One of the cruise world's most unique success stories tells us how they plan to expand upon their initial achievements with a brand new ship design.
The small but popular Oceania Cruises has been a sleeper hit of the cruise industry since its humble beginnings in 2002. Starting with one 700-passenger ship reclaimed from the bankrupt Renaissance Cruises, former Renaissance president Frank Del Rio soon added two more identical vessels and turned Oceania into the best post-millennial cruise industry success story.
Oceania will takes its biggest leap forward since it started in Miami this January 22, 2011, with the introduction of the first of two all new 65,000-ton ships - Oceania Marina, nearing completion at the Sestri Ponente Fincantieri shipyard near Genoa, Italy. Marina will be nine decks high, 824 feet long, 104 feet wide and reach a cruising speed of 22 knots. Maximum passenger capacity is 1,260 guests in 640 cabins, almost all with an ocean view and 83 percent with a generous private balcony. The sister ship, Oceania Riviera, is scheduled to debut in April 2012.
Designed by veteran ship creator Gunnar Åserud of Yran & Storbraaten, Marina will have all the elements that already make Oceania so popular already - superb cuisine designed by culinary icon Jacques Pépin, alternative dining in intimate specialty restaurants with very reasonable cover charges and port-intensive itineraries to unusual destinations. But it will also feature a more elegant and contemporary interior and additional food options such as the eponymous "Jacques" restaurant with under 100 seats.
The grand lobby on each ship will feature design accents by Lalique. La Reserve will be an intimate indoor-outdoor wine tasting venue for up to 24 guests. Full-service spa facilities and fitness centers will be provided by the famous Canyon Ranch SpaClub. Canyon Ranch will also supply the spa culinary options for the main dining room onboard.
Oceania Cruises has always featured excellent cuisine, and each ship will have 10 separate dining venues, some included in the cruise fare and some requiring a service charge. One unique asset of both new ships will be the Bon Appétit Culinary Center with 24 individual cooking stations. Guests participating in classes created by Bon Appétit magazine will each have their own work station, with a cook top, oven, pots, pans and utensils.
For guests not cooking their own food, the Grand Dining Room will seat 566 and will reportedly have a more elegant, contemporary look than the dining rooms on the current ships. The new venues will be the tallest single-story dining rooms at sea, ranging from 20 to 30 feet in height. Special acoustic insulation and floor materials will minimize noise.
The Marina Lounge is the main showroom and theater on Marina. A production company to create original revues for the new ships has been hired but the name has not yet been announced.
Both ships will feature 629 staterooms, which combined will average some of the largest staterooms at sea. The top suites are up to 2,000 sq. ft., with furnishings from Ralph Lauren Home and designs by Dakota Jackson and Tocar New York. There are also 124 penthouse suites measuring 420 sq. ft. apiece. The smallest staterooms are 174 sq. ft.
With a continuing focus on comfortable staterooms, Marina's 282 sq. ft. Veranda Cabin is one-third larger than the standard balcony cabins on the line's existing ships, with space added between the bed and the closet. Other features include floor-to-ceiling windows; the signature Oceania "Tranquility Bed," with 700-thread count linens; free, unlimited soft drinks and bottled water kept in a mini-refrigerator; a full-size bathtub; an LCD flat-screen TV; safe; hair dryer; cell phone service; and 110/220 volt outlets.
Guests in concierge-level veranda staterooms are provided with a laptop computer with Wi-Fi access - although regular Internet usage charges apply.
The ship has 124 Penthouse Suites measuring 420 sq. ft. These suites have a separate area for seating as well as dining, with a separate window for added light and views. Furnishings include a desk; an armoire with a built-in make-up area; and a wall-mounted flat panel TV. The bathroom has a marble floor and granite counter with a separate shower and tub. There is a large walk-in closet.
Back in March, CEO Frank Del Rio said "Marina is not a cookie-cutter vessel, but the perfect ship to complement the line's trio of existing smaller vessels," the 684-guest Regatta, Insignia and Nautica. He commented, "There's only one thing better than one new ship and that's two new ships," then wryly added " They say great things come in threes."
Oceania has an option with Fincantieri to build a third ship which must be exercised this year.
In her inaugural year, Marina will cross the Atlantic, transit the Panama Canal twice, visit ports in Mexico as well as Los Angeles and San Francisco, and call at a host of Caribbean islands, sailing round-trip from Miami. Marina will sail along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard and call at Bermuda before repositioning to Europe for summer 2011.
See the full Marina Picture Gallery Gallery photos courtesy of Susan J. Young. Other pics above from Oceania Cruises
|Verandah Stateroom||Penthouse Walk-in||Armoire|
|Penthouse Living Room area||Penthouse Bathroom||close up of chairs|
Marina and Riviera Ship Facts
Marina -- Debuts Jan 2011 Oceania Class II -- Debuts April 2012 Guest Capacity -- 1,256 (Double Occupancy) Tonnage -- 66,000 (estimated) Builder -- Fincantieri; Sestre Ponente, Italy Length -- 782 feet Width -- 105 feet Draft -- 24 feet Cruising Speed -- 20 knots Propulsion -- Diesel Electric, 2 controllable pitch propellers Restaurants -- Six Open Seating Restaurants:
- The Grand Dining Room -- Continental Cuisine
- Polo Grill -- Steak House
- Toscana -- Gourmet Italian
- Asian Restaurant -- Asian Cuisine
- Terrace Café -- Casual Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodations -- 628 Guest Staterooms and Suites:
- 4 Owner's Suites
- 6 Vista Suites
- 12 Oceania Suites
- 120 Penthouse Suites
- 440 Veranda Staterooms
- 20 Ocean View Staterooms
- 26 Inside Staterooms
- Horizons -- Observation lounge and nightclub
- Sports Deck
- Spa and Fitness Center
- The Patio
- Polo Grill -- Classic Steakhouse
- Toscana -- Gourmet Italian Restaurant
- Guest Suites
- Culinary Arts Center
- Enrichment Center
- Waves Bar
- Swimming Pool and Jacuzzis
- Waves Grill & Milkshake Bar
- Private Dining Rooms, Wine Cellar and Veranda
- Terrace Café -- casual buffet restaurant
Decks 11 through 7:
- Guest Staterooms and Suites
- Upper Hall
- Card Room
- Grand Bar
- Grand Dining Room -- Continental cuisine
- Main Lounge
- Reception Hall and Lounge
- French Restaurant -- Country French cuisine
- Asian Restaurant -- a fusion of Asian cuisines