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Thinking of a cruise? From sailing ships to expedition cruises, river ships and barges, the options are endless.

Cruising is a popular vacation option for many travellers and the cruise industry continues to flourish with cruise lines adding new ships to their fleets year after year. There are so many options for ships and itineraries; there is likely a cruise vacation that would appeal to virtually everyone. From sailing ships to expedition cruises, river ships and barges – the options are endless.

Many of the contemporary, main stream cruise lines have been introducing bigger and bigger ships year after year. Mega ships now berth more than 4000 passengers on each voyage with cruise ships resembling more a floating resort than an actual cruising vessel. These ships are great for families or individuals looking for non-stop entertainment and unlimited options and activities. But they’re not for everyone. Some cruise travellers prefer to avoid large crowds and are looking for a more intimate and classic cruise experience.

While the contemporary cruise lines were competing to have the largest ships sailing, Oceania Cruises made its debut in 2002 introducing three small, intimate cruise ships: Nautica, Regatta and Insignia. With a maximum of 686 passengers, guests won’t feel lost in the crowd. Each vessel is identical in floor plan and amenities, and promises the guests a luxury cruise experience in a “county club casual” environment. Tuxedos and formal attire is never required.

Oceania offers fantastic itineraries ranging from 10 – 35 days. There are no children’s programs or facilities on board. These voyages are designed for couples or singles looking for a refined yet relaxed cruise vacation.

During the summer months, all three ships are in Europe offering an extensive array of European itineraries. During the winter months you’ll find voyages in South America and the Caribbean. The collection of Asian itineraries is equally impressive, and Oceania has recently added Australia and the South Pacific to their sailing options.

The smaller passenger count makes the cruise experience less structured, and this is most evident in the dining experience. Unlike larger ships serving meals to 4000 passengers in 2 scheduled dining services, Oceania has an open dining policy. There are five signature restaurants on board an Oceania ship including a steak house and an Italian restaurant, allowing guests to dine when, where and with whom they choose. The dining program is designed and overseen by legendary celebrity chef, Jacques Pepin, who also sails on Oceania hosting special culinary themed cruises.

From the Mediterranean to the Baltics, Asia to Australia and the Caribbean to South America, an Oceania cruise is a wonderful experience for those looking for less crowds and a relaxed contemporary environment.

For the cruise of a lifetime join us for an escorted voyage to the Baltics departing in September 2009. This package includes round trip air from Toronto (other gateways available) all taxes and fuel surcharges, airport transfers and pre-paid gratuities.

Scandinavian Splendors

Regatta departs September 5, 2009