Less than a month after Sophia Loren realized her dream of having a ship dedicated to her, the Italian actress is being urged by environmentalist groups to keep her honorary vessel—the reportedly $550 million Fantasia-class cruise ship MSC Divina—from entering the Venice lagoon. “We can’t believe that you want your name, which is a legend in Italy and the world, to be associated with a ship that contributes to the destruction of Venice, part of humanity’s heritage,” the appropriately titled No Big Ships Venice Committee explained in an open letter.
The vessel contains 1,739 staterooms, a casino, a disco, an adults-only infinity pool, a Formula 1 simulator, and a first-class suite named after the Oscar winner. Reuters reports that environmentalist groups have shown increased concerns over cruise ships ever since the Costa Concordia capsized off the coast of the Tuscan island of Giglio last January, killing at least 30 people.
The letter threatens, “Venice and its lagoon are both World Heritage sites and risk an environmental disaster every day because of the passage of these monsters of the sea.” Cruise ships often enter the Venice lagoon so that passengers can visit the nearby Grand Canal.
In May, during the ship’s christening ceremony, MSC Cruises C.E.O. Pierfrancesco Vago announced that the MSC Divina “is the most beautiful ship in our fleet and that the innovations and that polished features bring this successful class to perfection. Dedicated to Ms. Sophia Loren, MSC Divina’s stylish refinement represents a new benchmark in cruising.” Although she does not own the ship, environmentalists are hoping that Loren, who is considered the “godmother” of the MSC Cruises fleet, may be able to keep her namesake out of the Venice lagoon.