MIAMI, February 7, 2011 â€“ Oceania Cruises redefined the upper-premium cruise ship market with the christening of Marina on Saturday. The shipâ€™s godmother, â€œEntertainment Tonightâ€ Host Mary Hart, named the ship 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 PÃ©pin as honorary commodore of the Oceania Cruisesâ€™ 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 lineâ€™s first newly built ship measuring 66,000 tons and accommodating 1,250 guests.
â€œThe saying goes, â€˜good things come to those who wait.â€™ Although Marinaâ€™s arrival has been long awaited, sheâ€™s more than just GOOD,â€ stated Del Rio â€œSheâ€™s the most beautiful, sophisticated and stylish ship launched in the modern era of cruising â€“ a span of some 50 years.â€
Marina is a ship of firsts, featuring the first Bon AppÃ©tit Culinary Center, Master Chef Jacques PÃ©pinâ€™s first namesake restaurant at sea, Ralph Lauren Home-furnished Ownerâ€™s Suites, luxurious accommodations by Dakota Jackson, a Wine Spectator wine program and a Lalique grand stairway.
â€œMarina is not just â€˜anotherâ€™ ship, she is special in so many ways,â€ stated Bob Binder, Oceania Cruisesâ€™ president. â€œWhen we set out to design and build our first new ship, we wanted it to set new standards for comfort, service and culinary excellence.â€
Oceania Cruisesâ€™ new Marina arrived in Miami on February 4, after her maiden voyage from Barcelona. Following a short preview cruise, on February 8 she will depart on 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.
Marina has been purposefully designed to carry guests to the worldâ€™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 â€“ 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.
The new Marina joins the Oceania Cruisesâ€™ 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, see a travel agent, visit www.OceaniaCruises.com or call toll-free 800-531-5658.