Oceania Cruises operates six ships; four mid-sized sisters, Insignia, Nautica, Regatta and Sirena, taking 684 each, and two newer vessels, Marina and Riviera, carrying 1,250. The theme of informal elegance runs through the whole fleet, which is constantly being upgraded by the owners; $50m each was spent on the three smaller ships in 2014 on smart new furnishings and decor as well as the addition of new facilities, effectively creating ships that were as good as new. The newest sister to be added to the fleet, Sirena, undergoes her refit in 2016, bringing her up to the same impeccable standard as her fleet-mates.
What's interesting about Oceania is its constant willingness to innovate. The ships sail all over the world, with as much emphasis as possible on overnight calls and visits to unusual ports. In 2015 and 2016, Insignia will operate three incredible 180-day voyages, taking passengers right round the world on extended journeys that can be split into sections. This is a rare opportunity to join a world cruise outside the normal winter season; and should you wish, a chance to live on a cruise ship for six months and never see the same port twice!
Oceania is also known for its food. With celebrity chef Jacques Pepin at the helm, the ships are all about fine dining, from Asian to American and Italian. But not just any Italian; Toscana, on all five ships, even has its own olive oil menu. Pepin has his own signature restaurant, Jacques, on the two larger vessels, which also feature the most state-of-the-art cookery schools at sea.
Many of Oceania's cruises have themes, from wine to food to music, bridge, art and wellness. In fact, Marina, Riviera and Insignia have art rooms where you can learn to draw and paint. Should you prefer to focus on fitness and relaxation, each of the five vessels has a sumptuous Canyon Ranch spa. However you prefer to spend your day, though, this intriguing cruise line will have an activity to suit.