Oceania Cruises, the upmarket, boutique brand of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, is poised to increase its capacity in Alaska come 2025, with the deployment of Riviera on a series of sailings to iconic destinations in the Land of the Midnight Sun.
The ship will replace Regatta, a smaller ship that has been operating Alaska cruises for several years.
Oceania Cruises to Deploy Larger Ship to Last Frontier
Oceania Cruises’ 1,250-guest Riviera will sail seasonal Alaska cruises in 2025, with embarkation ports including Whittier, Alaska, Vancouver, British Columbia, and Seattle. The cruise line announced on October 4, 2023, that the ship will feature 7- to 12-day itineraries highlighting cultural experiences.
The cruise line, which markets itself as a food-focused brand —it employs one chef for every 10 guests fleet wide — also has designed Culinary Discovery Tours specifically for Riviera’s 2025 Alaska season. These excursions will offer guests chef-led tours, seafood cooking instruction, visits to oyster farms, and other food-related activities.
Riviera, which launched in 2012 and was renovated in 2022, will replace the 684-guest Regatta, a ship that has sailed Alaskan waters for several years.
In summer 2025, Regatta will instead be deployed to the South Pacific following a series of winter and spring Australia, New Zealand, and Asia voyages. The ship swap means Oceania Cruises will roughly double its available berths in Alaska by deploying the larger vessel.
“The decision to elevate our presence in the Alaska region was easy. This fascinating destination has always been a firm favorite with our well-traveled guests, who are constantly wanting to explore remote, wondrous and truly off-the-beaten-track destinations,” said Frank A. Del Rio, President of Oceania Cruises.
“Sailing on board Riviera is the ultimate way to explore this rugged state, while enjoying her distinctive residential luxury, The Finest Cuisine at Sea and expertly curated travel experiences,” Del Rio added.
Voyages to Be Culture, Food Focused
Cultural land explorations will feature tours led by Native Tlingit guides, interactions with the Native Chilkat people, excursions into the Tongass National Forest, and meetings with local artisans. Itineraries that include a port call in Skagway will offer excursions tied to the town’s gold-rush history.
In addition, Riviera will feature an ambitious onboard enrichment program. An onboard naturalist will accompany every sailing, for example, offering insights and lectures, and guests can participate in cooking classes focused on Alaskan and Pacific Northwest cuisine in the ship’s Culinary Center.
For youngsters, the Alaska Explorer Youth Program will provide activities and special events for guests ages 5 to 12. Oceania Cruises also is offering multi-day pre- and post-cruise land programs to Denali National Park.
Sailings Feature Iconic Ports, Scenic Glaciers
Sample cruises include “Alaska Reflections,” and 8-day sailing from Vancouver to Whittier with calls at Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Hoonah, and Sitka, with scenic cruising in Hubbard Glacier. The cruise departs on May 13, 2025.
Later in the season, with departures on July 8 and September 9, guests can book “Wonders of Alaska,” a 9-day itinerary roundtrip from Seattle with calls at Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, and Sitka, Alaska, and Victoria, BC. This voyage also offers scenic cruising in Hubbard Glacier.
During her renovation in 2022, Riviera received a series of upgrades to all suites and staterooms, including new furniture and restyled bathrooms. Public areas were refurnished and new carpeting was installed, and an alfresco dining option was added with Waves Grill, a pizzeria and trattoria.
Dining venues onboard Riviera include the Grand Dining Room, the Polo Grill steakhouse, Red Ginger, offering Asian cuisine, and Toscana, offering Italian dishes. French cuisine is the hallmark of Jacques, while Terrace Cafe offers traditional buffet fare with abundant food choices.
Oceania Cruises’ “simply More” fare promotion is available on the 2025 Alaska sailings. Among the inclusions are shore excursion credits, air fare, airport transfers, specialty dining, WiFi, and other services and amenities.