MS Sirena – elegant Oceania ship on a Hanseatic cruise
You can find all Sirena pics here under Views of Sirena.
Home is home and remains the home. Who will see that differently? I am therefore particularly pleased to set course to the north – more precisely: to Travemünde, next to the hanseatic city of Lübeck.
Travemünde offers, in addition to its long beach, the successful promenade and the Priwall opposite, various attractions. In addition to relaxing by the water or enjoying one of the numerous cafes and restaurants, there are also diverse activities: How about a visit to Germany’s oldest lighthouse, the sand sculpture exhibition or a stroll through the marina? Or would you prefer a visit to the historic four-masted barque Passat or the Baltic Sea aquarium? Whatever… There is plenty to experience in my former region. The busy seaport also presents a lively shipping traffic (almost) to touch. Can there be anything more beautiful?
At Ostpreussenkai, Oceania Cruises with MS Sirena does the honors and docks almost in front of my „former home“. At the same time, this ship visit is season finale for cruise ships in Travemünde for 2022. I embark on the small and exclusive cruise ship for SHIPS@SEA: Boarding! Come with me into the noble, floating world of Oceania.
MS Sirena – a survey
Built in France in 1999, the ship initially began its career with Renaissance Cruises. After the company went bankrupt, Princess Cruises took over the ship. In 2016, it makes the switch to the Oceania fleet. MS Sirena was given her current name and was refurbished and modernized at a cost of $40 million. Since then, the 30,000-gt, 181-meter-long noble cruise ship has been cruising the seas with just under 700 guests. The flag state of the agile Sirena belongs to the Marshall Islands. Hand on heart: Do you know ad hoc where they are? I have to think about it for a moment and then it comes clear to me. Halfway between Hawaii and Papua New Guinea is one of the smallest countries in the world – only 53,000 people live on the archipelago, which barely exceeds 2 meters in height above sea level and geographically belongs to Micronesia.
Back to the floating ambassador of the island republic: The Sirena offers nine passenger decks, five of which accommodate the cabins and suites. There are 15 different categories – most cabins have a balcony with sea view of course. From the exclusive owners‘ suites with 93m2 of space, terrace and butler service along with a wonderful view of the water at the stern, to the relatively modest interior cabin on 15m2, everything is offered that one could wish for.
Home at sea
After the major refurbishment in 2016 when MS Sirena joined the Oceania fleet, there has been another investment in the „Next Gen“ fleet program in 2019. I notice this especially in the suites and cabins: The color and material choices are visually and sensitively very successful. I like every cabin category. Only in the standard outside cabins do I find the windows undersized, however – you can certainly enjoy the view. The suites and cabins – I looked at five different categories – are comfortable, cozy, wonderful. You want to stay here.
Dining on board has a particularly high priority: „A great show“ in the Grand Dining Room on Deck 5 is more of an understatement. Oceania Cruises itself speaks of „The Finest Cuisine at Sea“. SHIPS@SEA, in turn, has the pleasure of sampling the dishes on board. After four excellent courses of the so-called Gala Luncheon plus Petits Four in the extremely elegant Grand Ding Room, I realize that the shipping company’s credo is no exaggeration. Not only visually, but especially in terms of taste, the kitchen outdoes itself. This culinary excursion at lunchtime „made my day“. I can’t imagine dining much more perfectly – and then on a cruise ship like this. Wonderful! Your World – Your Way – the shipping company’s slogan hits the dot.
Coziness at all places
My way now leads me further across deck 5. Besides appealingly elegant stores, the small casino and the show lounge with dance floor are located here at the front of the bow. There is also the Martinis Bar and Barista’s Grand Bar. This bar – like all other public areas on board – exudes true coziness and dignified tranquility. Also available 24/7 are tea, coffee, water and juice. In addition, at certain times there are small snacks and appetizers for self-service. This offer is of course included in the cruise fare and is also repeated in the Horizons Lounge on deck 10, among other places.
The culinary experience continues on deck 9: The Terrace Café at the stern is the place to be. You can sit on the outside deck terrace and enjoy the food and the view under the open sky. And again: Wonderful! Not far away, near the funnel, is the Waves Grill. This is the best place to go for fresh burgers and co, which do not deserve the word „fast food“ qualitatively. Hmmm, delicious.
Further towards the bow I find the pool area with its VERY comfortably upholstered sun loungers and the associated Waves bar. Located in the bow area, the Aquamar Spa and Gym offers relaxation and sweating with a view. The spacious area is rounded off by another open-air jacuzzi and sun loungers with a view over the foredeck.
Up one deck, there are more restaurant options: The Red Ginger and Tuscan Steak restaurants are high-end specialty venues that are also included in the cruise fare. Unsurprisingly, the theme here is exquisite meat delights, or in the Red Ginger, an excursion into the food delights of Asia. The respective specialties are served in a superb ambience. Chapeau and Wonderful Part Three!
Favorite spot on board
The fireplace-style library is nestled close to the funnel. Here, travelers can help themselves to an extensive, well-stocked library and sink into the leather armchairs. At the very front on the same deck, I find my favorite place: the Horizons Lounge with bar. In a bright, cozy atmosphere and tranquility, I enjoy the view of my old home and can well imagine how nice it is to sit here, switch off and sail across the seas.
If you like it a little more active, go to the very front and to the very top: Deck 11 is the address for Shuffleboard and Golf Putting Greens.
Grand voyages with a small ship
Oceania Cruises sends its small ship units such as the Insignia – a sister ship of the Sirena – on so-called Grand Voyages. These cruises last between 50 and 111 days. But world cruises lasting 180 days are also available. On all voyages, the focus is on intensive experiences ashore. This includes extended excursions that sometimes reach far inland, or destinations that are rarely visited such as the remote South Atlantic island of Tristan da Cunha. These journeys went for the season 2024/25 recently into the sales and are according to shipping company already extremely strongly booked.
A look at the daily program confirms the impression on and in the ship. Oceania is a relaxed place. Chic, yes, but not overdressed. Entertaining, yes, but not obtrusive.
The journey is the focus. Oceania Cruises attaches great importance to destinations and routing – and the size of the ships fits in with this. They are far from being mega-liners, and the company deliberately wants to set itself apart from this market. In addition to the destinations, enjoyment on board is the focus of the concept. The kitchen understands as mentioned their handicraft – a circumstance which was confirmed to me also by Oceania Cruisern.
If you want, you can of course still find entertainment on board: there are various live music offers, smaller evening shows, sports competitions or other course offers depending on the length of the trip.
A day visit on board a ship is no substitute for travel experience – no question about that. But the first impression is positive throughout. The almost 25-year-old ship does not show its age anywhere; the overall condition is excellent: Oceania takes care of its ships in every detail. For me, the deck flooring is not quite coherent: on the outside promenade it is imitation wood, and on other outside deck areas it is simply blue-painted steel plates. This slightly disturbs the overall impression of the ship – but only here.
Oceania Cruises is pure pleasure on the high seas in a small circle. A maximum of around 650 passengers go on voyages with MS Sirena and are looked after by a very attentive crew. The crew’s friendliness is noticeably warm-hearted and doesn’t just seem businesslike to me. Oceania’s Sirena exudes that certain homey feel that triggers a sense of well-being in me. In fact, after a few hours and after the first-class meal, it’s hard for me to have to disembark again. With a piece of „Finest Cuisine at Sea“ in my belly, I nevertheless go ashore again – additionally with the certainty to come back one day. Then I stay longer on board and sail very gladly for longer.
Advertising: SHIPS@SEA visited MS Sirena on invitation of Oceania Cruises with excellent support and organization of noblecom agency as General Sales Agent for the German speaking market.BACK