Oceania’s Vista christened in Malta
Oceania Cruises, the world’s leading culinary-centric and destination-focused cruise line, has christened its newest ship, Vista at Valletta Cruise Port (Malta) on Monday May 8. The 1,200-passenger Vista is the line’s first new ship in more than a decade.
An international organising team with the support of local representatives SMS Group, Malta Tourism Authority and Valletta Cruise Port worked on a line-up of celebratory events to mark this day, involving tens of suppliers brought in specifically for the event: from AV suppliers and set builders to florists and makeup artists and hairdressers.
“We would like to congratulate Oceania Cruises on this momentous day. This is a proud moment for Valletta and Malta, and we are pleased to be have been entrusted with hosting the naming ceremony of such an anticipated ship in our historical Grand Harbour. The Capital City of Valletta served as the best possible backdrop for this event”, commented Stephen Xuereb COO of Global Ports Holding and CEO of Valletta Cruise Port.
Excitement on the quays could be felt from days before, as over 150 workers from the organizing team descended onsite – kicking off days of preparatory work. The Historic Magazino Hall, within walking distance from the quays, served as an onsite production office and catering area for the hundreds of production crew members working onsite on event build-up, execution and dismantling.
A traditional plaque exchange was held early in the day aboard the Vista between local port authorities and Captain Luca Manzi. At 241 meters long and more than 67,000 tons, Vista offers a market-leading staffing ratio with two crew members for every three guests. She also boasts the most spacious standard staterooms at sea, plus new Concierge Level Veranda Staterooms for solo travelers. Setting new standards for comfort and residential-style luxury, she features all-veranda accommodation. Vista’s elevated variety of onboard activities include eight bars, lounges and entertainment venues plus a luxurious spa centre.
The evening celebrations kicked off with an onboard cocktail reception and gala dinner, after which the guests disembarked onto Valletta Cruise Port’s quays with a suggestive backdrop of limestone bastions and the colourful Valletta Waterfront doors. The christening program ensued with an energetic and glamorous opening performance of the Oceania Cruises original show, ‘Into The Night’. Italian American chef, author, restaurateur and Emmy Award-winning food personality Giada De Laurentiis did the honours as godmother. The champagne bottle was released on her cue from the stage, with a variety of lighting effects and stage decor elements accentuating the celebratory moment.
Harry Connick Jr who has received accolades and recognition with multiple Grammy and Emmy Awards, as well as Tony Award nominations with successes covering every aspect of the showbiz world, provided an hour of pure entertainment, cheered on by the 1,300-strong crowd.
The evening ashore was rounded off by a 5-minute pyro-musical display over Malta’s Grand Harbour.
Vista left Valletta the following day honoured by a full-canon salute from the Upper Barrakka Gardens’ Saluting Battery as well as water-spraying tugboat, providing another photo opportunity to guests aboard.
Vista is currently on a sold-out inaugural Mediterranean season, visiting a number of key Mediterranean ports.