Cruise

Oceania Cruises shows off new-look Insignia to Australian trade

Ali Coulton

Ali Coulton

Oceania Cruises hosted Aussie trade and a handful of media onboard Insignia yesterday morning, to show off the ships snazzy new look.

As part of the OceaniaNEXT initiative, Insignia is the first ship of the line’s R-Class vessels to undergo a $100 million ‘better-than-new’ refurbishment.

The ship entered Australian waters on Sunday evening, not long after Oceania Cruises revealed Australia as their second largest global market after the US.

Emerging from drydock on 7 December, Insignia made her way to local waters via the South Pacific as part of her 180 day Around the World Cruise. She reached Sydney after cruising New Zealand waters and will arrive in Brisbane on 6 March.

Grand Staircase - the line has swapped out red and gold for a more contemporary silver and blue
Grand Staircase – the line has swapped out red and gold for a more contemporary silver and blue

The ship inspection kicked off with a talk from Steve Odell, APAC MD from Norwegian Cruises, Oceania’s parent company after trade were welcomed by a string quartet.

“One of the many reasons Oceania Cruises enjoys one of the highest repeat cruise rates of any brand is the fact we’re constantly refreshing our offering and investing in our fleet, with the OceaniaNEXT initiative encompassing the most extensive suite of enhancements we have ever embarked upon,” Odell said.

“The input of our valued past guests and travel partners has played an intrinsic part in the initiatives conceived as part of OceaniaNEXT, which is heralding the next exciting chapter of the Oceania Cruises story.

“Australasia is one of the first regions in the world to experience the re-inspiration of our R-class vessels, with Insignia boasting 342 brand new designer suites and staterooms, and stunning new décor in her restaurants, lounges and bars inspired by Oceania’s 450 ports of call.”

The tour showcased a new colour palette, exchanging reds and golds for a more contemporary silver and blue to more closely match a “seaside look and feel”, according to the line’s VP of sales for Australia and NZ, Steve Mclaughlin.

Veranda Stateroom
Veranda Stateroom

With the line’s focus on cuisine, no Oceania Cruises ship inspection would be complete without sampling a few dishes in one of its iconic restaurants. Particularly seeing as the refurb included re-imagined menus focused on regional menus and local wines.

Toscana, the ship's iconic Italian restaurant
Toscana, the ship’s iconic Italian restaurant

“The refurbishment of our R-class fleet is just the beginning,” explained  Odell.

“The OceaniaNEXT programme will also see Oceania Cruises’ O-class 1,250-guest vessels, Riviera and Marina, debut their new owner’s suites – the only suites at sea furnished exclusively by luxe label Ralph Lauren Home – in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

“There are many surprises and delights to be revealed in 2019 and beyond as part of the OceaniaNEXT initiative which we’re exciting to reveal as they unfold.”

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