With ceremony and fanfare in the historic port of Valetta, Malta, Oceania Cruises christened its newest ship, Vista, a 1,200-guest vessel and the first of the line’s Allura class. With her entire summer season already sold out, the ship will sail her maiden voyage on May 13.
Festive Ceremony Held in Malta’s Historic Port
Oceania Cruises celebrated the official naming of its new ship Vista on May 8 with a festive and traditional ceremony in Valetta, Malta, as her godmother, chef and food personality Giada De Laurentis, broke a bottle of champagne against her hull.
The cruise line in late February revealed that De Laurentis, the Emmy award-winning TV chef with Italian roots, would serve as godmother to the 67,000 gross ton ship, which was constructed at the Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa, Italy. The line took delivery of the ship on May 2.
Another Emmy award winner – and Grammy winner to boot – singer and musician Harry Connick Jr., entertained the cruise line’s VIP guests at the star-studded evening event, which concluded with a dramatic fireworks display over the harbor.
“We have been eagerly awaiting this historic day as we christen our first new ship in more than 10 years and pave the way for an exciting future,” said Oceania Cruises’ President Frank A. Del Rio.
“The world-class experience of this beautiful ceremony perfectly aligns with Vista’s impeccable onboard experience, which features a stunning design, exceptional entertainment, top-notch service and innovative culinary delights. We are so thankful to our team members and partners worldwide who have worked tirelessly to bring us to Vista’s grand debut,” he added.
Giada De Laurentis Creates Signature Dishes
De Laurentiis, who hosted the Food Network TV shows “Everyday Italian” and “Giada at Home,” will create two signature dishes Vista guests can enjoy at Toscana, the ship’s Italian specialty restaurant, and in The Grand Dining Room.
“I am so honored to have been chosen as godmother of this incredible new ship and be a part of this glorious night in Malta. From amazing culinary experiences to thoughtful details at every turn, Vista is truly a dream ship. Cheers to this inaugural season and to everyone who sails aboard her,” said De Laurentiis.
Prior to Connick’s hour-long performance, guests at the glittering ceremony watched the opening of “Into the Night,” one of several stage shows that will be performed aboard Vista. The dance show was led by professional dancer Britt Stewart, who also was a choreographer for the hit TV show “Dancing with the Stars.”
Other stage productions that will be offered on the new ship include Headliners, a concert featuring pop songs, and The Anchor Inn, offering UK-centric song and dance routines performed in the setting of a West End Pub. A fourth production, The Music Triangle, will be added later this year and will focus on the roots of music.
Vista Offers Spacious Standard Staterooms
Vista, an all-balcony ship, has standard staterooms that rank among the largest in the industry at 290 square feet. She also features Concierge Level Veranda cabins for solo travelers.
Vista offers 11 dining venues, including three that are new: Aquamar Kitchen, serving wellness-inspired dishes; The Bakery at Baristas, specializing in freshly baked pastries, and a signature restaurant called Ember.
The ship also offers eight bars, lounges, and entertainment venues, and the Aquamar Spa + Vitality Center and Aquamar Spa Terrace.
Following her 7-night roundtrip VIP christening cruise, Vista will sail her maiden voyage on May 13 from Rome to Venice. Port calls include Sorrento and Messina, Italy, Argostoli and Corfu, Greece, and Dubrovnik and Zadar, Croatia.
The ship will spend the summer in the Mediterranean. In late August, she will reposition to New York and operate an 11-day cruise to Montreal before sailing to her winter homeport of PortMiami, where she will offer itineraries visiting Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean.