MSC Cruises has cut back the number of agents invited to the UK launch of new ship Grandiosa to 500 because of soaring passenger demand.

To celebrate Grandiosa’s launch, agents have been invited to spend one night on board on November 12, take an interactive ship tour, watch theatre shows and dine at one of the ship’s 12 restaurants during its maiden voyage.

The line will also host All Stars of the Sea travel agents awards where valued and top-performing agents will be recognised for their achievements.

Originally, MSC planned to have 1,000 agents at the UK launch event but the line told Travel Weekly that passenger demand for the maiden sailing, which includes the overnight call at Southampton, had been higher than expected.

The 13-night maiden sailing, departs from Hamburg, where the ship is to be officially christened, on November 10.

MSC’s UK & Ireland managing director Antonio Paradiso said: “Over the last three years we have made it our priority to get as many agents on our ships to experience everything MSC Cruises has to offer.

More: MSC Grandiosa to be christened in Hamburg

Southampton sees more maiden calls in 2019

“As always with MSC Cruises, those attending should expect a great party as we celebrate not only the launch of our new ship MSC Grandiosa, and the dynamic and exciting UK and Irish cruise industry.”

MSC Grandiosa will start regular seven-night cruises in the western Mediterranean from November 23.

The UK event is part of a string of similar events, spanning eight countries and 11 ports, to celebrate the launch of the Meraviglia Plus-class ship.