Oceania Cruises (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Riviera, Oceania Cruises’ newest ship in the upper-premium cruise segment, arrives at Miami on November 29 for her inaugural winter season. Riviera will sail five Caribbean voyages over 12 departure dates featuring ports of calls from the exotic Eastern to the deep Southern Caribbean.
Guests can enjoy the beaches, natural wonders and the diverse cultures of the Caribbean while foodies can experience the line’s new Culinary Discovery Tours exploring the local food offerings of the islands side-by-side with an expert chef.
Riviera comes to the U.S. fresh from her inaugural European season, which kicked off in May after a gala christening ceremony in Barcelona. The ship has received much acclaim from guests and travel agents.
“Since her introduction, Riviera has been praised for her beautiful design, exceptional cuisine and outstanding service, consistently surpassing expectations,” said Kunal S. Kamlani, Oceania Cruises’ president. “With Miami as Riviera’s home port this winter, our guests will have the opportunity to enjoy this truly outstanding ship while experiencing all that the Caribbean has to offer.”
Travellers can choose from five different itineraries over 12 departure dates:
- Idyllic Isles – 11 days roundtrip from Miami, visiting Philipsburg, St. Maarten (new port for Oceania Cruises); St. John’s, Antigua; Bridgetown, Barbados; Castries, Saint Lucia; Gustavia, St. Barts; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Departure: Nov 29.
- Mayan Mystique – 10 days roundtrip from Miami. Ports include George Town, Grand Cayman; Cozumel, Mexico; Belize City, Belize; Santo Tomas, Guatemala; Roatan, Honduras; Costa Maya, Mexico; and Key West, Florida. Departures: Dec 10, Jan 13, Feb 22, Mar 18.
- Island Holiday – 14 days roundtrip from Miami, calling at Charlestown, Nevis; St. John’s, Antigua; Kingstown, St. Vincent (new port for Oceania Cruises); Bridgetown, Barbados; St. George’s, Grenada; Gustavia, St. Barts; Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Departure: Dec 20.
On this sailing, Riviera will celebrate the holidays with traditional décor, festive menus and themed entertainment with special guest performers.
- Caribbean Hideaways – 10 days roundtrip from Miami, with visits to Tortola, British Virgin Islands; St. John’s, Antigua; Bridgetown, Barbados; Castries, Saint Lucia; and Gustavia, St. Barts. Departures: Jan 3, Jan 23, Feb 2, Feb 12, Mar 28.
- Ultimate Southern Caribbean – 14 days roundtrip from Miami. Ports include Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curacao; St. George’s, Grenada; Bridgetown, Barbados; Kingstown, St. Vincent; Castries, Saint Lucia; St. John’s, Antigua; and Gustavia, St. Barts. Departure: Mar 4.
Plenty of Time Ashore to Discover the Caribbean
With evening departures from many ports, passengers have ample time ashore to explore majestic Mayan ruins, relax on pristine beaches or admire the colourful Dutch colonial architecture in Aruba, among many other options. In fact, Oceania has added numerous new shore excursions to its already robust Caribbean schedule as part of its Pillars of Distinction initiative.
For example, in Philipsburg, St. Maarten, a new port of call for Oceania Cruises, motorcycle enthusiasts can sign up for the Harley in Paradise tour for a memorable island ride. Oceania Cruises’ Artist Loft tours, designed to showcase the immense creativity and natural beauty of a port through art, will be offered in Barbados (Barbados Photo Adventure), Saint Lucia (Saint Lucia for Art Lovers) and Antigua (The Art of Antigua).
Food lovers can partake in Oceania Cruises’ popular Culinary Discovery Tours and explore the gastronomic landscape of several Caribbean ports. These tours take culinary enrichment to a new level combining hands-on classroom learning in the Bon Appétit Culinary Center with visits to local food markets alongside the ship’s chefs. In Tortola, for example, the Culinary Discovery Tour includes a visit to Good Moon Farm, an organic oasis of plants and crops where the planting is orchestrated around the lunar cycle.
The 1,250-passenger Riviera is purpose-built for epicureans with six open-seating, gourmet restaurants – including a French bistro by Master Chef Jacques Pépin. Interior design highlights include a Lalique-designed grand staircase, elegant public rooms, spacious accommodations and Owner’s Suites furnished exclusively in Ralph Lauren Home.
Guests who book by Sept. 30, will receive two-for-one cruise fares and free air transportation and bonus savings of up to $3,000 per stateroom.