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First steel cCut for new ‘Riviera’–‘Marina’ readied for float out

Oceania Cruises holds dual-ship celebration at Fincantieri shipyard

Oceania Cruises celebrated two milestones on Friday, February 26, at the Fincantieri shipyard near Genoa. The building dock for its new 1,258-guest, flagship Marina began filling with water and the first steel was cut for Riviera, a sister ship. Marina is scheduled to sail her maiden voyage on January 22, 2011; plans call for Riviera to debut in April 2012.

To celebrate the occasion, more than 50 US and UK travel agents, Oceania Cruises past guests and journalists were invited to don hard hats and preview Marina. Guests even had the chance to partake in the first meal served in “Jacques” – the eponymous restaurant of Master Chef Jacques Pepin – which is one of six, open-seating gourmet restaurants on the new vessels.

The reaction was overwhelmingly positive. “They have done everything right, Marina is already awesome, and will be fabulous,” according to past guests, Don and Betsy Horner. Travel agents were equally astounded. “Frank, Bob and the rest of the team have personally selected unique interior design elements down to the smallest detail – all making the vision of Oceania Cruises come alive,” stated Terri Burke of Cruise Planners.

Oceania Cruises’ Marina and Riviera will offer 629 elegantly appointed and custom-crafted accommodations that are among the largest at sea, ranging from 174 to a palatial 2,000+ square feet. Their top suites, destined to set new industry standards, will feature furnishings from Ralph Lauren Home and designs by Dakota Jackson and Tocar New York.

The sister ships will also feature a Lalique-designed grand lobby, 10 dining venues and several elegant bars and lounges. Facilities will include a full-service Canyon Ranch SpaClub and fitness center, innovative Bon Appetit Culinary Center, swimming pool and hot tubs.

During the festivities, a bottle of prosecco wine was smashed on the hull of Marina by the shipyard “madrina” in a nod to Italian maritime tradition. The official naming ceremony for Marina will take place in Miami; her godmother has not yet been announced.

In her inaugural year, Marina will cross the Atlantic, transit the Panama Canal twice, visit ports in Mexico, as well as Los Angeles and San Francisco, and call at a host of Caribbean island gems, sailing round-trip from Miami. Marina will sail along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard and call at Bermuda before repositioning to Europe for summer 2011.

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