ULTRA LUXURY CRUISING with Oceania
‘Your World. Your Way.’
Oceania started life with the launch of Nautica in November 2005, going on to acquire two further similar ships, named Regatta and Insignia, to form the Regatta Class. They are small ships by today’s standards weighing around 30,000 tons and carrying nearly 700 guests. The ships formerly belonged to the R ships fleet of Renaissance who failed in September 2001 and left a modern fleet of eight small luxury ships which many operators snapped up, including Princess and Azamara Club.
The Regatta Class ships have a distinctive English Country Inn feel with comfy sofas and chairs spread throughout the ships. The Library design is said to be the best at sea – good news for readers. They have several bars and lounges to choose from including Horizons Bar, offering wonderful views, and Martinis serving a vast array of cocktails. Oceania are well known among cruising circles for the excellent dining, including Jacques Pepin signature dishes in the main dining room where presentation, ingredients and quality of meals are of the highest standard. The two signature alternative restaurants have no charge but reservations are required: The Polo Grill offering steaks, chops and seafood and the Toscana offering Italian Delights. In an evening, the casual restaurant Tapas is turned into an indoor-outdoor dining spot with buffet style options as well as individually prepared pasta, wok dishes and sushi.
You don’t travel with Oceania if you are looking for high level evening shows and performances – entertainment is low key.
Destination ‘rich’ itineraries are an important part of the cruise experience offered by Oceania cruises. The itineraries range from 10 to 40 nights across Alaska, Asia, Australia & New Zealand, Caribbean, Europe and South America, although the majority are of 10-20 nights duration. Before ports of call, lectures are presented by experts on the history and culture of the areas to be visited.
While many companies are building bigger and bigger ships, it is refreshing to find that Oceania Cruises are prepared to invest in smaller ships in the ‘upper premium level’ – their standard lies somewhere between Holland America, Princess, Celebrity – and Silversea, Regent, Crystal and Seabourn.
Two newer ships have been introduced forming the Oceania Class, both 65,000 tons and carrying 1250 guests. Riviera was introduced in April 2011, and Marina in May 2012.
They offer six open seated dining options, four of them similar to the Regatta class but also include two new venues: a French Bistro called Jacques, and a Pan Asian Restaurant called Red Ginger serving Asian, Thai, Japanese and Vietnamese dishes.
Suites are 50% larger than previous vessels, the majority of them with ocean view and private verandas. The very successful distinctive design and decor of the Regatta class will be repeated with some improvements and include the grand staircase of Lalique crystal design (famous French jewellery and crystal artist) that sweeps up both sides of the Lobby. The new ships are 20% faster and will continue to offer the popular port intensive schedules and their extra speed will enable a greater range of worldwide destinations to be offered.
Oceania offer a keenly priced ultra luxury cruise in a relaxed country club casual style setting where suits, tuxedos and gowns are not required. With menus inspired by Chef Jacques Pepin, Oceania offer a wide choice of wonderful food and four open seated dining options (six on the new ships). Complimentary bottled water, soft drinks, specialty coffees, teas and juices are all included.
Special Drinks and Excursion Packages
Oceania offers attractively priced pre- bookable multi excursion packages. They also have two types of drinks package one (House Select) offering wine and beer with lunch and dinner while package two (Prestige Select) more or less offers everything at all times – ask for further details.
$50 million refurbishment of older ships in 2014
Oceania’s original three ships, Nautica, Insignia (Nov 10) and Regatta (Jan 11) had a multi-million dollar ‘Pillars of Distinction’ programme refurbishment, which included upgrades to cabins/suites (new bedding and other amenities), and new restaurant decor and menus.
$40 million refurbishment for ex Princess Ship
Sirena (formerly Ocean Princess) became a sister ship to Insignia, Regatta and Nautica after a multi- million dollar refurbishment in March 2016 – all 4 ships were originally built for Renaissance Cruises. The refurbishment programme copied many of the features from their larger ships: Baristas, a coffee shop and Grill at the Terrace Café (cook to order grill), two speciality restaurants. Tuscan Steak and Red Ginger (Asian). The main dining room will be transformed each lunchtime into Jacques, a Parisian Bistro.
Contact Simon at Designer Travel Tailor-made Holidays & Cruises
All details quoted are thought to be correct at time of posting but are always subject to confirmation at time of booking
Photo: Regatta Class Ship at Sydney (Oceania) 58