Oceania Cruises’ MV RIVIERA Christened in Barcelona

Oceania Cruises 66,084 gross ton, 1,250 passenger MV RIVIERA was christened today at Barcelona in a pierside ceremony that blended local culture, a great deal of company reflection and much fanfare.

MV RIVIERA at Barcelona on the eve of her christening.

Click Here to See Peter Knego’s Exclusive RIVIERA Christening Video

Oceania Cruises

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All photos by and copyright Peter Knego 2012 unless otherwise noted.

Godmother Cat Cora (right) and her wife Jennifer.

Celebrity chef Cat Cora, whose new Bravo television series, “Around The World In 80 Plates”, was also launched this past week, did the honors as godmother. Joining her to celebrate were her wife and partner of 14 years, Jennifer, along with past Oceania godmothers and the line’s executive team.

The bottle breaks!

At the moment of truth, a 15 liter Nebuchadnezzar of Veuve Clicquot champagne, weighing 114 kilos, was released into the side of the ship.


Sultry flamenco dancers, Mayor Xavier Trias of Barcelona and other dignitaries were on hand to partake in the festivities as 1,300 guests and media looked on. A brilliant sun and a gentle breeze made the ceremony all the more inviting.

Click Here to See Peter Knego’s Exclusive RIVIERA Christening Video

RIVIERA Builders plate.

RIVIERA, after a strike-related delay, has just been completed by the Sestri Ponente yard of Fincantieri, the same yard that, as Ansaldo, built dozens of important ocean liners and cruise ships.

In his speech, Oceania and Prestige Cruise Holdings chairman Frank Del Rio stated, “Today, the baton as the world’s premiere ship has passed to RIVIERA.” He added, “When asked, I’ve repeatedly said that it was going to be hard to improve on MARINA’s perfection, but I didn’t say it would be impossible. And we have done just that – improved on perfection.”

RIVIERA Reception foyer.

The beautifully appointed RIVIERA will be fully detailed in a series of reports from Peter Knego, so please stay tuned. In the meantime, the ship will continue on her inaugural cruise to Venice, where guests will overnight before departing. Following the christening cruise, RIVIERA begins a 10-day maiden voyage from Venice to Athens, departing on May 16, 2011. From May 16 through November 29, 2012, she will offer a total of 20 Mediterranean voyages, calling at ports in France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Turkey as well as Israel, Croatia, Cyprus, Montenegro, Morocco and Monaco, with maiden calls in Cephalonia (Argostoli), Motril (Granada) and the Canary Islands.

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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