A ceremony marking the keel laying for Oceania Cruises’ Marina was held over the weekend at the Sestri Ponente shipyard of Fincantieri near Genoa, Italy.
During the age-old ceremony which was attended by members of both Oceania Cruises’ and Fincantieri’s management teams, Frank Del Rio, Chairman and CEO of Prestige Cruise Holdings and founder of Oceania Cruises, welded a US Silver Dollar and a pre-Castro Silver Cuban Peso into the keel of the new ship.
The welding of the coins into the keel is long-standing maritime tradition which is believed to solicit good fortune for the ship, its crew and its passengers during its seagoing life. After the coins were welded into the keel, the first of the 55 steel blocks which comprise Marina was lowered into the building dock thus marking the official start of the construction of Oceania Cruises’ first purpose-built ship.
“This is a momentous day in the history of Oceania Cruises, one which will only be eclipsed on the day we take delivery of Marina in 2010,’’ said Del Rio. “We want to express our sincere thanks to our loyal guests, travel partners and the entire Oceania Cruises team for all their dedication and hard work in making this new ship become a reality.’’
Marina, the first of the new Oceania-Class, represents an evolution of the line’s Regatta-Class ships, retaining all of the warmth, popular design elements and signature amenities the line is renowned for while affording guests an additional level of comfort, convenience and many new luxury amenities. Designed to cruise to all corners of the globe, the new ships will boast a cruising speed 20 per cent faster than the Regatta-Class.
The new ships will be awash in rich woods, Italian marble, lustrous granite, fine wool carpets and sumptuous leather. No detail is being overlooked to create an array of spacious, yet intimate public spaces and luxurious staterooms and suites.
The new vessel will accommodate 1,252 guests in 626 staterooms and suites; 96 per cent of all accommodations will feature private teak verandas and guests will dine in their choice of six open seating restaurants.
Additional details on the Marina’s suites and staterooms, restaurants, guest facilities and itineraries will be released in the coming months.
Oceania Cruises, the world’s only upper-premium cruise line, offers a unique combination of fine cuisine, luxurious accommodations, personalized service and excellent value. As one of the world leaders in destination cruising, the three Oceania ships — Regatta, Insignia and Nautica – sail to more than 180 ports in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, South America, and the Caribbean.