MIAMI, FL, — In a glorious ceremony in Istanbul, Turkey, Oceania Cruises named Nautica, its third vessel, fulfilling a dream that has been three years in the making. Emotions ran high as the executives in attendance have been intimately involved with Oceania Cruises since its very inception in 2002. Speeches came from the heart. Accolades were graciously accepted with tearful nods. When Nautica's Godmother, Miami philanthropist and civic leader, Fana Holtz, released the traditional magnum of champagne against the ship's hull, a thunderous roar of applause filled the air. This was a day of joy and celebration.
Istanbul - City of Peace and Prosperity
It is fitting that Istanbul was chosen to host this momentous event. Istanbul is the world's only city that straddles two continents: Europe and Asia, which Nautica will proudly call home. More than any other city on earth, Istanbul demonstrates that people of different cultures, races and religions can all live in peace and harmony. There could be no more fitting place on earth than Istanbul for a woman of American citizenry, of Eastern European Jewish descent, to be the Godmother of a cruise ship that is being blessed by a priest, a rabbi and an imam. "While Turkey has certainly had a storied past, its future is even brighter. Its friendly and enterprising people and their parliamentary democratic government have leveraged the legacy and experiences accumulated during these thousands of years and have forged strong worldwide alliances, symbolic of its strategic geographic position between East and West," remarked Frank Del Rio, President and CEO of Oceania Cruises.
Fana Holtz - Godmother and Guardian Angel
Godmother of Nautica, philanthropist and civic activist Fana Holtz has a distinguished international background, a point Del Rio made in his introduction, when he remarked in awe and with levity, "If I had known she was so accomplished, I would have built her a bigger and grander ship." Her involvement in charitable and philanthropic endeavors demonstrates her continuous generosity, commitment and kindness to the well being of others, especially children, many of whom, without her help, would not be able to afford medical treatment. She is a former member of the board of the National Foundation for Chrones and Colitis, an ambassador of The National Parkinson Foundation, a society member of Mount Sinai Hospital, a grand trustee for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, the founder of the Sylvester Cancer Center and the grand founder of the Children's Resource Center.
While every one of her accomplishments is remarkable, the crown jewel of her achievements in the public sector is the founding of the Holtz Children's Hospital at Jackson Memorial Hospital. "It not only carries her name, but more importantly, her gentle and giving spirit where every child, regardless of circumstances, is treated in a state-of-the-art facility by world class physicians," remarked Del Rio. Each year, Fana Holtz and her Guardian Angels, many of whom were in attendance in Istanbul, raise millions of dollars to ensure that Fana's vision continues benefiting needy children the world over. On behalf of Fana Holtz and the Holtz Children's Hospital, Oceania Cruises presented a $25,000 check to Dr. Aysenur Celayir, Chief Physician for the Newborn and Newborn Intensive Care Unit of Zeynep Kamil Hospital in Istanbul.
Debut of Nautica and the Arrival of Marina, Oceania Cruises' Fourth Ship
The exquisite, mid-sized Nautica holds 684 guests, as do Regatta and Insignia, the first two ships in the Oceania Cruises fleet. Together they form an exquisite trio that sails to the world's most exotic and alluring destinations. Soon after the naming ceremony, Nautica will embark on her Magical Maiden Voyage, a 24-day odyssey from Athens to Singapore. "Our growing fleet has been voted one of the top three cruise lines in the world in our first two years of existence, a feat never before achieved in this industry," said Del Rio with pride. And just as the debut of Nautica was announced at Insignia's naming in Monte Carlo, Frank Del Rio announced the planned debut of the line's fourth ship, Marina, which is expected to be named in Hong Kong on Saturday, July 7, 2007