Construction of Oceania Cruises' Marina officially began at the Sestri Ponente shipyard of Fincantieri near Genoa, Italy over the weekend after the ceremonial keel laying. The ceremony was attended by members of both Oceania Cruises' and Fincantieri's management teams, including Frank Del Rio, chairman and CEO of Prestige Cruise Holdings and founder of Oceania Cruises, who welded a U.S. silver dollar and a pre-Castro silver Cuban peso into the keel of the new ship.
"This is a momentous day in the history of Oceania Cruises, one which will only be eclipsed on the day we take delivery of Marina in 2010," said Del Rio.
Marina will be the first ship in the new Oceania-class, which the cruise line says represents an "evolution of the line's Regatta-Class ships, retaining all of the warmth, popular design elements and signature amenities the line is known for." The new ships will boast a cruising speed 20 percent faster than the Regatta-class.
Featured design touches include the use of rich woods, Italian marble, wool carpets and leather. No detail is being overlooked to create an array of spacious, yet intimate public spaces and luxurious staterooms and suites. The new class of ships will accommodate 1,252 guests with 96 percent of all accommodations featuring private teak verandas.
Information about itineraries will be released in the coming months.