Oceania Cruises is a premium cruise line, designed to neatly bridge the gap between the likes of Cunard, Holland America and Celebrity Cruises, and the 5-6* Silversea Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Seabourn and Crystal Cruises.
It is an American owned line and has been in existence for 10 years. It prides itself on its extraordinary value and is known as having the finest cuisine at sea, port intensive itineraries and country club ambience, ensuring a high level of repeat business. Oceania is very much famed for its gourmet cuisine and is definitely a fantastic choice for foodies.
There are 5 ships in the fleet, 2 contemporary styled mid sized ships , Marina and Riveria, at 66,000 tons respectively and 3 smaller more traditionally styled ships, Regatta, Insignia and Nautica, at 30,000tons each.
I was lucky enough to be invited to have a look round Nautica when she was in Southampton for a day and experienced the luxurious country house ambience for myself.
The tone is set as you board with a string quartet playing and a calming relaxed atmosphere pervading the ship. As the Nautica is a small ship with a maximum capacity of only 680 guests, this makes for a relaxing start to your holiday, no queuing to board or in the restaurants etc. The first impressions are of a traditional country house hotel, with rich wood panelling, deep carpets and high quality furnishings and fittings throughout.
The ship has a very friendly but at the same time quite an exclusive feel . Nautica has recently had a multi million dollar facelift, and is now looking very spick and span, with a new wood panelled dance floor, and new carpets and soft furnishings throughout.
Oceania Cruises places a great emphasis on dining aboard, and claim to have “the finest dining at sea”. The Grand Dining Room is the main restaurant and is inspired by the grand 5*hotel tradition, quite sumptuous and elegant. In addition, there are two smaller restaurants, the Polo Grill which is a classic steakhouse and Toscana which serves Tuscan cuisine, many of the dishes served are from Italian family recipes. Waves and the Terrace Cafe are casual dining at its best, and afternoon tea is served in Horizons.
Suites and staterooms on board all feature the Prestige Tranquility Bed, an Oceania Cruises exclusive. All of the staterooms are very comfortable and stylish, ranging from inside cabins to spacious and luxurious Owner’s Suites.
Also onboard is the famous Canyon Ranch SpaClub, which is a relaxing , tranquil haven offering many spa treatments, yoga, pilates etc and also has a Ranch SpaClub private Spa Terrace for all Concierge and Suite guests.
There is a comprehensive shore excursion programme, enabling passengers to explore and gain a true insight into every port of call. Oceania offers shore excursion packages prior to sailing, which make substantial savings on excursions purchased on board.
Oceania Cruises also offers guests the option of staying longer in the pre and post cruise hotel programme, to experience staying in various historic, fascinating cities. In addition, the land tour programme is a great way to really experience some of the world’s most interesting destinations, tours last from one to five nights, both before and after the cruise.
Oceania Cruises has the youngest fleet in premium class cruising, 85% of the accommodation features private verandas. Due to the smaller size of the ships, there are more boutique ports of call where the larger ships cannot reach, added to which there are more extended evening port stays and overnight stays to really get a true flavour of the country visited.