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Guest Post: Our Top 5 Alaska Cruise Moments

By Oceania Cruises Guests Leslie & Peter Rubacky

Weeks later, we’re still reminiscing about our incredible cruise to Alaska. It was 10 blissful days of the great Alaskan outdoors, amazing food and wine, and tons of good old-fashioned family fun – deck games, board games, trivia – did we mention the great wine and lots of laughs? Here are a few of our favorite moments.

1. Our floatplane excursion to Misty Fjords from Ketchikan – it was most definitely equal parts adrenaline and awe.
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2. Shuffleboard paired with a good rosé and Alaskan skies – how can you go wrong?
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3. Experiencing Sawyer Glacier. We got up close and personal with the glaciers, which you can only do on a smaller ship like Oceania Cruises.
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4. The moment we learned this fun fact: not everyone knows how much whales like a good sauvignon blanc.
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5. Watching brown bears in Sitka. Despite their imposing appearance, the bears were delightfully playful in their antics, almost juvenile.
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We had such a great time, we’re already planning where our next family vacation on Oceania Cruises will take us!

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The Water of Life: Single Malt Scotch Tastings On Board

As you sail the North Sea, charting dramatic Scottish coastlines dotted with medieval fortresses, towering cliffsides and rugged headlands, discover the perfect accompaniment to your unforgettable views at one of our memorable Single Malt Scotch Tastings.

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Scotland’s most famous whisky export, single malt scotch is whisky that’s produced in batches from water, malted barley and yeast at a single distillery using copper pot stills. Celebrated for centuries as the “water of life,” whisky involves an ancient process that’s been refined over centuries – not quite alchemy, but almost, as our bartenders and sommeliers can attest. Nearly every stage of the production process influences the taste and aroma of the final product, from the stills at the distillery to the peat and fermentation.

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Wherever you may be on your whisky journey, a little insight on flavor and technique can go a long way. Our Single Malt Tastings on board bring you the chance to savor and experience some of the world’s most renowned single malts such as:

  • Dalwhinnie Classic, a 15-year-old malt from the windswept Highlands of Scotland with a heathery honey finish
  • A 12-year-old Cragganmore, an elegant Speyside malt with complex aromas and a smoky maltiness
  • A 14-year-old Oban from Oban Distillery, which overlooks the Firth of Lorn in an ideal location for a single malt with the perfect balance between Highland and Islay

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Savor the spirit of Scotland with one of our rousing Single Malt Scotch tastings next time you are on board – check your daily Currents for times and locations or see the Head Bartender or Executive Cellar Master for details. Isn’t time you kick back with a wee dram of this world-famous elixir?

 

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Inside Aussie Cuisine With Our Chefs

Kakadu plums, native pepperberries, bush tomatoes, emu and crocodile are just a few items that might be stocking the galley when we sail the land Down Under, Senior Culinary Director Eric Barale shared. What exactly defines Australian cuisine?

While the cuisine found among the islands of the South Pacific focuses on fresh seafood complemented by local fruits and vegetables, Australian cuisine is much more difficult to pinpoint. With a confluence of indigenous dishes, known as bush tucker, plus vast European and Asian influences, the cuisine takes on as many personalities as the continent itself.

Melting Pot of Global Flavors
From quondong and Anzac biscuits to meat pies and dim sum, Australian cuisine is a true melting pot of indigenous ingredients, homegrown creations and far-flung influences spanning centuries. During Australia’s gold rushes in the 1850s, an influx of European and American immigrants spurred the development of a coffee culture and British imports like meat pies and Cornish pasties. Chinese food was also introduced during this period, proliferating in the 1860s and 1870s, especially in the port cities – and now dim sum is nearly considered a national dish. Another wave of immigrants in the late 1940s after World War II introduced a much broader array of influences, ingredients and flavors from all over Europe, and in particular Italy and Greece. Meanwhile, a continual influx of immigrants from East and Southeast Asia has firmly solidified Australia’s reputation for excellent, authentic Asian cuisine.

Seafood, of course, has also long been popular in Aussie kitchens, especially native fish like barramundi and Tasmanian salmon. According to Barale, Moreton Bay bugs, a type of flat lobster-like crustacean, are a very typical Australian dish cooked on the barbecue.

“Perhaps not as well-known as shrimp on the barbecue or Pavlova, Moreton Bay bugs are delicious drizzled with a little olive oil or butter and cooked on the barbecue in their shell,” Barale said.

A Bite of Bush Tucker
Aboriginal Australians represent one of the oldest living cultures on Earth, and their influence on culinary traditions is still present today. In fact, Fleet Corporate Executive Chef Franck Garanger notes that Aboriginal influences are on the rise in the contemporary Aussie restaurant scene and that native Australian dishes, or bush tucker, are featured on board when sailing this region.

“As in other parts of the world there is a return to the indigenous culinary traditions for inspiration. We bring this to life on board with native dishes and traditional, local ingredients like akudjura which is a seasoning made from ground bush tomatoes and lemon myrtle which we use in sauces and dressing,” Garanger said.

Depending on the chef ’s inspiration, you might try Wildfire-Spiced Tasmanian Trout
on Paperbark-Smoked Kipfler Mash topped with Pineapple and Riberry Salsa or
perhaps something a bit more simple like Oysters Outback and a Sydney Salad with
emu prosciutto.

Regardless of what you choose, you’ll enjoy a delicious taste of Australia on board
our ships and ashore in sought-after destinations across this fascinating continent. Cheers, mate!

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3 Fascinating Facts About the Panama Canal

The Panama Canal has long been recognized as one of the greatest achievements of the 20th century. More than a century ago, the 50-mile-long passage created the ultimate shortcut for ships – eliminating the perilous journey around the southern tip of South America and changing international trade forever. Here are a few lesser known facts about the Panama Canal.