Top 5 Reasons to Join our 15th Oceania Club Reunion Cruise

By Senior Oceania Club Manager Neli Arias

With spring just around the corner, summer travel is on everyone’s minds and our next Oceania Club Reunion Cruise is on mine. We’ve planned some exciting festivities for this year’s Reunion Cruise and I’m so looking forward to exploring the coastal villages of New England along with the tropical beauty of Bermuda with our guests.

If you’ve been thinking about joining us on our next Reunion Cruise, we have 5 excellent reasons why you should. Happy sailing and continue reading below for the details on our 2018 Reunion Cruise!

Cottages, Coves & Coasts | 10 DaysInsignia | July 15, 2018 | New York to New York

1. It’s an unforgettable 10-day celebration of old friendships, new memories and enriching travel experiences.

2. Convenient embarkation and disembarkation in New York City. Enjoy the perfect getaway with the added simplicity of departing from Manhattan.

3. Special cocktail receptions, members-only dinners and commemorative gifts. You’ll have the chance to mix and mingle with other travelers that feel at home on board just like you.

4. UNESCO-protected St. George. A picturesque 400-year-old town, horse-drawn carriage rides, fish chowder to die for, cobblestone streets with names like Petticoat Lane and world-famous golf courses – need we say more?

5. Exclusive shore excursions. Each year we craft special shore excursions just for the Oceania Club members on our Reunion Cruise – these bring you unique travel experiences and insider glimpses of the local culture that would otherwise not be offered. This year, join us as we enjoy Beneath the Breakers in Newport; Freedom Trail & Paul Revere’s House in Boston; and our Maine Lobster Experience in Bar Harbor.

I hope to see you aboard Insignia this July!


NEW: Lunchtime Fare Available at The Bistro on All Ships


Debuted with great acclaim aboard Sirena in 2016, The Bistro is being introduced aboard our other five ships – Regatta, Insignia, Nautica, Marina and Riviera. Offered every day during lunch at The Grand Dining Room, you can enjoy cherished lunchtime staples from The Grand Dining Room that are “always available”, along with daily-changing regional specialties on the new The Bistro menu.

A sampling of some of Jacques Pépin’s favorite bistro-style dishes like the crisp Salade Niçoise and a warm Croque-Monsieur accompanied by the perfect glass of wine such as a refreshing Coteaux du Languedoc rosé offer the perfect way to be French for the afternoon, anywhere in the world over.

Big, Bold Flavors From Around The Globe
Lunchtime at The Bistro also offers 14 new Taste of the World selections from Cuba, Mexico, Scandinavia, Italy, Asia, Greece, France, Lebanon, Spain, Morocco, England, Philippines, the Caribbean, and India. Each Taste of the World dish offers a selection of six different local or regional specialties that have been inspired by our culinary team member’s roots and their travels, and can be ordered as an entrée or as an appetizer that is perfect for sharing. Some of the more off-the-beaten-path dishes that guests will find include pickled vegetables and roasted lemongrass chicken from the Philippines, lamb kefta from Lebanon, aubergine chickpea salad from Morocco, and marinated herring with polar bread from Scandinavia.

“The Bistro offers the ultimate combination of lunchtime Grand Dining Room classics that our guests have known and loved and is now infused with Jacques Pépin’s hallmark specialties from France and around the world, to create an afternoon experience that will become an instant favorite,” stated Bob Binder, President & CEO of Oceania Cruises.

The Bistro is currently available aboard Insignia and Riviera and will be available aboard Regatta, Nautica, Marina, and Sirena by the end of March 2018. View sample menus here.


Introducing Our New 2020 Around the World Voyage


We are thrilled to share our newest 180-day Around the World journey, which explores 95 ports on four continents across 27 time zones for voyage truly unlike any other. Departing Miami on January 8, 2020, this journey aboard Insignia features our most expansive focus ever on Japan with nine intriguing ports of call, and for the first time ever on an Oceania Cruises global journey, circumnavigates South America and explores the breadth of Alaska from the Aleutian Islands to the Inside Passage. The complete itinerary is available for viewing online now and reservations open on March 7, 2018.

The World Less Traveled
Though visiting an impressive 95 destinations in 38 countries with an indulgent 17 overnight port visits, Insignia’s ambitious odyssey is much more than the sum of its celebrated ports. On this incredible journey, you’ll transit the newly-expanded Panama Canal from Miami to San Francisco while exploring picturesque ports in Central America, Mexico and Baja California and then circle South America from the cloud-kissed ruins of Machu Picchu to the samba beat of Rio de Janeiro, calling on a wide array of iconic and boutique ports throughout Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Brazil.

Next, Insignia makes a transatlantic journey to South Africa as you discover off-the-beaten-path ports in Senegal, Gambia, Ivory Coast and Ghana, along with Africa’s magnificent wildlife. Your exploration continues along the dramatic landscapes and world-class cities throughout Asia including visits to Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, and China as well as numerous alluring destinations in Japan. You’ll then have the chance to explore rugged Alaska and the Aleutian Islands before this grand odyssey culminates with a Panama Canal transit, inviting you to explore the best of The Americas.

More Options for Unforgettable World Journeys
Although our 180-day voyage from Miami to San Francisco on January 8, 2020 is our centerpiece journey, we have created several flexible options. Choose from five other curated itinerary options, embarking in either Miami or San Francisco and ranging up to 200 unforgettable days.

2020 Around the World Voyage Highlights

• Continents visited: 4
• Countries visited: 38
• Time zones crossed: 27
• Islands visited: 24
• Ports visited: 95
• UNESCO World Heritage sites accessible: 67
• Overnight stays (including two-night stays): 17
• Nautical miles sailed: 44,090
• Oceans cruised: 3
• Seas cruised: 18
• Number of times equator crossed: 4
• International Date Line crossed: 1
• Largest population: Tokyo, Japan
• Smallest population: Port Stanley, Falkland Islands
• New ports: 6 | Aomori, Japan; Dutch Harbor, Alaska; Hakodate, Japan; Oarai, Japan; Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia and Santa Barbara, California.

Take a deeper look at this voyage now and start planning the journey of your lifetime!


Mark Twain’s Bermuda


By Sandy Cares

Most people know Samuel Langhorne Clemens by his famous pen name Mark Twain, author of literary classics such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. But did you know that Twain visited the stunning island of Bermuda a total of eight times in his lifetime? The famous writer left such an impression on the island that locals created various sit-by-me-statues of him and placed them around the island to honor him.

Favorite Sights
Twain was the type of person who liked to play billiards or sit on the veranda of the pink Princess Hotel watching the vessels in the harbor. He thought, “There are several “sights” in the Bermudas, of course, but they are easily avoided. This is a great advantage—one cannot have it in Europe. Bermuda is the right country for a jaded man to “loaf” in.”

Another attraction he enjoyed was the India Rubber Tree on Queen Street in Hamilton. Member of the fig family, the gigantic limbs, the large leaves and the remarkable rooting system may all give root as to why the author was so impressed by it.

Most Visited Spots
Built in 1652 as a private home, Twain also visited the famous Tom Moore’s Tavern, known back then as Walsingham House whose namesake, the Irish Poet Thomas Moore, had written some of his great verses under the resident calabash tree, which still stands in the property about 180 meters away from the building.

The Bermuda Aquarium ranked among his favorite places in Bermuda where he regarded the gaping grouper fish as politicians with their mouths wide open.

Twain would also visit the stunning Crystal Caves, which he described as “a brilliant lake of clear water under our feet, and all the roof overhead splendid with shining stalactites, thousands and thousands brown and pink and other tints.”


Twain’s Love for Bermuda
Little about Bermuda escaped Mark Twain’s notice and approval, as he once mused, “You go to heaven if you want to, I’d rather stay right here in Bermuda.”

In April of 1910, the famous author left Bermuda for the last time and died in New York a few days later. He came into the world with Halley’s Comet in 1835 and wanted to depart with the comet’s return in 1910. He got his wish. Halley’s Comet appeared the following month.

Join Sandy Cares this summer in Bermuda aboard Sirena and Insignia:

Sirena | June 23, 2018 | Miami to Lisbon
Insignia – August 4, 2018 New York to New York
Insignia – August 14, 2018 New York to New York
Sirena – August 31, 2018 Rome to Miami


Quilting Around the World 2018

Every year on board Insignia’s Around the World voyage, our guests join in the tradition of putting together a quilt as a memento of their journey. Last year’s quilting experience was so popular, our guests ended up making two quilts instead of one – and this year’s quilt is off to an excellent start. Guests have already begun selecting different destinations and ship themes and creating quilt blocks with the guidance of Anna Smith, ATW Quilt Coordinator and Tricia Blake, ATW Hostess.


The quilt block themes, which feature a colorful range of destinations from the 2018 Around the World itinerary as well as life on board, have created such a thrill that many more guests are now planning to shop for more fabric and embellishments during the rest of the world voyage. In addition to the large quilt designed during this year’s voyage, a unique photo-transfer project was kicked off and embraced by many of our Around the World cruisers. Large take-home maps with embroidery and beads that highlight every stop on the 2018 Around the World cruise will be created as unique mementos of this once-in-a-lifetime voyage that forges so many memories and friendships.


In fact, guests from previous Around the World voyages will be joining this cruise later to contribute their quilting expertise and creativity, adding a sense of continuity to this cherished project. Near the end of this cruise, raffle tickets will be sold to Around the World guests, and the coveted quilt will find a home with a fortunate winner. The money raised will go to the Insignia Crew Fund, another wonderful reason why guests love this exciting and creative project so much.

Stay tuned for more updates in the coming months, plus details on our all-new 2020 Around the World journey, opening for reservations in March!

Anna Smith is a resident of Kamloops, BC and is the ATW Quilt Coordinator aboard Insignia. Her husband, David Smith, is a frequent travel photography guest lecturer. They have visited over 135 countries on six continents. For more details, visit Anna and David’s website here.