Oceania Cruises presents a new twist on America’s “Last Frontier” with a magnificent array of uniquely Alaskan experiences. With more ports to explore and more time to do so, Oceania Cruises presents travellers with a distinctly different Alaska. Sailing conveniently from San Francisco, Seattle, Seward and Vancouver, adventurous travellers can sail for 7, 10, 11, 12 or 14 days on itineraries that sail roundtrip from Seattle or Vancouver or between Vancouver and Seward, Seattle and Vancouver, San Francisco and Vancouver, or Vancouver and Los Angeles. Itineraries include a rich bounty of must-see destinations blended with a bevvy of off-the-beaten-path ports that larger ships cannot access such as Haines, Kodiak, Prince Rupert, Wrangell and Nanaimo.
“Those who travel with us to America’s Last Frontier do so with an expectation of experiences which are wholly unique and utterly Alaskan. We’ve crafted dozens of shore excursions to offer our guests the most unforgettable ways to explore Alaska like a local,” stated Bob Binder, President & CEO of Oceania Cruises.
Explore more, explore longer
Oceania Cruises’ unique itineraries blend more ports and experiences and stay longer in port to afford travellers the opportunity to see and do all that they desire in this unique land of lore, nature and adventure. In most ports, Regatta arrives early in the morning and almost always departs at 6pm or later, sometimes departing as late as 11pm. Voyages include up to nine ports of call, with almost all departures calling on the majestic Hubbard Glacier, and with six 2020 departures visiting both Hubbard Glacier and the stunning College Fjord, which is home to 20 awe-inspiring glaciers.
A sampling of unique experiences
Explore a glacier on foot and by helicopter
The majestic and impressive Mendenhall Glacier, just outside Alaska’s capital city of Juneau, is a slow-moving river of ice that has enchanted naturalists such as John Muir since the late 19th century. Board a modern five- to six-passenger turbine helicopter and lift off for adventure, flying high above rugged terrain as you quickly approach the glacier. Soar over indigo blue crevasses, fanciful ice spires, intriguing icefalls and jagged rock sentinels such as Mendenhall Towers, which rise thousands of feet into the sky like daggers. Upon landing, walk the surface of the glacier with boots specially designed for comfort and traction. Hike to nearby fascinating features, accompanied by a guide who will steer you along the safest and most interesting path, providing enlightening information about glaciers, including their life cycles and the impact they have on the landscape.
Go crabbing in the Bering Sea
From Ketchikan, embark on the Aleutian Ballad, one of the legendary crab boats featured on the Discovery Channel series Deadliest Catch. Unlike the tribulations of the show, you’ll sail only in calm, protected coastal waters, taking in the stunning scenery of southeastern Alaska, tiny islands dotting the straits, mountains soaring from sea to clouds and the light dancing across the primeval waters. In a comfortable and heated on-deck amphitheatre, hear stories of the men who have plied these seas and given their lives. Below, the crew haul up crab pots and long lines from deep beneath the waves, bringing to light not just crab but shark, octopus, prawns and rockfish. The bounty is carefully placed into an on-deck aquarium so you can view and interact with these creatures of the deep before they are returned, unharmed, to their natural habitat.
Partake in Russian tea time
Alaska seems to be a thoroughly American destination today, yet it was once part of Russia before its purchase in 1867. Though Sitka was the former Russian capital, the Russian influence extends throughout the state in both architecture and traditions. In Kodiak, the Russian legacy lives on at the Kodiak Inn, where traditional Russian tea, a variation on the English classic, is a beloved staple. Rather than scones and finger sandwiches, enjoy borscht, Russian teacakes and pirozhkis while being entertained by the Balalaika Players, a local band performing traditional music from the mother country. While the tour includes visits to Cannery Row, the heart of Kodiak’s fishing economy, as well as a Russian Orthodox Church and local art gallery, Russian tea time is the undisputed highlight.
Kayak Icy Strait Point
Push off from the beach along Icy Strait Point in a two-person kayak and paddle the protected waters around Port Fredrick. Float along for two hours in bays and coves so unspoiled that you’ll feel as if you’re the first to ever explore the region. From a kayak in Alaska, the air is purer, the shoreline greener, the sea more soothing and the profusion of wildlife more thrilling. As you kayak the calm waters accompanied by a guide, you’ll discover the secret to finding the humpback whales that feed along the same route you’ll be traversing. Search for a whale’s fluke as it begins its dive, or catch one in the act of spy-hopping, which is when a whale pokes just its head out of the water to look around. The nutrient-rich waters of Icy Strait are also home to orcas, sea lions, porpoises, sea otters and seals. During your excursion, you’ll also paddle to an even more serene area frequented by bald eagles. There are few sights more visually arresting than following the flight of one of these majestic creatures as it rides the wind until swooping down to catch a fish with its talons.
Jetboat glacial lakes and rivers
While Wrangell provides a slice of traditional Alaskan life, a jetboat ride through the surrounding 200,000-hectare Stikine-LeConte Wilderness is a distinctly contemporary escapade deep into an area revered by famed American naturalist John Muir. The Stikine River is the fastest flowing navigable river in the United States and your customised, purpose-built jetboat, thoughtfully heated and covered, is the perfect vehicle for exploration. Look for passing moose, bear or deer as you enjoy spectacular views of distant mountain peaks, spy on spawning salmon and listen to thundering waterfalls. Follow the river to Shakes Lake, a narrow strip of water cradled by soaring granite crests featuring diamond-bright icebergs dotting its sparkling topaz waters. Come ashore at a specially selected wilderness location and absorb the true grandeur of your surroundings before re-boarding your jetboat for a jubilant wine and cheese interlude and an exhilarating return to Wrangell.
A better-than-new ship for the Last Frontier
Featuring 324 brand-new suites and staterooms, along with dramatically refashioned public spaces, Oceania Cruises’ Regatta is the only better-than-new ship sailing Alaskan waters. As part of a US$100 million program of enhancements known as OceaniaNEXT, Regatta sparkles with new Italian crystal chandeliers, is adorned with designer residential furnishings from Baker and Donghia and is resplendent in designer fabrics and upholstery from Rubelli and Kravet. With only 684 guests catered to by 400 professionally trained staff, nothing on board is left for want. Sleek and elegant, she features four unique, open-seating restaurants serving ‘The Finest Cuisine at Sea’, a world-class fitness centre and spa, eight lounges and bars and a Monte Carlo-style casino.
For more information click to visit Oceania Cruises online, view a brochure or call Oceania Cruises on 1300 355 200 (AU), 0800 625 691 (NZ).