Oceania Cruises, part of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, unveiled its Go Local tour series for summer 2023 sailings in Alaska, designed to provide immersive experiences into the cultures and cuisines of the Last Frontier state.
The series will be offered on cruises from May to September aboard the 656-guest Regatta, with 14 departures from Los Angeles, Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., the upmarket cruise line announced on February 15.
Hundreds of Options Offered
Cruise guests aboard Oceania Cruises’ Regatta will choose from more than 250 tours and excursions in the Go Local program at port calls in Ketchikan, Sitka, Juneau, Wrangell and other Alaskan destinations this summer.
The small group excursions feature visits to local people’s homes and businesses and native tribal sites, culinary classes, craft beer tastings, and traditional glacial and national park explorations. The Go Local series is available on 14 departures of the 30,277 gross ton Regatta.
Oceania Cruises President Frank A. Del Rio said, ”We’re delighted to offer our guests a fresh perspective of Alaska, one filled with touching personal moments connecting with nature, people and cuisine. 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 harbors not offered by others.”
Among the port calls are Klawock, a small town on the west coast of Prince of Wales Island, about 50 miles north of Ketchikan. According to Oceania, the Regatta will be the first cruise ship to call at the little-known port, a native Tlingit village that boasts one of the world’s biggest collections of totems.
The Go Local tours are designed to take travelers beyond the typical tourist sites, said Oceania. In Wrangell, for example, local Alaskan guides will offer insights into the destination, where guests can opt for fishing expeditions in search of salmon and halibut, and learn about the native Tlingit community.
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Alaskan cuisine will take center stage on the Juneau port call, where guests can book the Flavors of Juneau tour and visit the Alaska Brewing Company and the Chez Alaska Cooking School. Glacier hikes on Mendenhall Glacier and sea kayaking trips also are featured in Juneau.
In Ketchikan, an excursion invites cruisers to join the captain and crew aboard the Aleutian Ballad, the crab boat featured in Discovery Network’s “Deadliest Catch” TV show.
And at Icy Strait Point, guests can go in search of wildlife on tours that explore the wilderness of the remote Spasski River Valley, home to bears, deer, bald eagles and other animals.
Time-Limited Anniversary Perks
Cruisers who book with Oceania by February 28 can receive onboard amenities offered as part of the line’s 20th-anniversary sale, which features free shore excursions or a free beverage package or a shipboard credit. There also is a special bonus offering of up to an $800 shipboard credit per suite or stateroom on many Alaska itineraries.
Sample cruises that will feature the Go Local tours include these:
- Glitz to Glaciers: A 12-day cruise from Los Angeles to Vancouver calling at San Francisco, Astoria, Klawock, Icy Strait Point, Juneau and Ketchikan, departing May 18.
- Gold Rush, Glaciers & Wildlife: A 10-day sailing roundtrip from Seattle and calling at Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point, Sitka, Juneau, Klawock and Victoria. The cruise departs on June 23.
- Radiant Alaska: A 10-day sailing from Seattle to Vancouver with port calls at Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Icy Strait Point, Sitka and Victoria. It departs on August 28.
The Regatta, built in 1998, has four open-seating dining venues, eight lounges and bars, a spa and fitness center, a casino, and 333 staterooms and suites, most with private verandas.
The Go Local series follows two earlier excursion programs Oceania rolled out in March 2022. Oceania’s Beyond Blueprints excursions focus on architecture in destinations across the globe, while its Go Green tours focus on sustainable practices in various countries.