Oceania Cruises was formed in 2002 by two well-known cruise-industry names. Joe Watters, a private investor, started his carreer in the cruise-industry in 1977 with Princess Cruises, being their President between 1981 and 1985. After this, he became President of the Royal Viking Like untill 1989 and from 1994 to 2001 he was President and Chief Operating Officer at Crystal Cruises. In 2002 he formed Oceania Cruises out of the remains of Renaissance Cruises, that went bankrupt in 2001 after the attacks in New York and Washington. He formed Oceania together with Frank del Rio, former vice-President of Renaissance Cruises. Del Rio is now CEO of Prestige Cruise Holdings., the mothercompany of Oceania Cruises and its sistercompany Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
Below, the funnel of Regatta is shown when she visited Amsterdam in june 2004. The funnel shows the logo of Oceania, the 'O' with two blue waves.
Oceania started sailing with the Insignia in october 2002, which was one of the former R-class ships of Renaissance Cruises. The ship was chartered from Cruiseinvest, who took over the ships of the former Renaissance Cruises fleet. A few monts later, the ship was chartered to the French tour-operator TMR for several months, and came back to Oceania in june 2003. At this time, another of the former Renaissance ships joined the fleet of Oceania, named Insignia. The first Insignia was renamed Regatta and so the fleet of Oceania was now two ships. In november 2005, they were joined by another of the former Renaissance ships, and she recieved the name Nautica. It was also around this time, that there was the announcement that a fourth ship of this class, that was now sailing as Pacific Princess for Princess Cruises would be chartered too and would recieve the name Marina for Oceania Cruises from july 2007 onwards. But this did not happen, as Oceania Cruises was now strong enough to order a pair of newbuilds based on the design of the R-class ships, but then larger. The main financial injection to built these ships came when the majority of stocks of Oceania was bought by Apollo Shipmanagement, that also ownes part of Norwegian Cruise Line.
Insignia sails past Buitenhuizen at the Northsea Canal from Amsterdam towards the sea in june 2005. She is one of three former R-class ships of Renaissance Cruises that became a part of Oceania Cruises throughout the first years of the new millennium.