With four small 684-passenger ships and two mid-sized 1,250-passenger vessels, Oceania Cruises is set to call on more than 370 ports in 2017, hitting the high points in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, South America, the South Pacific and Alaska while touching on destinations the bigger ships pass by. More than a hundred of its sailings next year feature new itineraries, and Oceania will call on many ports for its first time ever, ranging from Rijeka, Croatia, to Húsavík, Iceland.
Oceania is noted for its relaxed country club style, friendly service and, above all, its gourmet food. It competes well with true luxury lines — offering Canyon Ranch SpaClub facilities, casinos and suites with butler service — but it is priced well below its high-end rivals. While fares do not include gratuities, shore excursions or liquor and wine, Oceania levies no additional charge at its fine specialty restaurants.
Several cruise industry executives created Oceania as a less pricey but quite elegant alternative to the all-inclusive luxury lines. It emerged as a leading premium operator focused on relaxed cruising (with no formal nights) that delivers a mix of marquee and exotic destinations while maintaining top-notch dining aboard. Its first three 684-passenger ships, Insignia, Nautica and Regatta, were extensively refurbished in 2014 and joined by a nearly identical vessel, Sirena, this year. All four small ships are decorated in “country house” style, with spa, casino, golf facilities, deck games, jogging areas and cabaret entertainment, along with four open-seating restaurants.
Oceania’s two larger 1,250-passenger ships, Marina (launched in 2011) and Riviera (launched in 2012), are more spacious and sail 25 percent faster. Both ships contain more amenities, as well, most notably a Culinary Center (in association with Bon Appétit) consisting of 24 hands-on workstations. Both ships also feature Jacques Pépin’s first restaurant at sea, the aptly named Jacques.
In fact, Oceania is nothing if not a cruise line for foodies. Jacque Pépin has been the line’s culinary director from the beginning. Oceania’s specialty restaurants boast gourmet quality, and the two bigger ships feature not only Pépin’s signature restaurant and the Bon Appétit Culinary Center but also several even more intimate culinary delights, including, in association with Wine Spectator magazine, La Reserve Wine Bar.
In 2017 passengers aboard Marina will have a chance to indulge in Oceania’s gourmet sailing experience to the hilt on the annual Jacques Pépin Cruise. Departing London June 2 on a 10-day cruise, this galleon for gourmets will call on 10 ports in Northern Europe, from France to Denmark. Passengers will be hosted by Pépin himself, who promises to serve special menus, lectures and cooking demonstrations along the way.
The Luxury Collection again teamed with artist Sofía Sanchez de Beta to unveil an exclusive capsule collection, this time with 54 pieces inspired by the Arabian Desert and Emirati culture. The ready-to-wear line includes an array of separates created with Dubai’s climate in mind, such as lightweight blouses and tunics, flowing jumpsuits, long skirts and dresses.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Hawaiian Airlines will relaunch its service between the island of Maui (OGG) and Las Vegas (LAS) with flights set to begin in December.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
British Airways launched a new in-flight entertainment channel in honor of its year-long centenary celebration. The new channel, christened Celebrate BA100, highlights the best of British in-flight entertainment.
For those without accessibility issues, going to the beach can be simple. There’s nothing to do but pack up your gear, head to the shore and walk out onto the sand. For those who may be inhibited, however, the beach poses more of a challenge.
European hotel brand Kempinski is expanding into the Americas with a new luxury property in Dominica. Slated for an Oct. 14 opening, the Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski will be Dominica’s first 5-star hotel on the island and the brand’s second in the Caribbean.