Oceania Cruises raised the bar in the upper-premium cruise ship market with last Saturday's christening of their new ship, Marina. Godmother, “Entertainment Tonight” Host Mary Hart, named Marina at a lavish, invitation-only gala ceremony, which culminated with a 15-liter Nebuchadnezzar of champagne, custom-made by Armand de Brignac, crashing against the hull.
Among the ceremony highlights were inspirational performances by the Marina Choir, assembled just for this event, and the appointment of Master Chef Jacques Pépin as honorary commodore of the Oceania Cruises’ fleet. Entered into service in January 2011, Marina brings the vision of Frank Del Rio, the founder of Oceania Cruises and chairman & CEO of parent company Prestige Cruise Holdings, to reality with the line’s first newly built ship measuring 66,000 tons and accommodating 1,250 guests.
“The saying goes, ‘good things come to those who wait.’ Although Marina’s arrival has been long awaited, she’s more than just GOOD,” stated Del Rio “She’s the most beautiful, sophisticated and stylish ship launched in the modern era of cruising–a span of some 50 years.”
A ship of firsts, Marina features the first Bon Appétit Culinary Center, Master Chef Jacques Pépin’s first namesake restaurant at sea, Ralph Lauren Home-furnished Owner’s Suites, luxurious accommodations by Dakota Jackson, a Wine Spectator wine program, and a Lalique grand stairway.
Purposefully designed to carry guests to the world’s most alluring ports in elegance and style, Marina is full of rich woods, marble and granite, fine wool carpets and lustrous leathers which adorn public rooms. Facilities include 10 dining venues–six of which are open-seating gourmet restaurants, an array of bars and lounges, a full-service Canyon Ranch SpaClub and fitness center, swimming pool and hot tubs.
Marina arrived in Miami on Feb 4, after her maiden voyage from Barcelona. Following a short preview cruise, she will depart on Feb 8 for the first of two 18-day Panama Canal transits that visit San Francisco and San Diego, both new ports for Oceania Cruises. Marina then operates a 12-day Caribbean cruise, round-trip from Miami, departing March 16, before sailing along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard and on to Europe to begin her inaugural Mediterranean season.
The new Marina joins the Oceania Cruises’ fleet consisting of the 684-passenger Regatta, Insignia, and Nautica, which have taken guests around the world since 2002. Her sister ship Riviera will be christened in April 2012. A leader in destination cruising and defining the upper-premium market, Oceania Cruises offers gourmet cuisine, gracious service and award-winning itineraries at an exceptional value. For more information on Oceania Cruises or to order a brochure, visit OceaniaCruises.com or call toll-free 800-531-5658.