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Oceania Cruises: Activities from art classes & cooking to lectures & cheese-making

Author: Harriet Mallinson

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Oceania Cruises has many reasons to shout about its leading culinary- and destination-focused voyages but just one huge advantage of this cruise line is the incredible range of enriching activities available onboard.

Oceania Cruises boasts six luxurious small ships, which offer expertly crafted voyages all around the world.

The sailings stop off at a raft of fascinating locations but there's plenty to entertain guests onboard too.

Cruisers can join exclusive lectures, cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, art classes and more.

This is what you need to know about life onboard Oceania's ships.

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Artist Loft

Perfect for budding artists, the Artist Loft enrichment centre sees talented artists-in-residence help Oceania Cruises’ guests discover their inner Titian, Dalí or Banksy.

The experts offer step-by-step instruction in classes ranging from painting to sketching, with courses changed regularly.

Guests have the opportunity to paint with oils or watercolours, sketch or create collages under the watchful eye of the pros.

Whether stick men creations are all you can manage, or you consider yourself the next Renoir, there's a class for you, as every level is catered for.

Everyone from beginners to seasoned professionals will find the classes engaging, entertaining and enriching so you can leave the holiday confident you've built on your skills. Take that Picasso.

Artist Loft is available onboard Marina and Riviera and on Insignia world cruises.

Oceania Cruises art class
Oceania Cruises: Art experts offer step-by-step instruction in a range of classes. Credit: Oceania

Lectures

It's not just your artistic capabilities you can hone on an Oceania Cruises’ voyage; your brain can enjoy plenty of exercise, too, thanks to the featured lectures as part of the line's enrichment programme.

Oceania Cruises invites guests to join one of their esteemed guest lecturers who will share their unique cultural and destination expertise.

At these lively and entertaining talks, you can discover the most compelling aspects of the culture, history, natural wonders and cuisine of your cruise region, whether that be in the well-loved cities of the Mediterranean or remote far-flung corners of the South Pacific. You never know what might come in useful at your next pub quiz…

Iconic ports

Western Mediterranean and Atlantic

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Cooking

If making and eating food is more up your street or you still have room for further learning, Oceania Cruises has you covered.

Guests can learn to prepare a variety of exquisite dishes at The Culinary Centre, the line's state-of-the-art cooking school on Marina and Riviera.

Oceania Cruises' dedicated signature sailings host special culinary guests, including its highly respected Executive Culinary Director, Jacques Pépin.

Fingers crossed you'll be impressing friends and family no end with your cooking skills on your return home. Nigella who?

Culinary center jl11
Guests can learn to prepare a variety of exquisite dishes at The Culinary Centre. Credit: Oceania Cruises
O Class Culinary Class
The state-of-the-art cooking school is on the Marina and Riviera. Credit: Oceania

Getting involved

Oceania Cruises also offers a Go Local series of immersive destination tours. These exclusive small-batch tours take you beyond the well-trodden tourist trails and seek to embed guests in the fabric of local communities.

Travellers will experience destinations on an entirely new level when they are welcomed into local homes and businesses and immersed in their way of life.

More than 120 tours are offered throughout Europe, Alaska, and South America with myriad choices of tours that run the gamut from A Day at the Farm in Kusadasi, Turkey; to the Hidden Treasures of Milongas in Buenos Aires, Argentina; to Playing Gaelic Games in Cork, Ireland.

One example of a tour is Fishing with The Natives in Portofino, Italy. Guests get to spend the day at sea with a local fishing crew, watching them haul in the day’s catch.

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The captain and crew will describe their typical day on the stunningly beautiful Ligurian Sea and explain the different methods they use such as casting nets or the traditional palamiti – long lines with hundreds of hooks.

Your hard work is, of course, rewarded with a meal of traditionally prepared, just-caught fish followed by a refreshing dip in the sea off the coast of Portofino. Now that's the life.

Another option is becoming a shepherd for a day in Mahon, Spain. On a family farm in the countryside, you are introduced to the lifestyle and operation of the farm, including the milking and shearing of the sheep. Now there are skills you never knew you needed!

Guests will also learn the intricacies of making goat cheese followed by a meal around the family table when you can sample local cheeses, freshly baked bread, cured meats and of course, delicious local wine. Yummy.

All in all, when you set sail on an Oceania Cruises itinerary, you're bound to go home a much more rounded individual - but how much of that is from the feasting on local delicacies or from the mental enrichment is entirely up to you...

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