regatta - oceania cruises - cruise ship review & photos

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Regatta Facts & Figures













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In an industry dominated by a few very big players, it is always nice to welcome a newcomer on the cruise scene.  Building on the legacy of the now defunct Renaissance Cruises, Oceania Cruises was formed earlier this year and in July the luxurious Regatta was introduced as their first ship. Offering destination-rich voyages in Europe in summer and heading west to the Caribbean in winter, the Oceania product proved to 

be an instant hit. Regatta was as good as fully booked all summer long, leaving some competitors green with envy. Having sailed on Regatta for a week, I can fully understand why she is so popular. If you are looking for a friendly ambiance, excellent food, an unstructured casual shipboard life and many ports of call, then please continue reading!

This Regatta story actually starts in 1998 as Renaissance Cruises takes delivery of R2, second in an unprecedented series of eight identical 30,200 ton cruise ships. With their eclectic interior decoration and multiple open seating dining venues, the "R" ships are instant hits with the traveling public, providing good value for money. Thanks to some very imaginative (though not always very popular) marketing tricks Renaissance attracts many passengers that have not cruised before. However, their direct selling policy, cutting out travel agencies, proves to be too ambitious and causes the line's bankruptcy in late 2001. 

Not longer after, Renaissance veteran Frank Del Rio teams up with Joe Watters (founder of Crystal Cruises and Royal Viking Line) and together they form Oceania Cruises. Securing R2 and R1 (now Insignia), the original pair of "R" ships, the aim of the Florida-based cruise line is as simple as it is ambitious: to offer a luxurious cruising experience at an affordable price, providing passengers with top-class food and service.

First reviews of Regatta, Oceania's first vessel, were unanimously positive. The chance to experience Oceania Cruises for myself came on September 20th, when my good friend Barbara and I set foot on Regatta in Lisbon, Portugal for a 7-day voyage that took us around Spain, calling at Cadiz, Malaga and Palma de Mallorca before finishing in Barcelona.

In the next few pages, you can read all about our cruise on Regatta, pride and joy of Oceania Cruise and indeed a wonderful new addition to the cruise industry.


Regatta in Palma de Mallorca

Regatta docked in Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Regatta docked in Palma de Mallorca

Regatta aft decks


All photos and text: 2003 Bart de Boer - All rights reserved

First published on November 24, 2003