Oceania Cruises christens Riviera
Oceania Cruises' newest upper-premium ship, Riviera, was christened yesterday in an invitation-only, gala ceremony in Barcelona. The ship's godmother, Chef Cat Cora, the restauranteur, humanitarian, author and co-host of "Around the World in 80 Plates" named the ship, while blessings were bestowed on the vessel by Deacon Ricardo Rodriguez-Martos, Apostleship of the Sea.
Among the 1,300 guests were the cruise line's Founder and Chairman, Frank Del Rio, its President Kunal Kamlani, and the Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias. The national anthems of the U.S. and Spain, as well as a Catalan flamenco performance, set a festive atmosphere for the ceremony, which concluded with a 15-litre Nebuchadnezzar of Champagne, custom-made by Veuve Clicquot, commemoratively breaking against the ship's hull.
"Today the baton as the world's premier ship has passed to Riviera," said Del Rio. "I've repeatedly said that it was going to be hard to improve on Marina's perfection, but I didn't say it would be impossible. And we have done just that - improved on perfection."
The 1,250-passenger Riviera measures 52.8 tonnes per passenger, offering approximately one-third
more space per passenger compared to most modern ships. Riviera features luxurious suites by Dakota Johnson, Ralph Loren home-furnished owner's suites, a Bon Appetit culinary centre, a Canyon Ranch SpaClub, an extensive Latin American artwork collection and an Artist Loft with hands-on instruction.
Today, Riviera begins a 10-day maiden voyage from Venice to Athens. From there on, until November 2012, she will offer a total of 20 Mediterranean voyages, calling at ports in France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Croatia, Montenegro, Monaco, Monaco and Israel, with maiden calls in Cephalonia (Argostoli), Motril (Granada) and the Canary Islands.
Her European season will be followed by a 14-day 'Classic Crossing' from Barcelona to Miami, sailing a Caribbean season until March 2013.
Source: Cruise Weekly, Tuesday 15 May 2012