February 26: An exciting day at Fincantieri’s historic Sestri Ponente shipyard (where great liners like MICHELANGELO, ANDREA DORIA and GRIPSHOLM were built) near Genoa as a select group of journalists and travel partners were led through two mock-up cabins for the newbuilding MV MARINA before being taken aboard to view the ship, which will be floated out of her building dock in the next several days. The “hardhat” tour included visits to the grand reception Lobby (which will feature a lalique crystal laden staircase), Martinis, the Grand Dining Room, Deck 8 Veranda Staterooms, the Deck Owner’s Suite, Forward Penthouses, the pool deck, Polo Grill, Toscana, Library and Horizons before heading down to Jacques specialty restaurant for coffee and catered snacks. Back ashore a blessing was held and a madrina, wife of yard manager Mauro Leboffe, cut a ceremonial line that released a bottle of champagne into the ship’s starboard superstructure.
MARTIN COX - Founder and publisher of MaritimeMatters, inspired by maritime culture and technology growing up in the port of Southampton. He works as a photographer in Los Angeles, and his works has been exhibited in LA, San Francisco, New York, London and Iceland. Martin is the co-writer of the book “Hollywood to Honolulu; the story of the Los Angeles Steamship Company” published by the Steam Ship Historical Society of America. The Los Angeles Maritime Museum has commissioned artworks and collected his photographs.