Oceania Cruises President Jason Montague recently visited the captivating land of Alaska. Though Jason has traveled throughout the world, this was the first time he took a step back and let nature vaunt its many wonders. From the breathtaking scenery of Juneau to the grandiose glaciers surrounding the Inside Passage, Jason described Alaska’s natural beauty in one word, majestic.
What was your initial reaction to the landscape in Alaska and what were the reactions of your family members?
Surprisingly, this was our first time to Alaska. My wife, son and I have traveled all over the world, visiting major iconic cities and exploring remnants of ancient civilizations, but we’ve never been to Alaska before. It was absolutely amazing; I’ve never experienced such majestic and vast landscapes.
Though we may not be traditional outdoor people, we certainly got into the Alaskan spirit and enjoyed adventures such as fishing, camping in the wilderness, rock climbing and dog sledding on Mendenhall Glacier. These aren’t our typical vacation activities, but this was refreshing – we loved every minute of it.
It’s a bit difficult to play favorites – they’re all quite unique in their own way. Skagway was intriguing; it has such a spectacular natural setting and its gold rush history is so well-preserved. The beauty of Alaska is in the layers of experiences it offers –there’s so much nature, history and culture to immerse yourself in each port.
Describe your experience cruising past the magnificent Hubbard Glacier.
I woke up a little late that morning and when I parted the blinds, Hubbard Glacier towered just beyond our balcony – or so it seemed. You don’t quite grasp how immense it is until you’re cruising right next to it. We didn’t happen to hear any glaciers calving, but that’s another reason why I need to return.
What was the most memorable shore excursion?
Without a doubt, it was taking a helicopter ride up to Mendenhall Glacier and mushing a dog sled — truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Did you see any exciting wildlife?
The wildlife seems to emerge everywhere; you never know when you’ll see a whale, a bald eagle or even a bear. During one excursion we witnessed orca whales and watched as sea otters wrestled and played. At the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Seward, we walked alongside a brown bear for about 50 yards – fortunately, there was a fence separating us, though it was certainly surreal. My son was fascinated; he just loved it.
Are you planning to explore the last frontier aboard Oceania Cruises’ Regatta next summer? View a list of exciting voyages.