Oceania Cruises' Jason Worth Makes A Case for A Culinary-Focused Journey at Sea

by Priyanka Elhence
29 May 2024

Jason Worth, Vice President of International Sales, on what makes Oceania Cruises the world’s leading culinary- and destination-focused cruise line.

Oceania Cruises, a wholly owned subsidiary of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd, boasts a fleet of eight luxurious, designer-inspired ships carrying a maximum of 1,250 guests, featuring The Finest Cuisine at Sea and destination-rich itineraries. Oceania Cruises’ curated travel experiences call on more than 600 marquee and boutique ports in more than 100 countries, on voyages that range from seven to more than 200 days.

Riviera, Oceania Cruises’ small, luxury ship, was recently in Singapore in April for a one-day visit as part of its turnaround voyage from Europe, setting sail for a new, 16-day adventure from Singapore to Dubai.

Recently renovated in 2022, the Riviera seamlessly blends sophistication with a contemporary flair for a casual yet fine and elegant ambiance. Designer touches are found everywhere onboard, from the opulent Lalique Grand Staircase to the spacious and stunning 2,000 sqft Owner's Suites, highlighting the finest residential design and furnishings possible at sea.

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Jason Worth, Vice President of International Sales, Oceania Cruises

On this occasion, I spoke with Jason Worth, Vice President of International Sales, Oceania Cruises, about the company’s diverse culinary experiences and upcoming additions to its fleet.

“Although there are geographic differences, a key unifying theme in our guests is their interest in our beautiful itineraries and our food and culinary experiences,” Worth reveals. “We have unique sailings, with bespoke ports of call, more time in port, and more overnight stays. Our guests love the cooking classes at The Culinary Center, as well as the inclusions on gourmet dining at our specialty restaurants; champagne, wine and beer at lunch and dinner; shore excursion credits; and wifi, thanks to our simply MORE offer.”

Created to elevate the guest experience, Oceania Cruises’ simply MORE value promise translates to a virtually fully inclusive voyage fare. Complimentary vintage champagnes, premium wines, and international beers during lunch and dinner; all-inclusive dining; and a shore excursion credit of up to $1,400 per stateroom (credit varies by voyage length) are all included, giving travellers the greatest value in luxury cruising yet.


Latest Initiatives at Oceania Cruises

Executive Culinary Director Eric Barale, Brand and Culinary Ambassador Giada De Laurentiis, Executive Culinary Advisor Jacques Pépin and Executive Culinary Director Alexis Quaretti

Says Worth, “Our most exciting (current) announcement is that we are embarking on a new journey with Giada De Laurentiis, celebrated Italian-American chef, author, restaurateur and Emmy Award-winning food personality as our Brand and Culinary Ambassador. De Laurentiis will also co-chair the line’s new Culinary Advisory Board, alongside renowned chef Jacques Pepin, a founding member of Oceania Cruises’ culinary team and the line’s original Executive Culinary Director.”

The Culinary Advisory Board focuses on guiding, developing, and reinforcing Oceania Cruises’ commitment to serving The Finest Cuisine at Sea®, as well as inviting acclaimed chefs and artisans from around the world to join the initiative as Oceania Cruises develops the next chapter in its culinary legacy. Co-Chairs De Laurentiis and Pepin also work closely with Oceania Cruises’ Executive Culinary Directors and Master Chefs of France, Chef Alexis Quaretti and Chef Eric Barale, who play key roles in developing the scope of the Culinary Advisory Board.

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Standing Out Through Food

“Food is the foundation of what we do onboard each of our ships and globally in the destinations that we visit. As the only true gourmet-focused fleet in the world, we have more galley space and more fresh food storage than any other cruise line,” says Worth.

“Oceania Cruises also has the highest percentage of culinary personnel devoted to the dining experience, with one chef to every ten guests. In fact, half of our crew onboard is dedicated to either cooking or serving food. We have consistently invested in creative ways to evolve our guest experiences through OceaniaNEXT initiatives to launch an array of new product enhancements across our luxury fleet, including new dining experiences and reimagined menus.”

Oceania Cruises' Marina

Riviera and sister ship Marina were the very first true foodie ships in the world, the first ships ever to have an onboard cooking school, with more galley and fresh food storage space than any other ship. They are now joined by Vista and Allura, giving Oceania Cruises the highest percentage of culinary personnel devoted to the dining experience than any other cruise company, with a market-leading staffing ratio of two crew members for every three guests – the highest ratio of chef to guests. 

Launching in October 2024, Oceania Cruises’ Marina has also announced its first annual ‘Culinary Luminaries’ Cruise’, poised to be the ultimate cruise for food lovers, hosted by Master Chefs Barale and Quaretti. “The 1,250-guest ship will sail from Valletta, Malta, to Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy, on 16 October 2024, calling at ports in Croatia, Greece, and Italy. From immersive Culinary Discovery Tours™ ashore to hands-on cooking classes back on board, guests can explore local cuisines and different cultural flavours. This is a natural evolution for us with a unique opportunity being the only cruise line to have two of its chefs inducted into the prestigious Maîtres Cuisiniers de France,” continues Worth.

Elevating The Finest Cuisine at Sea®, Riveria’s refurbishment includes the addition of new dining options including Aquamar Kitchen, a wellness-focused dining venue (which debuted on Vista earlier this year), an all-day poolside ice cream parlor, a new casual al fresco Italian trattoria, as well as The Bakery at Baristas. Furthermore, Privée, the fleet’s exclusive and intimate private dining space, continues to host signature fine dining pairings, such as the Dom Pérignon Experience.


In the Pipeline

“Culinary excellence is an integral part of Oceania Cruises’ brand DNA, as we constantly strive to elevate the finest dining experiences for our guests as they sail with us around the world. Looking ahead, we’re very excited to welcome our eighth vessel, Allura, in 2025, our second 1,200-guest Allura Class ship, following in the footsteps of sister ship Vista (which debuted in May 2023). The opulent newbuild will boast standard 291 sq ft staterooms, larger than many entry-level suites on some ultra-luxury cruise lines,” shares Worth. 

Other highly anticipated highlights onboard the upcoming Allura include a new onboard Creperie, serving freshly made crepes and waffles on order in the morning and gelatos in the afternoon, as well as onboard enrichment including art classes at the Artist Loft, numerous guest speakers, and sommelier demonstrations during exclusive Sommelier’s Choice and Cellar Master’s Wine Pairing Luncheons.

“Lastly, beyond Allura, we are continuing to focus on our pipeline and have recently announced the launch of two new 1,450-guest Oceania Cruises ships, whose deliveries are scheduled for 2027 and 2029 respectively. More details to come soon,” says Worth.

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