Art on board Oceania Cruises

Cruise Advice
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If you asked a Mundy Cruising cruise consultant what Oceania Cruises was all about, they would tell you about amazing food in a variety of restaurants, port intensive itineraries with long days ashore, a relaxed and unpretentious style. What they would probably NOT mention is the great artist's loft on the new ships Marina and Riviera, and the extraordinary collection of art on board. Not because it's not great, but just because it might not be the deciding factor to choose Oceania Cruises over another cruise line.

But maybe we are underselling it? We caught up with artist-in-residence Pat Grillo, who has been with Oceania Cruises since 2011. An award-winning artist herself, when Pat is on board she does what she refers to as ' the best job ever' which involves travelling the world, meeting engaging people, and giving complimentary art lessons in the Artist's Loft. Her hectic life on board includes escorting guests on tour, giving 90 minute classes, and socialising with her discerning fellow travellers. She is delighted to have inspired people who had never picked up a brush before attending her classes, who are now painting and drawing regularly.

Another Oceania regular artist-in-residence Frank Hyder recently launched a very special inflatable sculpture installation on board Nautica, featuring "Janis" (the giant head) which is about 10 feet tall. "What I'm doing is something between the painting and the sculpture," he explained. "It's meant to be a livable size; someone could literally have this in their home if they wanted," he continued, gestured towards "Janis." (at 10 feet tell, we have to wonder how many people could actually fit it in their homes, but ho hum, America is different). Frank will be sharing his unique art installation aboard several Marina and Riviera voyages this summer, but also his knowledge and passion that shape his work and everything he creates.

Anyone who has travelled on Riviera and Marina will know that there is an extraordinary collection of art on board, selected by the founders Frank del Rio and Bob Binder, who joke that they were supremely qualified to put the collection together. 'We just bought what we liked. And of course it had to fit the space…'

Whether you are a critic, an expert, or a complete novice to art, you will like some if not all the pieces in the collection which are eye-catching, amusing, moving, provocative, even extraordinary. Frank and Bob have very different tastes - Frank prefers the figurative, whilst Bob has a passion for the Abstract Impressionists. Frank loves work from his native Cuba. Between them they have put together an eclectic collection of paintings, sculptures, glasswork and models which enhance the feel of the Oceania ships, and delight the guests on board, often against their expectations. Work that is classic, contemporary, easy on the eye or completely alien forms the backdrop to your days at sea when travelling on Oceania.

And don't forget, if you are an art enthusiast the treasures ashore are going to make your trip even more exciting. In the Baltic ports you will enjoy a treasure trove every time you go ashore, but of course galleries and collections can be found around the world, and either an Oceania excursion or a private tour (we can find you an expert guide) is a great way to make the most of the time available.


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Edwina Lonsdale
Meet the author

Edwina Lonsdale is Managing Director and, together with husband Matthew, owner of Mundy Cruising.

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