Oceania Cruises' luxury ship Regatta docks at the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Sydney on December 12, 2022

Seafaring for foodies | Dock of the day | All decked out

Sexy and glamorous. Red carpet ready. Did someone say 'rescue fantasy'?

Small but perfectly formed, Regatta is back in Sydney and dressed to kill.

Imagine you’ve arrived a little early at Jay Gatsby’s drawing room in West Egg, Long Island, ahead of a lively soiree.

The marble floors are being mopped and polished to a shine; there’s the sound of carpets being vacuumed; the Christmas tree, its backdrop a grand stairway, is festooned with red silk bows; trolleys of wine are being discreetly parked. The piano tuner arrives.

That’s how it feels in the tranquil Reception area aboard Oceania Cruises Regatta, which has, earlier this week, docked at Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal, disgorging passengers into The Rocks and beyond.

There was a hiatus as the 11-deck ship was prepared for its evening departure, a 35-day voyage that will return to Sydney via Bali.

Regatta docks at Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal, December 12

Oceania Cruises is celebrating its return into Sydney Harbour to spend the summer season in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the South Pacific. On the agenda: voyages such as Fjords & Tasman Tales, Tahitian Legends, the circumnavigation that is Australian Panorama, and New Zealand Discovery.

General Manager Victor Conceião was on hand to take a group of travel media and travel advisors on a guided tour of the elegant ship whose 400-strong crew attends to 656 passengers.

Regatta and the other ships that belong to Oceania Cruises’ R-class of ships – Insignia, Sirena and Nautica – have undergone a $100 million refresh. It’s being called a “re-inspiration”, one that focuses on new décor, lighter colour palettes and neo-classical furnishings, as well as exceptional Murano glass sculptures and modern chandeliers.

The Library aboard Regatta, a home away from home

The hotspots include the bird’s eye view from Horizons on deck 10, a putting green, a sophisticated classic library, the Aquamar Spa and Vitality Centre, a Martini Bar and Piano Bar, and chic Penthouse suites.

We have lunch in a richly curtained dining room (one of four restaurants onboard), our food served on Versace plates.

Sevruga caviar sits on vodka-lime cream atop light-as-air potato fritters. Gatsby would, I suspect, appreciate the Maine lobster ravioli with its spring vegetables and basil foam. Beef fillet with a parmesan wafer crown, the plate dotted with truffled semolina gnocchi, has as its seafood competition teriyaki black cod with stir-fried udon noodles and pineapple curry sauce.

Sevruga caviar atop a vodka-lime cream and light-as-air potato fritter; underpinned by Versace

Oceania Cruises takes pride in its food, having picked up several epicurean awards this year including “best dining” gongs from Cruise & Travel and Signature Luxury Travel & Style. It’s the little things that count: 10 types of olive oil (yes, there is an olive oil sommelier in the Toscana restaurant), several balsamic vinegars, and bread baskets whose contents are made on board from flour sourced from just the one farm in France.

Chef Alexis Quaretti was named as Director of Culinary Programs and Development earlier this year. Originally from Fontainebleau, France, Quaretti has worked at world-class restaurants including the one Michelin star Château de Marçay, the three Michelin star L’Arpège (where his love for vegetable-based cuisine evolved), and the two Michelin star restaurant, La Pyramide.

Gatsby chic Maine lobster ravioli luxuriating in basil foam

Foodies are well-served with several celebrated culinary experiences.

Exclusively available onboard Oceania Cruises’ two O Class vessels, Riviera and Marina is a six-course Dom Pérignon Experience that includes lemon caviar, Brittany blue lobster, black truffle risotto, and seared sashimi-style Wagyu beef.

Those same two vessels offer Private Dining at Privée, a wow factor dining room at sea for up to 10 people, lavishly decorated with a custom-designed table by American furniture designer Dakota Jackson, oversized white leather thrones, bold red accents and a dazzling gold Venini chandelier.

La Reserve by Wine Spectator is dinner for those who love sommelier-led tastings and curated pairings.

Roasted teriyaki black cod with udon noodles and sesame togarashi crust with pineapple curry sauce


Oceania Cruises is owned by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd, whose brands include Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, with, all up, a fleet of 28 ships. The company has nine additional ships scheduled for delivery over the next five years. There are more than 600 destinations to tempt recidivist cruise passengers. A starting price for a 15-Voyage on Regatta is $10,880 per person for an Inside Stateroom.

Keenly awaited is Oceania’s Vista whose inaugural voyage, from May 20, 2023, is a 12-night cruise that starts in Trieste, Italy and ends in Athens, with calls in Split, Croatia; Bari, Italy; Kotor, Montenegro; Mykonos, Philippi, Santorini and Rhodes, Greece; Kusadasi, Turkey, and an overnight in Istanbul.

Vista will introduce Aquamar Kitchen, created in the pursuit of wellness and offering nourishment for body and soul, complemented by laidback luxe coastal décor.

Full steam ahead.


To check out upcoming destinations and pricings, visit www.oceaniacruises.com

Main photo: Supplied. All others by Susan Skelly


Editor. Writer. Traveller. Keeping tabs on all things fab. susan@excessallareas.com.au

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Copyright © Susan Skelly 2020.