Oceania Cruises' Alaska Experience: Rustic Ports & Local Life

Author: Olivia Sharpe

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Oceania Cruises takes you deeper into the heart of Alaska with its unique itineraries and exclusive Go Local tours

There are many reasons why Alaska plays such an important role in the cruise industry. In many ways, it is the definition of what makes a good cruise destination – scenery, activity, wildlife, wilderness, and, of course, welcoming locals.

Following a difficult time due to travel restrictions, cruise lines are longing to return, and for you, now is the perfect time to start planning your trip to the Last Frontier. The ideal partner for this journey is Oceania Cruises.

From a focus on smaller ports to crafted itineraries that pack in all you’d expect without feeling overbearing to local adventures that focus on ‘doing’ rather than just ‘seeing’, Oceania Cruises' Alaska programme has it all, and more.

Smaller, rustic ports as standard

Much of Oceania Cruises' Alaska programme – with departures in 2021, 2022 and 2023 – focuses on taking guests into smaller ports.

In Sitka, for example, you’ll experience a city that has two dozen of its landmarks listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including Building 29, a structure built by Russia back in 1835, and the Sheldon Jackson Museum, which has one of Alaska's oldest native culture collections available for you to view.

Over in Wrangell, meanwhile, you will learn about the inner workings of how three Gold Rush periods transformed the area­ – which once was a Tlingit Indian stronghold before becoming a Russian outpost – while the tiny village of Kodiak is known for its natural beauty.

In summer, the island is a mosaic of flora that includes wildflowers, moss-laden spruce, Pacific red elder, and blueberries, which the brown bears feast on. You may also spot puffins, red foxes and killer whales.

Another small village, Whittier, is a delightful port of call that is the gateway to Prince William Sound and Anchorage. Many visitors come here for the sheer fjords, seaside mountains and calving tidal glaciers, and the train journey to Anchorage along the Alaska Railroad is another feast for the eyes.

Live like a local

While Oceania Cruises is of course not the only cruise line to sail into Alaska, it is the only one that delves so deep into local life, thanks to its immersive Go Local tours, that you will come away knowing what it is like to call this majestic land home.

Go behind the scenes in Juneau to discover historical landmarks before taking part in a hands-on cooking class. On a scenic drive through Alaska’s capital, you’ll pass the 19th-century buildings of Governor’s Mansion and Saint Nicolas Orthodox Church, and many other smaller yet equally as historic spots.

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, you’ll be whisked away to the Chez Alaska Cooking School to learn how to cook authentic Alaskan dishes to the finest degree.

In Sitka, there is a three-hour walking tour, accompanied by a local guide, offering a glimpse into current times and history of this small city. It is here you can see the site where Russia officially transferred Alaska to the US, signifying a new era in Alaskan history.

For something a little more active, there’s the Icy Strait Point kayak adventure, where you can spend a couple of hours paddling a kayak through the unspoiled waters, accompanied by a naturalist who will explain the unique characteristics of the flora and fauna as you drift by.

If you want to get up high for a bird’s eye view, then the Taku Glacier adventure is ideal. This Go Local excursion will see you take to the skies for a helicopter ride over some of Alaska’s most spectacular wilderness areas, such as the Tongass National Forest, America’s largest national forest, the Juneau Ice Field, Gastineau Channel and the Taku River. That’s not all, though, as at Taku Point you can board a boat and cruise up the river to Taku Glacier.

As an added bonus, Oceania Cruises' Unlimited Passport Collection offers some great benefits, such as unlimited shore excursions as part of the voyage; additional savings on Oceania Select and Oceania Exclusive excursions, and a personalised brochure outlining the shore excursion programme sent to you approximately 75 days before departure.

A unique 25-day voyage

A special Oceania Cruises' 25-day voyage, on Regatta, departing in 2022, takes you from Los Angeles, across the Pacific Ocean, stopping at Vancouver, and then cruising up into the Inside Passage.

From here, you’ll arrive in Alaska, starting in Ketchikan and Sitka before the splendid Hubbard Glacier comes into view. After spending sea days in the North Pacific Ocean, Regatta arrives in Japan, ending among the dazzling skyscrapers of Tokyo.

All of Oceania Cruises' epic Alaska voyages take place aboard the luxurious 684-guest Regatta. Featuring lavish open spaces throughout, Regatta comprises four unique, open-seating restaurants, a spa, eight lounges and bars, a casino and 342 luxury suites and luxurious staterooms.

With all Oceania Cruises sailings, you can receive the OLife package, featuring free airfare, plus the option to choose one other great benefit, such as free shore excursions, a free beverage package, or free shipboard credit.

visit oceaniacruises.com for more information.

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