By Gene Sloan, USA TODAY
“We’re a destination-oriented cruise line, and if you’re a destination-oriented cruise line, you should spend as much time in the destinations as possible,” Oceania chairman and CEO Frank Del Rio told cruise writers at Cruise Shipping Miami, the industry’s annual convention.
“Our sailings tend to be longer, so we can afford to linger a little more,” Del Rio added.
Oceania will operate 41 distinct itineraries in Europe in 2012 on four ships: Regatta, Nautica, Marina and the still-under-construction Riviera (scheduled to debut in April, 2012).
In addition to more overnight stays, Del Rio noted the line has added more evening departures to its Europe itineraries for 2012 to give passengers more time in ports.
Del Rio also announced Oceania would include one free hotel night at the start of a cruise with 2012 Europe voyages as well as transfers to the ship. The offer only is available through Aug. 31, he noted.
In all, the line’s ships will call at 145 different ports in Europe in 2012, including 12 ports that are new to the line. Among the new ports: Akureyri, Iceland; Cephalonia, Greece; Batumi Georgia; Catragena, Spain; Cherbourg, France; Motril, Spain; Horta, Azores; Qaqortoq, Greenland; and Trapani, Sicily.
New itineraries for 2012 include Oceania’s first ever voyage to Greenland.
As first reported in February by the Cruise Log, Oceania also plans its first seven-night voyages as part of its 2012 Europe schedule. Until now the nine-year-old line only has offered cruises of 10 nights or longer.
The newly announced 2012 Europe sailings go on sale today.