With shipyards filled to overflowing – they are reportedly busy with new ships until 2027 – many cruise lines are opting to refit existing vessels as a way of keeping up with demand for new and better facilities.

Oceania, the small-ship line that boasts the best cuisine at sea, this week became the latest – announcing OceaniaNEXT.

The program is a US$100 million “sweeping array of dramatic enhancements” – a “re-inspiration” of the line’s four 684-guest ships, Regatta, Insignia, Sirena, and Nautica.

Insignia will be the first to debut on December 7, 2018, followed by Sirena in May 2019, Regatta in September 2019, and Nautica in June 2020.

Each will get 342 brand new designer suites and staterooms, and stunning new décor in the restaurants, lounges and bars, inspired by the line’s 450 ports of call.

According to line President Bob Binder, the ships will be “better than new”.

“OceaniaNEXT will be the most extensive and comprehensive suite of product and guest service enhancements that we have ever undertaken,” said Mr Binder.

OCEANIA’s Re-Inspiration By The Numbers

1,368 New Suites and Staterooms
1,400 New Marble Bathrooms
8,000 New Light Fixtures
12,000 New Sofas and Chairs
1,000+ Artisans and Craftsmen

Oceania is far from alone in spending up big turning its existing ships into modern vessels with the latest in design and facilities.

Celebrity Cruises will spend US$500 million to modernize its fleet and harmonize it with the new class of ships coming, beginning with the Celebrity Edge.

Royal Caribbean International is planning to spend just shy of $1 billion on 10 ship upgrades in the Royal Amplified program.

The Mariner of the Seas has already had a $120 million makeover, raising its capacity from 3,114 to 3,344 passengers at a dry dock.

Norwegian has completed the Norwegian Edge, bow-to-stern enhancements for the Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Sun and Norwegian Star.

Norwegian Jewel, which sails out of Sydney for the coming wave season, will be refitted in Singapore later this year.

“What a year this has been for us at Norwegian Cruise Line,” said Andy Stuart, the brand’s president and chief executive officer.

“Not only did we introduce our latest and record-breaking ship, Norwegian Bliss, and announce the redeployment of her sister ship Norwegian Joy, but we are now unveiling our newly revitalized ships.

“Although we are one of the youngest fleets in the industry, we are very committed to The Norwegian Edge program, which allows us to remain consistent, relevant and exciting.”