FORT LAUDERDALE, FL--(Marketwire - May 16, 2012) - As a symbol of collaboration between MSC Cruises' and UNICEF, major UNICEF representatives and guests will be involved in the christening ceremony of MSC Divina, which will take place in Marseille, France, on May 26, 2012.
When MSC Divina takes to the seas, her guests will have the opportunity to support MSC Cruises' long-term partnership with UNICEF and their joint "Get on Board for Children" initiative, which funds the UNICEF-supported "Platform of Urban Centers" in Brazil. The platform focuses on combating poverty and inequality by ensuring better quality and more equal education opportunities for the vulnerable children of the favelas using a bottom-up integrated approach in which the community is seen as a vital part of the solution.
Since 2009, guests on board each ship in the MSC Cruises' fleet have been invited to "get on board for children" and make a difference by offering a small donation in addition to their cruise fare. Thanks to the generous donations of guests, MSC Cruises has raised over $1.3 million to date for the initiative.
On the day of the christening, critically acclaimed classical performer and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Maxim Vengerov will join MSC Cruises' CEO Pierfrancesco Vago and MSC fleet godmother Sophia Loren for a question-and-answer session with international media directly following a press conference.
Joining an impressive line-up of international stars on stage for the evening's main events, Vengerov will deliver a speech expected to touch on the importance of his ambassadorial role and the "Get on Board for Children" initiative before releasing hundreds of UNICEF balloons with the help of local children in order to mark the occasion.
Vengerov, one of the world's most sought-after performers in classical music, will then delight guests with a special performance.
The high-profile christening ceremony is the perfect occasion to highlight the meaningful partnership between UNICEF and MSC Cruises and the tangible results it has already produced for disadvantaged children in Brazil. MSC Cruises looks forward to putting contributions from MSC Divina guests toward the same great cause.
A selection of global results from the UNICEF-supported 'Platform of Urban Centres' to date includes:
- 198 youth ambassadors are using communication tools to mobilize their communities
- 6,000 children and adolescents are participating in supporting activities
- 470 educators have been trained in sports and citizenship
- 3 municipalities have committed to the rights of children, with 20 clear goals
- 94 communities are preparing and/or implementing action and communication plans, representing about 400,000 children and adolescents
About Maxim Vengerov
Widely regarded as one of the world's most dynamic artists, Maxim Vengerov has performed sold out concerts with the world's most eminent orchestras in every major city in the world. Steeped in the celebrated Russian tradition of music making, Vengerov enjoys international acclaim as a musician of the highest order, tireless in his search for new means of creative expression. Embracing again his violin playing as well as conducting and teaching activities, Maxim Vengerov's career is reaching new heights.
For 60 years UNICEF has been the world's leader for children, working on the ground in 156 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
About MSC Cruises:
MSC Cruises is a privately-held, family-owned, Italian cruise line with a fleet of 11 ships: MSC Magnifica, MSC Splendida, MSC Fantasia, MSC Poesia, MSC Orchestra, MSC Musica, MSC Sinfonia, MSC Armonia, MSC Opera, MSC Lirica and MSC Melody. Its 12th ship, MSC Divina, a sister ship to MSC Fantasia and MSC Splendida, will debut in May 2012, with sister ship MSC Preziosa scheduled to join the fleet in March 2013. The fleet cruises year round in the Mediterranean and seasonally in Northern Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean, South America, the Indian Ocean, and South and West Africa.