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Hope Starts Here Hurricane Relief Program

As islands across the Caribbean clean up and begin to recover from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, you may be wondering what you can do to support the region. We have been in touch with our friends and business partners from Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, St. Barts, Tortola, and Dominica and they have all said the same thing, “we will rebuild.” Their resilience is an inspiration as many are already working hard to return their islands to their radiance and charm. Now it’s our turn give them a well-deserved helping hand.

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Rebuilding Hope

During this time of great need, we have banded together to contribute to the recovery of the region. We have joined forces with our sister companies to raise at least $2.5 million on behalf of All Hands Volunteers, a non-profit relief organization dedicated to rebuilding communities impacted by natural disasters. The funds will be used toward rebuilding damaged schools across the Caribbean and we have committed to matching up to $1.25 million of our guests’ donations made to All Hands Volunteers through our Hope Starts Here program.

Hope Starts Here Voyages
Thankfully, many Caribbean islands have been spared severe damage and can help bolster tourism in the islands, which as you know, is a vital economic lifeline for millions across the region. Between now and November 15th, when you book any of the thirteen voyages below that are part of our Hope Starts Here program, we will make a donation of $500 per stateroom to All Hands Volunteers and also will provide you with an additional savings of $500 off of your veranda stateroom fare. The $500 donation will go toward our goal of matching $1.25 million of our guests’ donations, and meeting or exceeding our $2.5 million goal. You can rest assured that your generous donation will be making an impact locally in the areas hit the hardest.

Some of our Caribbean itineraries have been revised due to the impact, while we have been able to preserve the majority of our calls. Puerto Rico and St. Maarten were the hardest hit and will need ample time to recover – we’ve replaced them with calls in Punta Cana and Basseterre for the season. Our partners in the islands are resilient and are rebuilding quickly – St. Barts, Martinique, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Kitts, Key West, and the balance of the Caribbean are open to travelers and are eager to showcase their hospitality – and thanks.

Visit OceaniaCruises.com/HopeStartsHere for more information on how you can help those in need. 

Hope Starts Here Voyages

Riviera | December 12, 2017

Marina | December 17, 2017

Riviera | December 22, 2017

Riviera | January 3, 2018     

Riviera | January 13, 2018   

Riviera | January 23, 2018               

Riviera | February 6, 2018   

Riviera | February 16, 2018             

Riviera | February 26, 2018

Riviera | March 8, 2018

Riviera | March 18, 2018     

Sirena | April 23, 2018

Regatta | April 26, 2018

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Why Namibia Should Be on Your Travel List

From exciting safaris and genuine cultural interactions to sprawling deserts and surreal landscapes, Namibia has it all. Discover our Destination Specialists’ top 4 reasons you should sail to this stunning African country with us.

shutterstock_718093627.jpgThe Breathtaking Namib Desert
The 80 million-year-old Namib Desert is one of the oldest deserts in the world, home to the world’s highest-shifting sand dunes and adorned with a kaleidoscope of vivid colors. Within the Namib Desert, you can discover the smaller UNESCO-protected Namib Sand Sea, unique plant life and spectacular rock formations.

Discover this vast and fascinating landscape firsthand on our Treasures of the Namib Desert by Off-Road Vehicle shore excursion. 

Immerse Yourself in the Unique Culture
Get an insider’s look at Namibian culture with an expert guide. Discover more about the country’s history, watch a food demonstration, sample local dishes, see traditional dances and more.

Delve into African culture with our Swakopmund Township Tour.

shutterstock_717980434.jpgBird-lovers’ Paradise
Home to thousands of different bird species, Walvis Bay Lagoon attracts many different types of birds due to its rich feeding grounds. This is an ideal location to spot birds such as sandpipers, plovers, pelicans and herons, depending on the season.

Try our Birding Tour to observe a huge variety of shore birds and waders, plus a large Cape Fur Seal colony. 

shutterstock_719043952.jpgWalvis Bay Lagoon
As a RAMSAR Natural Heritage Site and one of the most important wetlands along Southern Africa’s west coast, the Walvis Bay Lagoon is not only renowned for its native bird species, but also bottlenose dolphins and a seal colony. The calm water is perfect for natural explorations and appreciating the beautiful scenery.

For relaxing nature cruise on Walvis Bay Lagoon paired with sparkling wine and fresh oysters, try our Dolphin & Seal Cruise.

Join us in Africa this winter!

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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!