Oceania christens new Riviera
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Oceania Cruises christened its new 1250-guest Riviera in Barcelona at the weekend in a ceremony punctuated by emotion and cries of “Viva Riviera” and “Viva Barcelona.”
The 66,172-ton ship, the sister to the Marina only introduced 15 months ago, was officially named by godmother Cat Cora, a celebrity chef, author and a restaurateur.
Nearly 1,300 guests, including Xavier Trias, Mayor of Barcelona; Sixte Cambra, president of the Port of Barcelona and Jose Alberto Carbonell, director of the Port of Barcelona, were in attendance. Frank J. Del Rio, the line’s founder and chairman, and Kunal S. Kamlani, the line’s president, presided over festivities that concluded with a 15-liter Nebuchadnezzar of Champagne (weighing some 114 kilos), custom-made by Veuve Clicquot, commemoratively breaking against the ship’s hull.
“Today, the baton as the world’s premiere ship has passed to Riviera,” said Del Rio. “When asked, 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”.
Barcelona also holds a special significance for Oceania Cruises as the line’s first ship, Regatta, was named in Barcelona in 2003.
Like Marina, her sister ship, Riviera features a Bon Appétit Culinary Center, a Canyon Ranch SpaClub®, luxurious suites by Dakota Jackson, Ralph Lauren Home-furnished Owner’s Suites, and a grand Lalique staircase lit from above by a dazzling, custom-made chandelier. Its distinguishing features include a museum-worthy collection of fine art focusing on the works of some of Latin America’s most accomplished and admired contemporary artists and an Artist Loft with hands-on instruction.