(9:54 a.m. EDT) -- Oceania Cruises has completed the refurbishment of Insignia -- the first of its three R-class ships to undergo an extensive overhaul as part of a $50 million investment. The 30,277-ton, 684-passenger ship officially returned to the fleet May 8 following a two-year charter to Hapag-Lloyd.
The face-lift, which took place in Marseilles, included a transformation of the suites, staterooms and most public rooms; with the addition of some of the most popular features on the line's O-class ships.
New amenities include Barista's, Oceania's coffee bar, which serves complimentary Illy-brand espressos and cappuccinos throughout the day, and an updated Terrace Cafe with a new state-of-the-art grill with cooked-to-order items including steak, chops and lobster tail. New bathroom elements include oversized showers in the Owner's and Vista suites and all cabins received new decor.
Oceania also added new steam rooms and changing rooms to the Canyon Ranch Spa, and replaced the old Sports Deck cabanas with a miniature golf course, shuffleboard courts and a selection of deck games.
Similar refurbishments are being carried out on sister ships Nautica and Regatta, which are being dry-docked in Marseilles and Vancouver respectively. Nautica will return to service on May 16 with Regatta following on June 7. All three ships were built between 2003 and 2005.-- By Jeannine Williamson, Contributor