Oceania Cruises' New Vista is Christened in Malta

At a star-studded ceremony in Valetta, Malta on Sunday night, Oceania Cruises christened its newest ship, the 1,200-passenger Vista. It's the first new ship for the brand in more than a decade and also the first ship in the upper premium line's new Allura Class.

Guests at the christening ceremony first watched the opening performance of “Into the Night,” Vista’s dance-centric theatrical show led by professional dancer and choreographer Britt Stewart of "Dancing with the Stars." Then, godmother Giada De Laurentiis, Italian-American chef, author, restauranteur and Emmy-award-winning food personality, took to the stage. In a time-honored maritime tradition, she officially named and christened Vista as a ceremonial Champagne bottle broke across the ship’s hull.

Following the christening, VIP attendees were treated to an hour-long concert performance by Harry Connick, Jr., the Grammy and Emmy award-winning musician and entertainer. The evening celebration concluded with a sparkling fireworks show over Valletta’s historic harbor.

New Allura Class

“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 Frank A. Del Rio, Oceania’s president, who also thanked Oceania team members and the line's partners worldwide.

With residential-style, upscale decor and luxurious amenities, the new, 67,000-plus-ton ship offers a staffing ratio of two crew members for every three guests. All accommodations offer verandas. Roomy standard staterooms span more than 290 square feet, plus new Concierge Level Veranda Staterooms are designed for solo travelers.

As for public spaces, Vista offers eight bars, lounges and entertainment venues, plus a luxurious Aquamar Spa + Vitality Center and Aquamar Spa Terraces. Oceania, known for its culinary focus, has further enhanced those offerings with 11 different culinary venues on Vista. Totally new culinary venues include Aquamar Kitchen, serving wellness-inspired dishes with a hint of indulgence; the Bakery at Baristas, offering freshly baked pastries; and a new signature restaurant, Ember. On the beverage front, Vista also introduces Oceania's new Casino Mixology Bar, focused on the "art of the cocktail." 

In addition, De Laurentiis is creating two signature dishes to be served in Toscana, the ship’s Italian specialty restaurant, as well as the vessel’s Grand Dining Room. Following the christening, she said: "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."

Check out sister publication, LuxuryTravelAdvisor.com's story providing first-hand "intel" from six travel industry experts -- both advisors and trade executives -- sailing this week aboard Vista. For example, many singled out Aquamar Kitchen as a culinary hit.

Harry Connick, Jr., performs an hour-long concert for VIP guests including travel advisors who are attending the christening of Oceania Cruises' new Vista.
Entertainer Harry Connick, Jr., performs an hour-long concert for guests attending the christening of Oceania Cruises' new Vista in Valletta, Malta.  (Photo by Oceania Cruises)

Sailing the Globe

This week the ship is sailing a seven-night roundtrip VIP christening cruise from Civitavecchia (Rome). The ship’s next voyage on May 13 from Civitavecchia to Venice will kick off a sold-out summer season in the Mediterranean. Then in September, Vista will sail to Canada and New England before repositioning to PortMiami for a series of winter itineraries exploring Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean. 

Vista’s 2024 summer season will include a series of Grand Voyages in the eastern Mediterranean, Aegean and Adriatic Seas with calls at both marquee and boutique ports throughout Italy, Turkey, Greece and the Holy Lands.

After the christening and his concert in Malta, Connick, Jr., said: “I’ve been honored to perform at countless special occasions but have to say that celebrating this beautiful ship’s entry into service was extra special. Bon voyage, Vista.”

For more information, visit OceaniaCruises.com.