon.

A firework display above the river Elbe was also a part of the celebrations on the vessel, which has a retractable roof, alongside featuring 17 bars and lounges, a 4-D cinema, a mini bowling alley and four restaurants.

Ms Loren also performed the ritual of smashing a bottle of champagne, which is a task that has not always gone as smoothly for others in the past, most notably Camilla Parker Bowles.

The second wife of Prince Charles was to christen the 2,014-seater Queen Victoria vessel from Cunard Cruises during a ceremony in Southampton in 2007 but the bottle failed to break.

Just weeks after this unfortunate mishap, Dame Helen Mirren launched her first ship when she was approached by P&O Cruises for its latest vessel Ventura.

P&O Cruises managing director Nigel Esdale said of the decision: "Dame Helen Mirren embodies glamour, vitality and Britishness, which are all values that will be a feature of Ventura.

"We are delighted that Dame Helen is to be associated with her - and we are determined to get the bottle-smashing right."

However, in a break from tradition, it was decided that the actress would be spared against swinging the bottle of champagne against the hull of the ship.

Instead it was left to a squadron of the Royal Marine Commandos to smash the bottle as they abseiled down the hull.

Also in 2007, celebrity sisters Jemma and Jodie Kidd failed to break a bottle of champagne at their first attempt during a launch in Southampton.

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