The final countdown for MSC Fantasia has officially started.

There are less than 30 days to go to the christening ceremony of MSC Cruises‘ flagship in Naples on December 18. The most beautiful ship in the world will be christened by Sophia Loren, the icon of Italian style in the world, who has already christened five other elegant MSC Cruises’ ships.

MSC Fantasia, at 133,500 gross registered tons, measures 1,092 feet long, 196 feet high and 124 feet wide. It can cruise at a maximum speed of 23 knots, carrying 3,274 guests (double occupancy) in its 1,637 cabins.

The 290,000 square feet of common areas include:
- 5 swimming pools – including “I Tropici,” with a retractable roof
- 12 whirlpool baths and 1 Acqua Park with 150 fountains
- 5 restaurants –including “La Cantina Toscana” – with the finest Italian wines;  “El Sombrero Tex Mex” to enjoy the taste of tacos and margaritas; and even a very elegant “Belle époque” style a la carte French restaurant.

Guests will have the opportunity to choose among 19 bars, such as the Manhattan Jazz Bar, with a perfect New York style, and the Sports Bar, where guests can support their team together with friends.

MSC AUREA SPA’s 17,384 square feet will ensure total relaxation of body and mind.

And fun is also guaranteed onboard, from “L’Avanguardia” theater with 1,650 seats, the casino, the disco and to the virtual area with a Formula 1 simulator and a 4D cinema. There is a children's playroom dedicated to a North Pole theme.

For the first time onboard, guests will find the new MSC Yacht Club: 99 suites, between 247 and 570 square feet, furnished as a luxurious yacht; a large lounge with a breathtaking view of the sea; a Conciergerie with Swarovski crystal stairs; and other reserved spaces. Personal butlers will provide the most exclusive services such as taking care of the luggage, booking excursions, in-suite dining, choice of cigars, liquors and champagne.

Elegance and class are the elements which distinguish all the new spaces on the flagship, which, as always, have been designed by the studio De Jorio Design International. The most important contemporary design styles dominate all the ship's spaces and reveal the great attention given to detail, and the quality of the materials.

MSC Fantasia is also an entirely ecological ship with environmentally friendly paint, modern technology for the treatment of black and grey waters and a system of energy saving in cabins and common areas.

MSC Fantasia is the tenth ship of the MSC Cruises fleet. After the inaugural ceremony, it will call at Genoa from where it will leave on Dec. 20 for its maiden voyage 9-day Mediterranean cruise, calling at Rhodes, Alexandria of Egypt, Messina and Naples. Twelve-day Mediterranean and Atlantic Ocean cruises will be available all through winter 2009.