Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, which now owns the Oceania and Regent Seven Seas brands, has announced that it has purchased the former 604 guest Ocean Princess, a vessel originally launched in 1999  as an R-class ship with now defunct Renaissance Cruises. The Ocean Princess, once named the Tahitian Princess,  will undergo a 35-day, $40 million refurbishment in Marseille and will join the Oceania fleet in late April 2016.Oceania Serena

During its time in dry dock, the Sirena will be outfitted with Oceania’s signature Toscano and Polo Grill Restaurants as well as The Barristas coffee bar. This will give Oceania four near-identical R-ships of the same size and design.

Industry insiders seem to believe that a 600-700 guest ship is perfect for more exotic itineraries where the financial commitment of a mid-size or mega ship is too great a financial risk.

In February, itineraries for the Sirena will be announced with bookings for the inaugural sailing season opening on March 4th.  The ship is registered in the Marshall Islands because …………………. well our readers can surely figure that one out. Or is it just that the Marshall Islands has such a huge professional labor force?