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Travel industry news

13 Aug 2018

BY Gary Noakes


Oceania reveals plans for $100 million refit programme

Oceania Cruises is to spend $100 million refurbishing four ships, with the first due to debut in December.


Four Regatta-class vessels, Insignia, Sirena, Nautica and Regatta itself will undergo dry dock revamps of up to three weeks under a refit programme known as OceaniaNext.


Insignia will debut the new styling from Miami from December 7; with Sirena, which sails in the Mediterranean, being fully refurbished by May 2019.


Design work has been undertaken by Miami-based Studio Dado, which specialises in luxury residential and hospitality.


Bernard Carter, Oceania’s senior vice-president and managing director, EMEA, told TTG: “What we are seeing is a move away from the twee English country hotel towards a stylish members’ club. It will still have a classical look, but there is a more contemporary feel.”


Carter said all four vessels, built in 1998, 1999 and 2000, would have the same décor, with all cabins and bathrooms being refitted. “The four ships will be better than they ever were new,” he said, and would retain a common identity. All the 684-passenger vessels will retain the existing cabin configuration.


Among the new features will be a new grand staircase inset with crystal and a large chandelier in the Grand Dining Room. Cabins will feature USB ports and TVs offering multi-lingual movies on demand. The refit will include 12,000 new sofas and chairs and 1,400 new marble bathrooms.


“Wherever people go, the ships will be exactly the same. More than anything else, guests will feel they are coming home at the end of the day,” Carter said. He described the project as “an evolution” that would please the brand’s core age group of 55-75 year-olds.


“Our guests have been an integral part of the process, they have been consulted with regard to the changes.” Carter said there would be no price hikes to cover the $100 million cost. “To do anything like that is pretty short-sighted; it’s more about the longer journey than getting a fast buck.”


Carter said he hoped to get agents aboard Sirena next year. The ship is due to sail itineraries including Venice, Barcelona, Rome and Athens.

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