Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2023

66 INTERVIEW A taste for Oceania Rebecca Barnes sits down with Oceania Cruises’ Bernard Carter to talk anniversaries, new ships and elevated onboard experiences Navigating the way out of a global crisis that has changed the way the world travels was never going to be easy, but Oceania Cruises is not in the business to fall behind. Since restrictions eased, the so-called foodies’ favourite line has been working with industry colleagues within Cruise Lines International Association across the UK, Europe and globally to ensure a smooth and successful transition back to normality. And with returning and first-time customers booking well in advance across the board, 2023 is looking buoyant says Bernard Carter, vice president and managing director of EMEA at the brand. “It’s a big year for us as we celebrate our 20th anniversary and prepare to welcome Vista, our first new ship in more than a decade in May,” he says. “Further to this, our ambitious OceaniaNEXT programme continues apace with the reinspiration of our two larger ships. Riviera has recently just come out of dry dock and the response from guests and crew has been incredible – she looks better than new!” Vista’s sister ship, Allura, will join the fleet in spring 2025. Oceania Cruises’ fleet expansion is part of parent company Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ ambitious growth plans for all three of its brands, with the group’s president and CEO Frank J. Del Rio saying: “We have many, many unserved and underserved markets that will bode well for our growth.” Branching out to new destinations and increasing the group’s global footprint is where the premium brand sees the most opportunity. And in line with other “ We are seeing people booking higher-end accommodations and also further in advance ” Oceania Vista will be the first new ship to join the fleet in more than a decade May 2023