Gary Buchanan was present as Oceania Cruises’ welcomed the latest addition to their fleet; Riviera.
Oceania Cruises are the embodiment of refined yet casually elegant travel. These qualities, along with unsurpassed cuisine, decorous comfort and unparalleled personal service, have been at the forefront of the company’s ethos since its inception in 2002.
The vision of the company’s founders has ensured guests receive an enriching destination-oriented experience unlike any other. No cruise industry observer would deny that when Marina was introduced in February 2011 it was a ‘game-changer’. As each and every guest discovered, Oceania Cruises’ first new-build had been created to enhance the experience for the discerning, sophisticated traveller.
Now after a rousing christening ceremony in Barcelona, Riviera has joined her sibling. Whilst it’s often hard to improve on perfection, this new 66,084-tonne vessel has done just that.
When extolling the virtues of Riviera to The Cruise Line, the company’s President Kunal Kamlani said, “We set out to build two vessels unique in the industry; offering our guests mid-size ships which combine a civilized atmosphere, unique itineraries, and impeccable cuisine that rivals shore-side restaurants.” For once a respected cruise line bigwig wasn’t boasting hype over reality.
A benchmark in cruise ship design, Riviera’s interiors offer guests an ambiance that takes its inspiration from fine estate homes. To achieve this exceptional dimension of luxurious living Oceania Cruises sought out top companies in their field of impeccable design. Chairman and CEO Frank Del Rio personally chose all the art and went to extraordinary lengths to source exactly the right materials.
The Grand Staircase is an icon onboard all the ships of Oceania Cruises and a signature element of the brand. To create this magnificent focal point in the Reception the company looked to Lalique. Crafted in stunning Murano glass, the chandelier that adorns the Grand Dining Room sets the tone of this exemplary room.
Evoking tranquil scenes of lush Tuscan countryside the sleek, cool style of the Toscana Restaurant is the antithesis of florid opulence. Simply timeless, the Polo Grill spans the almanac of decadent design and is as civilized as it is recherché.
Red Ginger makes a dramatic statement with its decorative centrepiece of three multi-coloured Buddha heads; the tranquil décor radiates with ebony woods, bronze and hand-blown glass light fixtures and eclectic, modern Asian artwork. By showcasing mellowed wood reclaimed from a barn near Lyon, Jacques unpretentiously draws inspiration from the fabled bistros of France; while chandeliers fashioned from crystal decanters add a whimsical shimmer to this prepossessing room.
Guest accommodation likewise doesn’t compromise on comfort. Each of the 625 elegantly appointed, custom-crafted suites and staterooms are amongst the largest at sea. Far from the time-warp cliché of minimalism, these lavish retreats boast artistic grace and refined glamour that span the lexicon of decadent design.
As the leader in upper-premium cruising Oceania Cruises has raised the bar by offering a distinctive cruising élan, an evolution that has quickly grabbed the attention of industry pundits and enthusiastic guests alike.