Oceania Cruises has named celebrated Italian-American chef, author, restaurateur and Emmy Award-winning food personality Giada De Laurentiis as Godmother of its newest ship Vista, debuting May 2023. Multiple Grammy and Emmy Award-winning singer, pianist and actor Harry Connick Jr. will appear alongside De Laurentiis at the star-studded christening and naming ceremony, taking place on 8 May in Valletta, Malta.
Connick will perform an exclusive concert for VIP guests at the christening event in Valletta during Vista’s seven-night roundtrip voyage from Rome, Italy. There, Godmother De Laurentiis will officiate the ceremonial breaking of a Champagne bottle on the ship’s bow to bestow good luck over the vessel and to all guests and crew who sail on the ship.
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“We are thrilled that Giada and Harry are joining us to welcome Vista, our first new ship in more than a decade,” said Frank A. Del Rio, President of Oceania Cruises. “Harry’s laid-back, classic style and impressive back catalogue will provide the perfect soundtrack to an important evening in our 20-year history.”
“As the world’s leading culinary-focused cruise line, bringing Giada into the Oceania Cruises family was an easy decision. Her casual yet sophisticated style and devout love of quality cuisine are the perfect recipe for Vista,” A. Del Rio continued.
“She truly personifies our first Allura Class ship and we could not be more delighted that she has agreed to be godmother of Vista.”
As godmother, De Laurentiis will create two signature dishes to be served on board Vista. Guests will be able to enjoy the inspired new creations in Toscana, Oceania Cruises’ authentic Italian specialty restaurant evolved from rich family traditions, as well as The Grand Dining Room, the luxurious grand dame of the line’s culinary offering on board its small, luxurious ships.
“Working with Frank and the Oceania Cruises team on the christening of Vista and having the honour of officiating as godmother is a dream come true, especially as she sets sail on her christening voyage from my birthplace of Rome,” said De Laurentiis. “Cooking authentic Italian fare is my biggest passion in life. I cannot wait to savour the different flavours and explore the myriad of dining venues on board Vista, a ship that will provide unforgettable culinary experiences for decades to come.”
Connick, who has sold more than 28 million albums worldwide, commented, “I am delighted to be a part of this special occasion; bringing music and song to such an important moment in Oceania Cruises’ story is an honour. Performing against the backdrop of the beautiful city of Valletta, alongside this elegant new ship, will be a privilege to remember for years to come.”
Providing a stylish new way of seeing the world and featuring all-veranda accommodations, Vista’s stunning interiors and elegant lines will reflect a fresh new perspective through organic elements inspired by the land and sea.
As Oceania Cruises’ first new ship in more than ten years, the debut of the 1,200-guest Vista is highly anticipated by loyal and new guests alike, with her inaugural summer season in the Mediterranean already sold out. In September, Vista will sail to Canada and New England before heading south for a series of winter itineraries exploring Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean.
Vista’s 2024 summer season will see her sail a series of Grand Voyages in the eastern Mediterranean, Aegean and Adriatic Seas, visiting an intriguing array of iconic cities and smaller boutique ports throughout Italy, Turkey, Greece and the Holy Lands.
Vista, and her sister ship Allura, which is set to debut in May 2025, will feature several unique firsts in the realms of dining, accommodation and guest experience. Building on Oceania Cruises’ exemplary culinary reputation of serving The Finest Cuisine at Sea®, Vista offers an inventive new mixology program, plus new and unique culinary concepts on board. These include Aquamar Kitchen, offering an array of wellness-inspired dishes with a hint of indulgence; The Bakery at Baristas, serving tempting freshly baked pastries; and new signature restaurant, Ember.
Ember is an upscale yet relaxed space where guests can enjoy an authentically rich American dining experience. Drawing on inspiration from great chefs such as Oceania Cruises’ own Executive Culinary Director Jacques Pépin, Ember seamlessly blends the contemporary fresh vibrance of renowned culinary capitals such as Napa and Sonoma with the warmth and richness of the revitalised food and beverage scene of America’s heartland.
A full overview of Vista’s 2023 and 2024 itineraries can be found at OceaniaCruises.com.