For those looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience and with a spirt of adventure, the glacial and gold-rush frontier of Alaska may not spring to mind, but Norwegian cruise company Oceania Cruises is offering just that this year, with what it claims is an authentic, locally curated summer offering led by community members.
Sailing from Los Angeles, Seattle and Vancouver, travellers looking for the unique will be drawn into local cultures and cuisines on any of the 14 announced departures between May and September this summer aboard the 656-guest Regatta.
With more than 250 tours and excursions offered in Ketchikan, Sitka, Juneau, Wrangell and beyond, the 49th state offers opportunities to explore glaciers, take culinary classes, visit native tribal sites, taste craft beer, and explore national parks, all within a beguiling region of natural remote beauty.
Through Oceania Cruises’ Go Local tour series, guests can participate in exclusive small group excursions, including visiting local homes and businesses and discovering generations-old traditions.
‘We’re delighted to offer our guests a fresh perspective of Alaska, one filled with touching personal moments connecting with nature, people and cuisine,’ stated Frank A. Del Rio, President of Oceania Cruises. ‘The innate beauty of our small ships, especially in a destination like Alaska aboard our intimate Regatta, allows guests access to small ports and remote harbours not offered by others.’
Highlights include wildlife-rich Klawock, a native Tlingit village for thousands of years with one of the most extensive collections of totems in the world; Wrangell with its rich Native American, Russian and American history, and fishing opportunities; Juneau, boasting glacier-trekking on Mendenhall Glacier or sea-kayaking through the coastal waterways travelled for centuries by the Aleut Native Americans, along with Alaskan Brewing Company and Chez Alaska Cooking School; and Skagway, to take in local beers after rock climbing and rappelling down steep granite cliffs or an afternoon soaring the skies in a helicopter, or taking it easier on the White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad trail that the gold rushers etched into the high mountain pass.
Wildlife spotting for bears, deer and bald eagles at the remote Spasski River Valley, song and storytelling, the world’s largest zip line, and crab boating are amongst the opportunities off-ship, while onboard the cruise line sells Regatta on its intimate size, culture and cuisine, and its ability to visit destinations – including Wrangell, Prince Rupert and Klawock, that other ships do not.