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ULTRA LUXURY CRUISING with Oceania
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.
A further R Class ship named Sirena (formerly Ocean Princess of Princess Cruises) joined the fleet in March 2016 following a $40 million refurbishment. The ship includes specialty restaurants Tuscan Steak and Red Ginger (Asian), Baristas Coffee Shop and Grill at the Terrace Café (cook to order grill) with the main dining room transformed into Jacques (a Parisian Bistro) at lunchtime.
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 new ships are 20% faster and 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.
Oceania’s ‘OlifeChoice’ gives guests the option of including FREE excursions, a drinks package or onboard credit. From time to time the line may offer special offers with more inclusions – ask for further details.
Older Ships Refurbishment
Oceania’s original three smaller ships, Nautica, Insignia and Regatta were upgraded in a $50 million makeover during 2014 which brought elements of the new-build ships to these older vessels.
New Allura Class
Two new 1,200 passenger vessels have been ordered for delivery 2022 and 2025. They are modelled on Marina and Riviera and will offer a range of new features.
Photo: Oceania Riviera at Portofino (SG) 4
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