Travel advisor Jenny Malka of Atlanta-based Century Travel, a Virtuoso affiliated agency, booked Oceania Cruises’ one-millionth reservation earlier today. This is a significant milestone for Oceania Cruises, which was founded by cruise industry veterans Frank Del Rio and Bob Binder with three, 684-passenger ships – Insignia, Nautica and Regatta. A little more than a decade since its first voyage, the line now operates a five ship fleet following the construction of two additional ships, Marina and Riviera, which debuted in 2011 and 2012 respectively.
“I couldn’t believe that I made the one-millionth booking,” said Malka. “I book many of my clients on vacations with Oceania Cruises because consumers are seeking exceptional value for their vacation dollar and Oceania Cruises delivers that value while providing an upscale experience.”
“Virtuoso has been a trusted partner with Oceania Cruises since its early days, so it only seems fitting that one of our affiliate agencies made this booking,” shares Matthew D. Upchurch, Chairman and CEO of Virtuoso. “We’re honored and very proud to be a part of this remarkable achievement.”
Malka is a Toronto based travel advisor who joined Century Travel in 2002. Century Travel is based in Atlanta and was started in 1985 by Gene Lashley and Peter Lloyd. Century Travel joined the Virtuoso network in 1998 and currently has over 60 advisors throughout North America.
The ambitious mission of Oceania Cruises is to deliver “best in class” cuisine and service while in an inviting, country club-casual environment, all while exploring the world on a wide variety of unique itineraries ranging from 7-days to 180-days. An industry pioneer, Oceania Cruises was the first line to provide two-for-one cruise fares and free airfare with every booking.
“When we started the business, we envisioned a fleet of midsized ships taking people to exotic and interesting locales around the world, serving the finest cuisine at sea and providing exemplary service to our guests.” explains Oceania founder Frank Del Rio. “We’re extremely proud of our efforts, and yet humbled by the loyalty of our guests who embraced this new way of cruising, and the never-ending hard work of our employees, crew and travel partners who all helped us reach this milestone.”
The upper-premium line made a name for itself by offering destination-intensive sailings at a tremendous value, and ongoing partnerships with Bon Appétit and Wine Spectator, as well as a focus on all things culinary have also earned the line the unofficial reputation as the “cruise line for foodies.” Oceania also made major headlines in recent years by launching two new ships – Marina and Riviera, and by announcing a massive $50 million refurbishment of Regatta, Insignia and Nautica.
Oceania Cruises headquarters opened on January 6, 2003 in Miami. The 30,277-ton, 684-guest Regatta, the company’s flagship, was christened in June of that year in Barcelona, and sailed her maiden voyage on July 5 departing from Barcelona on a 14-day voyage to London. Regatta was followed by sister ships Insignia, christened March 2004 in Monte Carlo, and Nautica, christened November 2005 in Istanbul. The first new build for Oceania Cruises, Marina, debuted in February 2011, followed by sister ship Riviera in March 2012.