(12:30 EDT) -- Celebrity chef Giada de Laurentiis has been named the godmother of Oceania Cruise's upcoming Allura-class ship, Vista.
Oceania's President Frank A. Del Rio introduced the Food Network Star last Friday during an event in Miami Beach. This will be the first time the Italian-American chef, restaurateur and author serves as godmother of a cruise ship.
Currently finalizing construction in Fincantieri's Sestri Ponente shipyard in Genoa, the 1,200-passenger Vista is set to become Oceania's first new ship in more than 10 years.
"We wanted to find somebody that really embodied and exemplified everything that Oceania Cruises stands for, and we really feel Giada is the perfect fit for us," said Del Rio during the presentation event.
"Having the honor of officiating as godmother is a dream come true," said De Laurentiis, underscoring the link between travel and cuisine. "Food has always been an integral part of how our families celebrate and how we travel. It's going to be a really fun adventure; it already feels like a family."
The celebrity chef revealed that she will be creating two signature dishes exclusively for Vista. She anticipated that the recipes will probably consist of pasta and fish, and perhaps a dessert. "It's going to be a really fun partnership and I'm looking forward to working with all of the chefs," she added.
The christening event will take place in Valletta, Malta, on May 8, where De Laurentiis will be joined by musician and actor Harry Connick Jr.
The Malta ceremony will take place during a 7-night roundtrip voyage from Rome (Civitavecchia), where Connick Jr. will perform an exclusive concert for VIP guests.
“Performing against the backdrop of the beautiful city of Valletta, alongside this elegant new ship, will be a privilege to remember for years to come,” said the singer.
Vista will spend her inaugural summer season in the Mediterranean. In September, the ship will sail to Canada and New England before heading south for a series of winter itineraries exploring Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean.
Allura, Vista's sister ship, is currently under construction in Fincantieri's shipyard. The ship will debut in May 2025.