Oceania's Marina the queen of cuisine

Oceania Cruises' Marina.
Oceania Cruises' Marina. Supplied

OCEANIA Cruises and their newly launched ship, Marina, is now offering tapas and wine tastings in their exclusive La Reserve wine tasting room.

These Tapas and Wine Lovers sessions take place daily between noon and 2pm* and guests can choose from a selection of tapas along with a flight of four wines. Guests can then purchase these same wines at a discount to be enjoyed at one of the 10 restaurants on board.

Oceania Cruises is known for its pursuit of culinary excellence and these wine and tapas tastings are just part of a stunning food and wine programme offered on-board Marina (and the soon to be launched Riviera) under the guardianship of celebrated French-American chef and icon, Jacques Pépin. Pépin is the Executive Culinary Director of Oceania Cruises and is working closely with Marina’s crew during its first years of sailing.

Of the 10 restaurants on-board Marina, six are open-dining gourmet restaurants (dining in these venues are at no extra cost to passengers) including Jacques, thefirst eponymous restaurant for Pepin. Jacques draws inspiration from the brasseries of Paris and the bistros of Pépin’s home town of Lyon. Other signature restaurants on board include the modern Asian Red Ginger, Polo Grill for great steaks and Toscana for the best in regional Italian cuisine.

And when you’re not dining, why not head to the Bon Appetit Culinary Centre, the first hands-on cooking school at sea with professionally designed work stations that take up to 24 guests. Trained masterchefs will take you through a variety of classes including those inspired from ports of call. Imagine cooking a paella after a stop in Bilbao or Seville, or what about the Traditional French Feast class after a sojourn in La Rochelle? The Cooking Oceania at Home programme will arm you with recipes from your favourite restaurants on-board.

Another industry first is the wine tasting centre, La Reserve, offering wine seminars and tastings. During the day, you might sample a flight of regional Italian wines the head sommelier has hand-selected from Marina's wine cellar. Evenings are a more exclusive affair with La Reserve transformed into a private dining room which can accommodate up to 24 guests for an intimate, seven-course degustation dinner paired with premium wines.

And if the budget allows, why not book Privée, the ultra-exclusive private dining room where you choose the menu for you and seven of your friends. At US$1000 for a maximum of eight people, why not have one night of ultimate indulgence on board Marina? The rich, red carpet, white throne chairs and custom-made oval table, shadowed by an exquisite chandelier, will make Privée a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Debuting in April 2012, Oceania will launch Riviera, thesister ship to Marina and she will sail her maiden cruise from Barcelona to Athens in a 21-voyage inaugural season of varied itineraries.

Both ships, the grandest in the Oceania fleet, can carry up to 1,250 passengers and encapsulate most what Oceania stands for: the unrivaled combination of the finest cuisine at sea, stylish accommodations, exceptional personalised service, enriched experiences on and offshore, while offering extraordinary value.

Oceania Cruises’ Marina is being acknowledged worldwide as setting the benchmark for gourmet experiences at sea, according to Frank Del Rio, Chairman and CEO of Prestige Cruise Holdings.

Marina and the soon-to-launch Riviera have been purposely built to deliver the best cuisine at sea and I am delighted to report we have really exceeded the company’s and our customer’s expectations. Bon voyage and bon appetite!’ Mr Del Rio said.

Oceania Cruises are currently offering historical savings across 60 selected 2011 and 2012 itineraries.

Visit Oceania Cruises or call 02 9959 1370 for further information.

* Tapas and Wine Lovers will be offered on as many days as possible during Marina itineraries.  There is a nominal charge of US$15 plus service charge per person. 

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