Oceania Cruises is still extremely young as a brand, having only opened its doors to passengers for the first time in 2002. The line was founded by Frank Del Rio and Joe Watters and while it sits as a premium cruise option, certainly straddles the line between premium and luxury with its ultra-comfortable service.

In 2014, Oceania Cruises was purchased by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and now sits as the middle child in a family that also comprises the namesake brand Norwegian Cruise Line and the ultra-luxury Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

With a capacity of 1,252 passengers and served by 780 crew, the Oceania Marina is the first newbuild ship ordered by Oceania Cruises, constructed by Italy’s Fincantieri shipyard and delivered brand new in 2011. Guests are housed in 626 staterooms, of which the vast majority offer a balcony. In fact, there are only 26 cabins classes as interiors, while only 20 more feature a window.

The ship is remarkably spacious, especially in the atrium area which resembles an elegant manor including Victorian-style railings. Lounge areas to the sides provide seating if this is the part of the ship you’d like to spend your time, but the distinct lack of seating in this central space is not an issue and has been well-designed to offer a spacious central zone.

Oceania’s tagline of “The Finest Cuisine At Sea” is aptly demonstrated in many ways on a daily basis. In addition to its nine dining venues ranging from a sizeable Grand Dining Room to a private ten-seat venue which can be reserved for a special occasion or private party, a 12-station culinary centre allows guests to learn new cooking techniques from a specialist chef and practice new recipes which can easily be replicated at home.

Cruise Advice was fortunate to be invited onboard Oceania Marina during a recent visit to Sydney, where we enjoyed dinner at its fine Italian dining outlet Toscana before raising the anchor for a gentle sailing under the Harbour Bridge to White Bay.