MIAMI, March 2, 2012 – One of America’s most generous, personable and ground-breaking chefs will step into the honored role as godmother to Oceania Cruises’ newest ship, Riviera. Chef Cat Cora will name the ship in Barcelona at a lavish, invitation-only christening ceremony on May 11, which will culminate with a 15-liter Nebuchadnezzar of champagne, custom-made by Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, commemoratively breaking against the hull of the 1,250-guest ship.
Poised to take its place as another “game-changer” for the upper-premium segment, much like its sister ship Marina which debuted in February 2011, Riviera is the second new ship launched by Oceania Cruises in under 18 months. Designed for epicureans, Riviera features 10 dining venues – six of which are gourmet restaurants, plus a Bon Appétit Culinary Center for hands-on learning and La Reserve by Wine Spectator, a professional facility for wine-tastings and wine-pairing dinners.
“Cat Cora’s passion for fine cuisine and her focus on the dining experience captures the essence of what we do every day,” stated Kunal S. Kamlani, Oceania Cruises’ president. “We are all excited to have her christen our newest ship and are proud to welcome her to the Oceania Cruises family.”
Cora made television history as the first and only female Iron Chef on Food Network’s Iron Chef America, and this spring, steps into a role as co-host of Bravo’s new television show “Around the World in 80 Plates” with Curtis Stone debuting in May. The show follows 12 chefs competing in a culinary race across 10 countries in 44 days. Many of the countries featured in the show include destinations her new ship, Riviera, will visit during its inaugural season.
In addition to her television credits, Chef Cora operates four restaurants: Kouzzina in at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort in Orlando, CCQ, in partnership with Macy’s in Costa Mesa, Calif and Cat Cora’s Kitchen in San Francisco and Houston. A third Cat Cora’s Kitchen location will be opening in Salt Lake City later this month. In addition to being a restaurateur, she also has her own branded olive oils, vinegars, sauces, tapenades and cookware, a collection of wines and is the author of three best-selling cook books and a children’s book.
“It’s an honor to have been asked to serve as the godmother for the beautiful Riviera,” said Cora. “Oceania Cruises has done an incredible job of developing ships custom-designed for food lovers, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it all.”
Oceania Cruises chose Chef Cora as godmother to Riviera, a role revered for its historic and symbolic value, also in recognition of her many philanthropic efforts to support emergency, educational and hunger-related causes. Cora is the president and founder of Chefs for Humanity, which she started in response to the devastating Tsunami that hit Indonesia in 2004. The organization is dedicated to reducing hunger worldwide by supporting humanitarian relief and promoting nutrition education.
After the Christening Cruise concludes in Venice, Riviera sets sail on May 16 on her maiden voyage, a 10-day cruise that includes an overnight in Venice before visiting Dubrovnik, Kotor, Corfu, Monemvasia, Crete, Santorini, Kusadasi (gateway to Ephesus), Delos, Mykonos and Athens.
About Oceania Cruises
Oceania Cruises® offers unrivaled cuisine, luxurious accommodations, exceptional personalized service and extraordinary value. Award-winning itineraries visit more than 330 ports in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and the Americas aboard the 684-guest Regatta, Insignia and Nautica. The line’s 1,250-guest Marina debuted in January 2011 and will be followed by Riviera – a sister ship – in May 2012.
About Prestige Cruise Holdings
Prestige Cruise Holdings (PCH) is the parent company of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. PCH manages select assets in Apollo Management’s cruise investment portfolio and is led by Chairman & CEO Frank J. Del Rio and President & COO Kunal S. Kamlani. PCH is the market leader in the upper-premium and luxury segments of the cruise industry with nearly 5,200 berths between the Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, a number the company expects will grow to approximately 6,400 berths by mid 2012.
About Cat Cora
Since making television history in 2005 as the first and only female Iron Chef on Food Network’s Iron Chef America, Cat Cora has become one of the largest names in the culinary community. In May 2012, Cora will be expanding her repertoire to host, as she steps out of her chef’s jacket into this new role alongside co-host Curtis Stone, in Bravo’s new reality series Around the World in 80 Plates. Beyond her television credits, Cora is also a contributing food & lifestyle editor for O, the Oprah Magazine. To date, Cora has successfully launched several unique restaurant concepts, is the author of three top-selling cookbooks and has created a line of winesby Gaea. Outside of the kitchen, Cora is an avid philanthropist and in 2004 she founded Chefs for Humanity in response to the tsunami disaster in Indonesia. Her charity is dedicated to preventing hunger, reducing obesity and providing help to those in emergency conditions. For additional information about Chef Cora please visit, www.catcora.com and follow Cat on Twitter (@catcora) and Facebook, Coranation and Greek specialty products, Cat Cora’s Kitchen.