Oceania Cruises has a niche almost to itself in the cruise business, above the mainstream lines in terms of service, dining, itineraries, and overall ambience, but not quite up in the stratosphere with the true luxury lines.
That goes for its prices too, which are higher than premium competitors like Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises, but below lines like sister company Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Silversea Cruises. On the plus side, Oceania’s rates often include airfare to the port of embarkation.
With the debut of Viking Ocean Cruises’ new Viking Star and Viking Sea, the playing field that Oceania practically invented is narrowing rapidly. Viking’s enigmatic Chairman claims that the Viking Ocean product offers an Oceania-style experience at a fraction of the price. But Oceania, under direction of cruise industry veteran Frank J. Del Rio, continues to innovate.
For its first eight years in business, Oceania operated three near-identical sister ships, each carrying 684 guests. In 2011, though, it introduced the 1,258-guest Marina, which offers the same low-key ambience as the older ships, but carries nearly twice as many passengers and has twice the number of restaurants, plus more personal space per guest. A sister ship, Riviera, was introduced in May 2012. In 2016, a fourth R-Class ship, Sirena, joined the fleet.
All of the ships have a casual, low-key, country club feel, and days are programmed in a relaxed way, with few organized activities and announcements. Instead, the emphasis is on letting guests relax at their own pace, enjoy the ports of call, and just unwind.
the fleet:Currently, Oceania has a fleet of six ships. These range from the R-Class Insignia, Nautica, Regatta and Sirena to Oceania’s purpose-built beauties, Marina and Riviera. No matter which ship you choose, Oceania has put a great deal of effort into ensuring its country-club-casual atmosphere and high quality standards are present throughout the fleet. While many guests love the larger Marina and Riviera, the R-Class ships (so named because of their past lives as built for now-defunct Renaissance Cruises) still draw a loyal crowd; Oceania responds by keeping these intimate ships sparkling with new amenities and
life onboard: What few activities there are are calm and orderly: enrichment lectures themed on the region you’re sailing; informal health and beauty seminars; cruise standards like bingo and shuffleboard; and classes in fitness, photography, art and computers. The line’s newest ship, Marina, also offers a great Culinary Center for hands-on cooking classes, and an Artist’s Loft manned by guest instructors Otherwise, guests are left to their own devices. If you want to be pampered, head to the spa, run by the famous Canyon Ranch. Those in a reading mood can grab a leather armchair in the ships’ comfortable, old-fashioned libraries. If you feel lucky, you can do a bit of gambling in the small casino. If you feel athletic, hit the gym or pool. In the evening, guests can go dancing or see a movie; sing at the occasional karaoke session; enjoy a pianist playing standards in the Martini lounge, or a string quartet in the atrium; or take in a comedian, singer, or other guest headliners in the main theater. Dinning:Otherwise, guests are left to their own devices. If you want to be pampered, head to the spa, run by the famous Canyon Ranch. Those in a reading mood can grab a leather armchair in the ships’ comfortable, old-fashioned libraries. If you feel lucky, you can do a bit of gambling in the small casino. If you feel athletic, hit the gym or pool. In the evening, guests can go dancing or see a movie; sing at the occasional karaoke session; enjoy a pianist playing standards in the Martini lounge, or a string quartet in the atrium; or take in a comedian, singer, or other guest headliners in the main theater. SummaryOceania Cruises bills itself as an upper-premium cruise line, positioned squarely between the luxury segment and the premium segment. Essentially, this distills into “pay less, get more.”
Oceania offers a vacation that emphasizes fine food and wine, luxurious accommodations and personalized service aboard its four intimate and mid-sized ships.
Award-winning itineraries visit more than 300 ports in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and the Americas aboard three luxurious, 684-guest ships – Regatta, Insignia and Nautica – and the 1,250-guest Marina and Riviera. People who will love Oceania Cruises ◾Explorers who want to stay longer or cruise longer: Oceania Cruises has made of point of building more overnight stays into its itineraries. This allows travelers more time to explore while relieving stress over getting back to the ship on time. Also, Oceania’s itineraries frequently extend two or three weeks, giving travelers a more in-depth visit to a region. ◾Food lovers: Oceania cruise vacations may journey to the far reaches, but Oceania wants its restaurants to be among guests’ favorite destinations. Each ship has four distinct restaurants, with open seating throughout the cruise, and exquisite cuisine is an Oceania hallmark, with its menus crafted by Jacques Pepin, the world-renowned master chef and Oceania’s executive culinary director. ◾People who love to learn: An Oceania cruise offers numerous enrichment series and lectures. Each visit to a new port is preceded by a presentation on the historical background, culture, traditions and language of that destination. Also, celebrity lecturers are frequently scheduled, and each cruise offer a series of culinary demonstrations, dance lessons and arts and crafts classes. Oceania Cruise Destinations ◾Australia & New Zealand ◾Antarctica ◾Asia ◾The Caribbean and the Panama Canal ◾Europe, including the Mediterranean and The Baltics ◾The Middle East ◾South America The one group Oceania will not appeal to is families with young kids. By design, the line’s ships have no kids facilities and offer no kids’ programs. Another group that might want to think twice is smokers: Only a couple small areas on each ship allow smoking — just a small corner of the Pool Deck and a corner of the nightclub.