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Oceania's Riviera christened in Barcelona

RivieraOceania Cruises’ new ship, the Riviera, was christened Friday morning in Barcelona, by Cat Cora, TV chef and the ship’s godmother, and a 15-liter bottle of Veuve Clicquot that was smashed against the hull.

In a ceremony attended by about 1,300 people, Deacon Ricardo Rodriguez-Martos of Barcelona’s Apostleship of the Sea bestowed the traditional blessings. Frank J. Del Rio, the line’s founder and chairman, and Kunal S. Kamlani, the line’s president, presided over the festivities.

After a short christening cruise, the 1,250-passenger ship will take its maiden voyage from Venice to Athens, then cruise the Mediterranean until November. The Riviera will be part of the Miami winter cruise ship fleet, arriving at the end of November for Caribbean cruises.

The Riviera is a sister ship to Oceania’s Marina, which debuted in January 2011. Like the Marina, the Riviera has an emphasis on gourmet cuisine, with a Jacques Pepin restaurant and the Bon Appetit Culinary Center, which offers hands-on cooking classes.

The line has a total of four ships, including the 684-guest Regatta and Nautica.