0 comments on “Ceremony Celebrates Laying of the Keel for Oceania Cruises’ Riviera”

Ceremony Celebrates Laying of the Keel for Oceania Cruises’ Riviera

http://www.facebook.com/widgets/like.php?href=http://www.facebook.com/OceaniaCruises
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!
Sharehttp://static.ak.fbcdn.net/connect.php/js/FB.Share

3 comments on “Marina Launches Oceania Cruises’ Blog”

Marina Launches Oceania Cruises’ Blog

http://www.facebook.com/widgets/like.php?href=http://www.facebook.com/OceaniaCruises
6a0120a92e343a970b0134832a8841970c-500wi
Marina in dry dock in Genoa, Italy.

Inaugural Post By Bob Binder, President

With all the excitement surrounding the upcoming debut of our new ship, Marina, we at Oceania Cruises have decided it is time to launch our blog, as the more I talk about all the exciting things happening at Oceania Cruises, the more I’m encouraged to share my thoughts online. Oceania Cruises now has Facebook and Twitter accounts, and it’s been wonderful to see guests, staff, travel agents, and others all sharing their experiences with us. The loyalty and passion of our followers has inspired me to engage in the conversation. As we launch our blog, it seems appropriate to remark on the launch of our new ship, Marina.

Bob Binder and Frank Del Rio enjoy the first toast onboard Marina.
Bob Binder and Frank Del Rio enjoy the first toast onboard Marina.

Several weeks ago members of the Oceania team visited the Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa, Italy, where we celebrated the float-out ceremony for Marina. As Marina is the first ship built exclusively for Oceania Cruises, we have carefully attended to every detail of her design. From creating the ship’s overall structure and flow to selecting the perfect lamps for the staterooms and suites, it has been a fascinating process. I admit I got a little emotional watching the dry dock begin to fill and witnessing the ship touching water for the first time. It was amazing to see her emerge as such an incredible feat of architecture, and we all felt a bit like proud parents.

As if that weren’t enough excitement for the day, I had a surprise to share after the float-out ceremony. I was privileged to reveal the name of our next new ship – Riviera – and to announce that construction would begin very soon. Everyone was quite shocked when I clarified that “very soon” meant ten minutes from now! We all moved directly from the float-out ceremony for Marina to the steel-cutting ceremony for Riviera. Several of us signed our names in the first piece of steel to be cut and then watched as an enormous blade began the cutting process underwater. As our CEO Frank Del Rio commented, “There is only one thing that’s better than one new ship, and that’s TWO new ships.” It was a day of two huge milestones for Oceania Cruises and a day I won’t soon forget.

Today I am already back in Genoa for the laying of the keel of Riviera. It is amazing how quickly these ships evolve. While on our previous visit, Marina’s interior was a stark décor of steel and insulation, she is now coming together with the staterooms, restaurants, spas, and other beautiful spaces that will bring Marina to life. I will keep you updated here on the progress of both Marina and Riviera. Frank and I will share other Oceania news and anecdotes as well, and we’re looking forward to hearing from other members of our staff and crew. We’ll also follow the adventures of our Blogger at Large, Lisa Pancake Fossland. There is great excitement on the horizon for Oceania Cruises. I hope you will join us on our journey here, and taste the wonderful world of Oceania Cruises.

Bob Binder signs the first piece of steel cut for Riviera.
Bob Binder signs the first piece of steel cut for Riviera.

Members of the Oceania Cruises' team.
Members of the Oceania Cruises’ team celebrate the laying of the keel for Riviera.
Sharehttp://static.ak.fbcdn.net/connect.php/js/FB.Share