It has been a successful year for Oceania Cruises. This past April, the line officially christened its newest ship, the elegant 684-guest Sirena in a ceremony in the Port of Barcelona. Her arrival brings the company’s total fleet count to six, and allows it to offer an increasingly diverse array of routes and itineraries. It also frees up sister-ship Insignia to continue operating her massive, six-month-long World Cruise voyages each January.
But the arrival of Sirena is important for more reasons than just increased capacity and better itineraries. Sirena is one of eight R-Class cruise ships that were originally built for now-defunct Renaissance Cruises back in the late 1990’s. When that company went bankrupt in 2001, those eight ships were scattered to the wind, taken in by new operators who ran them with varying degrees of success.
Now, Oceania has become the primary operator of R-Class ships in the world, with four in their fleet. It’s fitting, since the company’s founder, Frank Del Rio, was heavily involved with Renaissance Cruises, acting as its Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Co-Chief Executive Officer for nearly a decade.
Given this, we’ve taken the time to update our Oceania Cruises company overview with information on Sirena, along with updated reviews of the line’s ships. We’re slowly working our way through them, adding new photos and, where relevant, mentioning refit details and or any small (very small) differences that might exist between the fleet.
We’ve also added a brand-new ship review for Sirena, and have updated our Insignia review with newer photographs and more up-to-date information.
What’s truly fascinating is that when Oceania was founded back in 2003, it virtually created the Upper Premium cruise category. Now, it finds itself surrounded by some pretty formidable competition, including Azamara Club Cruises and Viking Ocean Cruises.
The debut of Sirena is just one more way that Oceania can innovate. With six ships, new destinations and new features being introduced all the time, it’s Oceania’s game to lose.