Hail Mary, Miami, MARINA!

MARINA approaching Miami. Photo courtesy of Oceania Cruises.

Oceania Cruises’ recently completed 66,000 ton, 1,250 guest MARINA arrived in Miami on Friday, concluding a maiden voyage that set out from Barcelona on January 22.

MARINA enters the cut.

One of the most anticipated newbuilds in years, the MARINA is the first of a pair of upper-premium market cruise ships specifically built for the acclaimed company and will be followed in 2012 by identical sister RIVIERA.  Her lavish public rooms boast rich wood veneers, marble, granite, fine wool carpets and lustrous leathers.  Among her features are ten dining venues (six of which are open-seating gourmet restaurants), exquisite bars and lounges, a full-service Canyon Ranch SpaClub and fitness center, swimming pool and hot tubs.

MARINA versus Miami.

Exclusive to MARINA are the Bon Appétit Culinary Center, Master Chef Jacques Pépin’s first namesake restaurant at sea, Ralph Lauren Home-furnished Owner’s Suites, luxurious accommodations by Dakota Jackson, a Wine Spectator wine program and a Lalique glass festooned grand stairway.

Mary and the MARINA. Photo courtesy of Oceania Cruises.

On Saturday, philanthropist and former “Entertainment Tonight” host Mary Hart named the ship, sending a custom-made 15-liter Nebuchadnezzar of champagne crashing into the ship’s hull.  The Marina Choir, assembled just for this event, performed during the ceremony and Master Chef Jacques Pépin was annointed honorary commodore of the Oceania Cruises’ fleet.

MARINA christening at Miami. Photo courtesy of Oceania Cruises.

“The saying goes, ‘good things come to those who wait.’ Although MARINA’s arrival has been long awaited, she’s more than just GOOD,” stated Frank Del Rio, Oceania Cruises’ CEO.  “She’s the most beautiful, sophisticated and stylish ship launched in the modern era of cruising – a span of some 50 years.”

“MARINA is not just ‘another’ ship, she is special in so many ways,” stated Bob Binder, Oceania Cruises’ president. “When we set out to design and build our first new ship, we wanted it to set new standards for comfort, service and culinary excellence.”

Following the current media preview cruise, on February 8, MARINA begins a round trip 36 day Panama Canal voyage visiting the US West Coast (with first ever Oceania calls to San Diego and San Francisco). MARINA will then return to Miami and the U.S. East Coast before heading to Europe for her inaugural Mediterranean cruise season.

Peter Knego

Peter Knego

Having documented over 400 passenger ships and taken more than 200 cruises, MaritimeMatters’ co-editor Peter Knego is a leading freelance cruise writer, a respected ocean liner historian and frequent maritime lecturer both on land and at sea.  With his work regularly featured in cruise industry trades and consumer publications.  Knego also runs the www.midshipcentury.com website which offers MidCentury cruise ship furniture, artwork and fittings rescued from the shipbreaking yards of Alang, India.  He has produced several videos on the subject, including his latest, The Sands Of Alang and the best-selling On The Road To Alang."
Peter Knego

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