We Created a Delicious Recipe for Launching m/s Riviera…a New Ship for Foodies.
The launch of a “sister ship” in any cruise line’s fleet is never easy from a PR standpoint. Nothing new about the ship offers a PR hook, other than the ship itself. And with many big white cruise ships launching in the industry each year, being just “new” is not enough to stand out. Such was the case with Oceania Cruises’ m/s Riviera. The early 2011 launch of the m/s Marina stole the media spotlight, showcasing the line’s first-ever “Oceania Class” ship (with 1,200+ staterooms, compared to their traditional “Regatta Class” ships with 684 staterooms). Marina set new standards with many “firsts” - a Bon Appetit Culinary Center & Cooking School, suites designed by Dakota Jackson, Jacques Pepin’s first restaurant at sea, and more. Riviera maintained all these high standards and offerings…yet with nothing new to really “wow” the media. Moreover, the christening ceremony was set in Europe, further decreasing the news appeal to U.S. media.
But Redpoint loves a meaty challenge.
We secured celebrity chef Cat Cora as Riviera’s godmother, not only to underscore Oceania’s authority with “foodies,” but also because her new show, “Around the World in 80 Plates,” would debut on Bravo the same week as Riviera’s launch to much media fanfare. Furthermore, our research with the Oceania development team uncovered that the executive chef of the onboard Bon Appetit Culinary Center would start taking passengers ashore to visit local markets and epicurean hot spots while in port. We named these “Culinary Discovery Tours,” and pitched the program to media as an industry first.
Several pre-launch releases detailed Riviera’s progress, and we hosted more than forty cruise and travel media at the naming ceremony in Barcelona. Key cruise bloggers reported live from the ship throughout the inaugural cruise, and wire distribution, b-roll feed, and post-event photo servicing were handled by our team in NYC, under tight timelines due to the time difference.
Sweet Results: Nearly 500 stories featuring Riviera appeared pre- and post-launch, in coveted outlets such as Celebrated Living, T – The New York Times Magazine, Robb Report, The Wall Street Journal, Travel + Leisure, GQ, Departures, Fox News, USA Today Travel, Miami Herald, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Toronto Sun, NBC Miami, Porthole, Cruise Critic, msnbc.com, Luxury Travel Advisor, Virtuoso Life, Travel Weekly, Travel Agent Central, Seatrade Insider, Vacation Agent, Agent@Home and more. Total reach for the christening event and inaugural cruise coverage exceeded 600 million.