Posted by Kunal S. Kamlani, President
The excitement is growing by the hour here at Oceania Cruises because we are about to take delivery of the beautiful new Riviera. On the surface the exchange will be mostly formalities – the signing of final paperwork, a champagne toast, congratulatory handshakes – but this ceremony represents a milestone achieved thanks to the loyalty of our valued guests, the strong partnership with our travel agents and the dedication of every member of the Oceania Cruises family. It will certainly be a day of celebration for all of us.
Once we have taken delivery from the shipyard, Riviera will remain in Genoa for a few days while the officers and crew make final preparations. Then less than two weeks from today, Riviera will embark on her Christening Cruise, and the countdown to her Maiden Voyage will officially begin. My family and I will be onboard for the Christening Cruise as we sail for Barcelona, where Godmother Cat Cora will name the ship during a gala ceremony. We will then continue on to Venice, where Riviera’s first guests will embark on the momentous Maiden Voyage. I’m sure those of you booked on this remarkable voyage are as excited as I am to set foot onboard Riviera for the first time.
Our anticipation has been building with each photo we receive from the shipyard. While Riviera is the sister ship to Marina, she has some unique design features that distinguish her. You may have seen our announcement on Facebook that Riviera will showcase some of Latin America’s most accomplished and admired contemporary artists. Included are renowned artists from Cuba’s Vanguard Movement, such as Wilfredo Lam and Cundo Bermúdez.
One of the most spectacular pieces onboard Riviera is the custom-crafted Italian chandelier that hangs above the Grand Staircase. The 1,300-pound chandelier features 380 glowing crystal spheres that will reflect off the beautiful Lalique crystal staircase. Riviera’s reception area is certain to make a stunning first impression on guests as they board the ship. Senior Vice President of Hotel Operations Franco Semeraro shared this photo with me a few weeks ago when they were finishing the installation. We can’t wait to see what it looks like when illuminated above the Grand Staircase.
I’ll be posting here on the blog during the Christening Cruise as we count down to the Maiden Voyage, so I hope you will share in my excitement as we unveil the latest magnificent addition to the Oceania Cruises fleet.