On Saturday 26th September, MSC welcomed 500 guests to the new MPET Container Terminal, in the port of Antwerp, to celebrate the christening of MSC Maya
The fourth ‘Oscar class’ containership of 19,224 TEU is named after Maya Aponte, the four-year-old daughter of Mr Diego Aponte and Ela Aponte. MSC Maya follows the recent deliveries of MSC Oscar, MSC Oliver and MSC Zoe, which are all named after the grandchildren of the company’s founders Mr Gianluigi Aponte and Rafaela Aponte.
As Saturday dawned, the early morning fog gave way to clear skies and beautiful sunshine. VIP guests arrived with their families to enjoy a day of celebration and friendship. The ceremony started with the customary exchange of crests between the ship’s Master, Kreso Orsic, and selected guests.
Addressing the guests gathered on the quayside Mr Diego Aponte, MSC’s President and CEO, said that Belgium holds a special place in the hearts of the Aponte family. Mr Aponte explained “MSC was founded in Belgium in 1970, my parents had a single conventional ship and five thousand US dollars.” Mr Aponte then took a moment to highlight the importance of family “I believe it is through this kind of moment that we can hand down to future generations the passion of the sea and shipping. I truly hope that MSC will be a family story for many generations to come.”
After the speeches, MSC was honoured that Monseigneur Bonny and Father Van Hoof performed the blessing before little Maya cut the rope to set the huge bottle of champagne on its way. The bottle’s emphatic smash against the hull triggered a relieved chorus of cheers while 12 confetti cannons shot a blizzard of yellow and black ticker tape into the air.
The Aponte family and their guests then took a tour of MSC Maya and inaugurated the ship’s bridge with a ribbon cutting. Maya, Oscar and a few of MSC’s senior managers took great delight in sounding the ship’s horn. The celebration was a fitting tribute to the final vessel to bear the names of the Aponte family.