Sail With Oceania Cruises To The Mediterranean And French Polynesia

Good food and drink, genuine human connections, immersive travel and cultural experiences: these are the things that make life worth living. Travel by sea ticks all these boxes. There’s a certain romanticism that comes with ocean voyages: of warm, balmy nights out on deck under a harvest moon; the excitement of adventure as your ship pulls into the next port, with new sights, tastes, and experiences to unearth around every corner.

Discover your own version of la dolce vita or the ‘sweet life’ aboard Oceania Cruises. With over 94 distinct itineraries planned for the Mediterranean for 2024, a trip aboard the luxury cruise is a chance to dive into the region’s storied history, culture, and cuisine. Departing from cities including Rome, Barcelona, Lisbon, Athens and London, sailings range from seven to 59 days, with carefully crafted experiences aboard the Marina, Riviera, Sirena, and the cruise’s latest addition, Vista.

Explore the rich traditions of Mediterranean cooking on specially curated excursions on shore, such as the Food & Wine Trail and Culinary Discovery Tours. Designed for epicurean travellers, these intimate tours offer insider access and immersive food and wine experiences, ranging from visits to generations-old vineyards, to tastings at wine cellars and exclusive restaurants. Highlight destinations span iconic cities, resort towns, as well as lesser-known ports of call.

As one of the most visited gems of the Mediterranean, Santorini has much to offer, even for seasoned travellers. Dine al fresco and people-watch over hearty servings of fava, moussaka, and saganaki, as you sip on cocktails and soak in views of the sparkling Ionian Sea. The more adventurous can climb to the rim of a still-active volcano on the islet of Nea Kameni, and then take a refreshing dip in the warm thermal springs.

Alight from your cruise at the historic city of Valencia, famed for its fresh seafood, oranges, and charming old town. It’s also the historic paella capital of Spain, affording guests a chance to visit a local farm and pick fresh ingredients to make your own authentic paella.

To enjoy some of the most picturesque vistas, stop by Provence in southern France, where culinary and cultural experiences abound. Wander its quaint streets and the enchanting squares of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, discover where Van Gogh lived in the 18th century, hunt for black truffle ‘diamonds’ in the Provencal countryside, and go wine and cheese tasting in Avignon before exploring the medieval villages of Luberon.

Island Utopia

For those seeking tropical paradise, chart a course for lesser-known coastlines amidst the sparkling waters of French Polynesia - home to some of the most remote and beautiful islands in the world. Over 100 sailings covering the region as well as the Caribbean are planned for the 2024 and 2025 season, taking travellers to boutique ports and off-the-beaten-track islands aboard Oceania’s small, luxurious ships.

Sailing from Miami, Cartagena, New York, Los Angeles, Bridgetown, Panama and Papeete, voyages range from seven to 16 days and span over 60 ports of call. Must-sees include vibrant Papeete on the island of Tahiti, the paradise island of Nuku Hiva, and Bora Bora, often touted as one of the most romantic destinations in the world.

Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia offers attractions including the lively Marche de Papeete where tradesmen, fishermen, artisans, and local folk congregate, as well as the relaxing Jardins Paofai, a manicured oasis of green facing a sea of blue. Enjoy observing the surfers on their longboards and explore other local highlights like the Faarumai Waterfalls, the Arahoho Blowhole, and the Maraa Fern Grottos.

At Nuku Hiva, visit the enchanting Vaipo Waterfalls. Feel the warm black sand as you stroll barefoot along the beaches, marvel at the giant tiki at Piki Vehini, or go for an exhilarating all-terrain vehicle excursion around the craggy island.

On Tahiti’s sister island of Moorea, bask in a dreamy atmosphere where colours seem to take on new vibrancy: mountains blanketed in carpets of green, ivory-white beaches, and limpid blue waters. Enjoy a canoe ride through a crystalclear lagoon, snorkel, scuba dive the reefs, or commune with nature with a hike up to Afareaitu Waterfalls.

Gourmet Traveller