When she sets sail on her maiden voyage in May 2012, Riviera, Oceania Cruises’ newest entry in the upper-premium category, will further confirm the line’s status among art lovers and epicureans. Riviera will showcase a museum-worthy collection of fine art focusing on the works of some of Latin America’s most accomplished and admired contemporary artists. More than 1000 works will adorn the mid-size ship.
The world-class collection is a nod to the Cuban heritage of Frank Del Rio, the line’s founder and chairman and CEO of parent company Prestige Cruise Holdings. More curator than collector, Del Rio went to extraordinary lengths to ensure that “every inch of the ship was designed to showcase paintings, glassworks and sculpture that will spark conversation and contemplation among our guests.”
The ship’s collection includes original and highly expressive works by renowned artists from Cuba’s Vanguard Movement, from 1927 to 1950. During this period artists such as Wifredo Lam, Cundo Bermudez, René Portocarrero and Servando Cabrera were celebrated with exhibitions at New York’s Museum of Modern Art and in private galleries in New York and abroad. These seminal works are displayed side-by-side with contemporary Cuban artists, including Julio Larraz, Carlos Luna, Humberto Benitez, Manuel Mendive and José Grillo. Works by French painter Pierre Boncompain, Mexican painter Luis Zesatti, Peruvian artist Daniela Wicki and Catalonian master, Eduardo Arranz-Bravo, are also featured.
The works will be prominently featured throughout the ship, but also “tucked in the most unexpected places to promote a sense of discovery,” says Del Rio. Wherever guests roam, from the Bon Appétit Culinary Center to the restaurants to the onboard Canyon Ranch SpaClub, they will find the ship’s rich woods, abundant marble and granite and fine wool carpets complemented by Del Rio’s “evolving collection.”
Del Rio commissioned José Grillo to create a painting inspired by the title, “Yellow Submarine,” which will be displayed outside Jacques restaurant. “El Caretas,” another Grillo work, occupies a prominent place by the reception desk. Carlos Luna has several paintings throughout Riviera, including “Lovers” at the entrance to the Riviera Lounge. Renowned Miami artist Humberto Benitez was commissioned for several pieces in Horizons Lounge and for his sentinel piece, “The Feast,” fittingly enough hanging in La Reserve, the ship’s über gourmet dining venue.
Like her sister ship Marina, the centerpiece of Riviera is a stunning Lalique Grand Staircase, designed by the fabled French artists of jewelry and crystal. It features double-curved staircases and a balcony with balustrades of crystal medallions and scrolled iron with a brass banister topped by a mahogany handrail. Six crystal pillars rising from the landing enhance the two-story, glass elevator surround.