Experience Alaska with Oceania Cruises. Credit: Oceania Cruises

Experience the last frontier on a luxury small ship with Oceania Cruises

Author: Daniel Edward

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Alaska is celebrated as one of the world’s more iconic cruise destinations, and the majesty of Alaska’s monumental coastline is best experienced from the comfort of a luxury small ship

Alaska is huge; the largest of America’s 50 states, with a land mass that stretches as wide as California to Florida. If Alaska was laid over the top of the 'lower 48' you’d be able to drive from Disneyland to Disney World without leaving the state.

But this is no theme park, everything you experience in Alaska is real and vivaciously alive. America’s last frontier calls out to the intrepid explorers, the avid hikers and the landscape and wildlife enthusiasts.

And Oceania Cruise’s latest Alaska offering, onboard the newly re-inspired Regatta has sure caught our attention.

Small ships allow guests the chance to get closer to the heart of the destination, without having to negotiate through crowds and queues.

This can mean practical benefits, like it quick and simple to get on and off the ship in ports so you have more precious time actually out in the port.

Small ships also deliver an enhanced experience to guests during sailing times, as they are able to access dramatic slices of the Alaskan coastline off limits to larger ships.

Whether you’re eyeing up a cruise to Alaska for the carving glaciers, breath-taking fjords, thrilling wildlife encounters – think eagles, flying salmon (and not just in the eagles’ claws), bears – or to discover the enthralling stories of the gold rush, visiting Alaska with Oceania Cruises is a sure way to fully embrace the true spirit of the destination.

Alaska is one of the world's most spectacular wildlife destinations. Credit: Shutterstock

Is this your dream Alaska cruise?
Regatta has Alaska sailings available throughout this year’s Alaska season, all of which are available to book on the Oceania Cruises website.

Alaska sailings are also included in Oceania Cruises’ time-limited 'OLife Ultimate' offer, available until April 30, 2023. Get your hands on this deal while it’s still there and you’ll enjoy a free beverage package, onboard credit per stateroom and complimentary shore excursions.

And those shore excursions really will set your Alaska cruise apart from the crowd. So, of course, we’ve already picked which free excursions we’re going on… see you there?

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Our favourite Alaska shore excursions with Oceania Cruises
1. First up, we’re going to discover the local native story in Ketchikan. The Tlingit people are the original landowners in this part of Alaska and still have a vibrant cultural impact on the region, despite very difficult periods of oppression of the last couple of centuries. The 'Ketchikan Native Tlingit Walking Tour' covers interesting historical and cultural sightseeing as well as the chance to sample traditional tribal dishes. Local food is always a winner.

2. In Skagway, we’re going to focus on the settlers’ stories, discovering the raucous history associated with the gold rush that brought so many prospectors to the region. We like the look of the ‘Wrangell Through the Eyes of a Local’ tour, which includes a stop at the Gold Rush Cemetery, where so many famed characters are laid to rest. The tour also visits a micro-brewery for a local pint.

Alaska is best enjoyed on a cruise. Credit: Shutterstock

3. Icy Straight Point is one of those destinations that really stands out in the memories of anyone who visits. Remote and undeveloped, we’re inspired to dive into the “Alaska’s Wildest Kitchen” tour – a cooking class where we’ll learn to grill seafood Alaska-style, over alder wood to give the fish that distinctive sweet and smoky profile. Have you noticed every tour includes something to eat or drink so far?!

4. OK, time for a break from the foodie tours and time to get active. When we dock in Klawock, we’re heading out on the ‘Kayak and Hike Tour’. Alaska is undoubtably one of the world’s premier destinations for outdoor pursuits, so we’re taking the opportunity to soak up the striking views along the Prince of Wales Island coastline. This is an excellent tour for animal spotting too, with frequent sightings of black-tailed dear and great blue herons.

Natural beauty abounds in Alaska. Credit: Oceania Cruises

5. In Juneau – Alaska’s capital – we’re going to take advantage of our late evening stay in port and drive out to the Mendenhall Glacier for an evening of whale watching out on the water. The ‘Mendenhall Glacier Evening Whale Watching Quest’ sails in front of the 13-mile long Mendenhall Glacier. It’s a brilliant photo opportunity and we’ll be keeping our eyes peels for humpback whales who spend their summers in Alaska’s refreshing waters for feeding.

6. Our final complimentary shore excursion is going to be the ‘Taste of Sitka’, which delivers a fascinating overview of Alaska’s former capital city (when Alaska was part of Russia). Following a visit to the Sitka Sound Science Center, we’ll enjoy a sample of locally brewed craft beers (we’re hoping they still make the Sitka spruce-tip beer) and then dive into more of the history of the region at the University of Alaska ahead of a tasty salmon lunch in a local restaurant… Yes, another complimentary excursion with food.

If Alaska is calling your name, head to the Oceania Cruises’ website, and get yourself on a small-ship cruise from Seattle, Washington to the Alaskan frontier this year.