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Bob Binder welds the coins into the keel of Riviera.
Bob Binder welds the coins into the keel of Riviera.

Welding is not a skill I use frequently in my position as President of Oceania Cruises, but when I do, the occasion is an important one. The welding of coins into a ship’s keel is an age-old maritime tradition believed to solicit good fortune for the ship, its crew, and its passengers. Last Thursday when we celebrated the keel-laying ceremony for Riviera, I found myself in charge of the welding of the coins. I think I performed my duty well, considering my extremely limited experience. (Welding the coins into Marina’s keel last year is about it.) Frank also took his turn at welding a coin, but I think my lines were straighter.

There were four U.S. silver coins in all, dated 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2009, to represent the years the keels were laid for Riviera’s sister ships – Insignia, Regatta, Nautica, and Marina. After the coins were welded, the first of fifty-five steel blocks that will eventually comprise Riviera was lowered into the dock, thus marking the official start of the building process. Riviera is set to debut in April 2012 as a sister ship to Marina, whose January 2011 launch grows ever closer. I think it’s safe to say the excitement is mounting daily here at Oceania Cruises!

Jason Montague - Senior Vice President of Planning, Franco Semeraro - Senior Vice President of Hotel Operations, Frank Del Rio - Chairman & CEO, Bob Binder - President, and Robin Lindsay - Executive Vice President of Vessel Operations
Jason Montague – Senior Vice President of Planning, Franco Semeraro – Senior Vice President of Hotel Operations, Frank Del Rio – Chairman & CEO, Bob Binder – President, and Robin Lindsay – Executive Vice President of Vessel Operations

Marina Next to Riviera
Riviera’s sister, Marina, looking pretty across the way.

The Vessel Operations Team
The Vessel Operations Team in Miami takes time to celebrate their latest achievement – Riviera!
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