Oceania's Sirena upgrade builds on Insignia's improvements

'Shapes in Color #3' by Jacques Pépin' 'Shapes in Color #3' by Jacques Pépin'

Sirena, fresh from its 're-inspiration' as part of the OceaniaNEXT program, sports 342 refreshed staterooms and suites, transformed public spaces and some especially notable new artworks.

Above and beyond Insignia changes

Sirena debuts additional refinements above and beyond what was done to Oceania Cruises' Insignia, the first of six ships to undergo the work.

'The re-inspired Sirena is perhaps the best expression of our team’s Kaizen culture which focuses on implementing constant incremental change that continually elevates the guest experience. That’s the heart and soul of our OceaniaNEXT initiative,' said Bob Binder, president and CEO.

Some of the additional enhancements beyond the work carried out on Insignia include new entry doors, full-length mirrors and additional 100-volt sockets on both sides of the bed in all accommodations. The spa gained new wall sconces and additional chandeliers were installed in public spaces and stair lobbies.

Jacques Pépin's artistic flair

Elements of the multimillion-dollar art collection are uniquely personal.

For example, hanging prominently in the re-styled Bar Istas, the ship’s social hub and coffee bar, is an original painting by the legendary chef Jacques Pépin that was specially commissioned for Sirena. Pépin has always found cooking and painting to be remarkably similar forms of artistic expression.

'I don’t know whether my painting has helped my cuisine, or whether my cooking has helped my painting, and I don’t know if one borrows from the other. All I know is that ... cooking and painting can live in harmony together. Both are different expressions of who I am, and both enhance my life considerably,' Pépin said.

He also found special joy in creating a piece for 'his daughter’s ship' since Claudine Pépin named Sirena when it entered service for Oceania Cruises in 2016.

'I like to work with shapes and colors in semi abstract composition where I do not have to reproduce true reality,' added Pépin, who is also the cruise line's executive culinary director.

At the center of the ship, the deck-and-a-half-tall French-glass mirror that crowns the Reception Lobby and Grand Staircase contains a hand-painted willow tree. (Insignia features a tree of life.)

Another painting with a personal connection

Nearby in the Reception Lobby is a commissioned piece by Soumiya Lakshmi Krishnaswamy that hangs next to a portrait of Claudine Pépine. This piece is particularly meaningful because the artist is a life-long friend of Claudine Pépin, and they were roommates in college.

'I knew I was creating something that would be living aboard the Sirena. I love the water, and to be out on the middle of an ocean. I made this piece as part of collection that seeks to capture the spirit of adventure that lies in the sea, and with people who follow in pursuit of it,' Krishnaswamy said.

Posted 12 June 2019

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review