Agents have hailed MSC Cruises’ decision to christen MSC Bellissima in the UK and news that Amazon Alexa-style virtual assistants will be installed in every cabin.

MSC Bellissima will host 2,500 agents when it is christened in the UK next March, while the new technology will be able to answer “every request” from guests about onboard services and facilities in seven languages.

Agents attending an event hosted by the line on Wednesday praised both “forward-thinking” decisions and said they were “a testament to the UK market”.

Geoff Ridgeon, Fred Olsen Travel’s head of cruise, said: “A lot of guests are very much into their technology, so they will buy into this.”

He said that the technology which is able to answer verbal requests from guests could “simplify awkward processes” on board.

“Bellissima is a fantastic testament to the UK market,” he added.

Sharon Fleming, owner of Thompson Travel International, said MSC Cruises’ decision to christen Bellissima in Southampton on March 2 2019 was “absolutely brilliant” for the UK market.

David Tan, Forever Cruises’ head of business development, said the announcements were “inspirational”, adding the new products and innovation MSC Cruises had shown were “very exciting”.

The ship will dock in Southampton for three days on March 1-3, with the naming ceremony taking place on March 2.

More than 3,000 guests are expected to visit the ship over the three days, more than 80% of whom will be agents.

Dedicated trade events will take place on board on March 1 and 3.