Five star – luxury cruise line Oceania Cruises seduces in 2016 with powdered sugar beaches, fragrant hibiscus and the exotic charms of the Caribbean. The cruise line, noted for its focus on food and the finest of French cuisine, provides a spectacular range of cruise offerings to take in the diverse and exotic sites that make this part of the world so unique.
“Oceania Cruises is in a class of its own, offering unparalleled value and luxury. The Caribbean is a popular destination for South Africans, who will particularly appreciate the cruise line’s Shore Excursion Collections, which offer insight into the culture, history and cuisine in each port of call,” said Margarethe Booysen, Luxury Brand Manager of Cruises International, which represents Oceania Cruises in South Africa. Guests aboard the Oceania ships the Riviera, Regatta and Insignia going to the Caribbean can expect a variety of unusual and breathtaking activities – such as scuba diving along the coral reef in the Cayman or dawdling among stingrays at the Stingray City Sandbar, one of the few locations in the world where man can interact with these rare and reticent creatures. Oceania also offers a guided tour of the Grand Cayman’s Underwater Marine Park from an Atlantis XI submarine, at a depth of 100 feet. Nature enthusiasts may choose to go on tours to see endangered species such as green turtles and the elegant pink flamingos in Salinas, walk through the exclusive Ardastra Gardens & Zoo in the Bahamas, or explore the uninhabited islands around Grand Turk.
For those who are fitter and more energetic, a five km eco hike at the Hacienda Tijax, a preserved rainforest in Guatemala may be just the ticket. The tree top hike takes place on wooden flats suspended 60 ft above the ground. The Caribbean cruise also offers something for the foodies with tours of the world’s most historic rum distilleries such as the One Barrel Rum in Belize and the renowned Barcadi Rum distillery. Cultural enthusiasts can also listen to guest lectures traditional Mayan culture or take a tour of the Pink House – an old colonial French home, which has been converted into a gallery for local artists.
“Cruising offers great value for money – because everything you need in order to have an extraordinary vacation is bundled into one expense. The fare usually includes accommodation, airfare, airport transfers, food, activities and evening entertainment. Cruises can also relax about budgeting while on the cruise,” said Booysen. In addition, cruising enables holidaymakers to tick off many holiday destinations on their travel bucket list. In addition to the allure of seeing many new places on one trip, you are also able to travel with super efficiency: no need to pack and unpack your luggage, transportation and accommodation are pre-arranged and there are no visa issues. The Oceania Cruises in the Caribbean are between seven to 12 days in duration. Excursions may vary by cruise ship and date of sailing.