0 comments on “An Insider’s Look at Our New 2020 Europe & The Americas Collection”

An Insider’s Look at Our New 2020 Europe & The Americas Collection

By Mario Parodi, Vice President of Port & Itinerary Planning

Fall is my favorite time of year, not because the color of the leaves or the change of seasons, but because this is when we get to share our new Europe, Alaska, New England and Canada masterpieces with the world. After more than 10 years with Oceania Cruises, it never gets old. Born and raised in Genoa, Italy, I always have a special connection with our voyages to the Old World, especially because we reach so many smaller ports that really bring you into the daily life of the place. This season our New England and Alaska itineraries are also full of places that are little bit less well-known…you know, the kind perfect for travelers who have been there many times before.

Italy: Benvenuto a Casa
We have so many classic ports in the Mediterranean and these I like to think of as little treasures you never get tired of visiting. Places like Florence, Marseille, Amalfi and Seville…these are cities you step off the ship and immediately feel carried away, like you’re in another century. I love sailing the Mediterranean and visit family and friends in Liguria every year. Voyages like the 11-day Legacies & Legends and 10-day Italy & The Ionian are irresistible. I’ll admit it, maybe I play favorites…but for me the Mediterranean is one of the most romantic places in the world. Genoa still feels like home – it always will – even after living in Florida for so many years. One of my favorite things to when I arrive in Italy is enjoy a nice big meal, especially my favorite…trofie al pesto. This is a typical Ligurian dish and is one that, like special travels, has the power to completely transport you.

Insider’s Picks
As much as I love Italy and the Mediterranean, my favorite voyages for the season are the cruises Insignia does in August and September, especially the longer ones. The 15-day Beacons of Beauty goes to the smaller harbors of New England and Canada but also these amazing places like Nuuk, Paamiut and Isafjordur– and even better, you end in Reykjavik. Everyone should see Iceland. The 12-day Northern Serenade takes you to some classic ports – Bruges, Copenhagen and Oslo – but then you also have some hidden secrets: Lysekil, Haugesund and Tórshavn, plus one of our new ports, Lübeck, Germany.

The voyage that really caught my eye this season is the one that combines these both: the 27-day Magnificent Crossing from New York to London. The scenery up there, in those parts of Greenland, Iceland and Norway, is very different from any other place in the world and this sailing gives you time to really explore, to get a sense of this region. These longer itineraries always involve a special kind of planning in my area since we make a big effort to ensure they have unique and different ports, that the cruise has a flow. To see these types of voyages come together is always very rewarding.

I will tell you our 2020 Alaska season is also very unique because we are sailing even farther north. For me, the 14-day Glaciers & Fjords that takes you all the way up to College Fjord, Seward and Kodiak is more unusual. These places are not included on run-of-the-mill Alaska cruises and are absolutely worth a visit. Frontiers & Glaciers is another cruise that’s quite different, adding to those ports Homer during the northern leg of its journey.

So that’s my take on our new season – prego! Where will you cruise in 2020? I’d love to see your favorite choices from our new 2020 Europe & The Americas Collection below or on Facebook.

0 comments on “A Local’s Guide to Rome
 

A Local’s Guide to Rome
 

If you’ve been to Rome once or if you’ve been one hundred times, you know that there is much more to the Eternal City than its famed tourist attractions. Rome is a town of the people, the capital of a country dedicated to its citizens.
If you want to experience Rome like a local, here are our Destination Specialists’ top off-the-beaten-path suggestions for this beautiful city.

SHOP
San Lorenzo District
Via Tiburtina

The San Lorenzo District is a great place to experience Roman boutiques and get your Italian chocolate fix. Experience the family-run Candle’s Store on Via dei Campani for one-of-a-kind artisanal candles that put run-of-the-mill candle shops to shame. Whether you’re buying your friends and family hip, Italian clothing at local boutiques or sampling artisan chocolates and desserts at Said – the area’s authentic chocolate shop – the San Lorenzo District brims with perfect gifts for everyone in your life, including yourself.

VISIT
Centrale Montemartini
Via Ostiense 106

After exploring so many traditional Italian museums, you might be ready for something different. The newest addition to the Capitole Museums in Rome, Centrale Montemartini is a former power plant turned museum displaying ancient statues. A three-minute walk from Basilica San Paolo, this unique Greco-Roman museum is a must-see juxtaposition of the old and the new. The thought-provoking contrast between the industrial world and classical art is a testament to Italian ingenuity that makes this stunning collection well worth a visit.

EAT
Nuovo Mondo
Via Amerigo Vespucci 15

Within the homey neighborhood of Piazza Testaccio, you’ll find Nuovo Mercato di Testaccio, a daily market that favored by locals. Take time to experience Rome’s delicacies while shopping the market. Browse overflowing stalls filled with fresh fish, fresh and cured meat, freshly picked herbs and vegetables and ripe, colorful fruit. You can sit in the open piazza in the middle of the square and savor some fresh and local treats. However, we recommend saving room for the best pizza in Rome at a local favorite, Nuovo Mondo. At this humble, bustling restaurant, satisfy your senses with authentic Roman thin-crust pizza and the quintessential Italian experience.

Benvenuti a Roma! Welcome to the real Rome with these hidden secrets.

0 comments on “Food of the Gods: Greek Ingredients
 

Food of the Gods: Greek Ingredients
 

By Restaurant Manager Georgios Korakianitis

With influences from Turkey to Italy, Greece has a vast and unique culinary landscape that has captivated a global audience. In Greece, bread, olives and olive oil are the pillars of the Greek table wherever you travel, from an upscale restaurant in Athens to a farmhouse on Crete. You’ll have a hard time finding a family gathered around a table without this trio, not to mention a
fresh bottle of wine.

 

What many travelers do not realize is that Greek cuisine not only features many typical Middle
Eastern foods, but is also strongly influenced by Rome, tracing back to when the Romans
conquered Greece in the 2nd century. So you’ll see plenty of pasta and sauces alongside yogurt, rice
and rich sweets made from nuts, honey and sesame seeds. Arab influences have also left their mark on the southern region of Greece, which means you’ll see spices such as cumin, cinnamon, allspice and cloves in the dishes. Greek coffee, of course, traces its roots to Turkey, while potatoes
and tomatoes were brought from the New World after European explorers landed in the Americas.

In Greece using local ingredients isn’t a trend, it’s simply how we cook – using what is in season
and what is available in our region. Every Greek meal is fresh and inviting, but it also takes you on a journey through Greece’s history and thousands of years of growing, cooking and eating. As you
will discover once you sit down to eat in Greece, no meal is ever “just a meal” – our celebration of life and dining is one in the same. So I invite you to discover more about just a few of the many Greek ingredients featured on board that capture the essence of our joyful and timeless cuisine.

 

Feta Cheese
The national cheese of Greece, feta, can only be produced in Greece – and only in specific regions such as the Peloponnese, Lesvos and mainland Greece – due to its Protected Designation of Origin. By law, feta is produced from either 100% sheep’s milk or a combination of sheep’s and goat’s milk. It’s the crowning centerpiece on any Greek salad and is a key ingredient in traditional dishes such as spanakopita and feta saganaki – a delicious filo-wrapped feta drenched in honey and coated in sesame.

Caper Leaves
Very difficult to find outside of Greece, caper leaves are typically pickled or boiled and then preserved in jars with brine, similar to caper berries. In fact, when our ships leave Greece, we purchase enough caper leaves to last until the ship is planning to return. Our chefs like to use them
in fish dishes and salads, such as the heirloom tomato salad.

Capers
A bold and briny ingredient, capers are picked, cured and sorted according to size. Harvesting
capers is an arduous process since they can only be picked by hand every spring. They are ideal
for garnishing and add a punch of flavor to sauces, salads, pasta dishes, fish and lamb. We
use them most often on board in our featured Greek fish at the Chef ’s Greek Market Dinner, as well as in a variety of pasta dishes and salads.

 

Kalamata Olives
This king of Greek table olives is favored around the world. The almond-shaped, deep purple
olive is noted for its rich tangy flavor that is often smoky or has hints of wine. Kalamata olives are typically left on the tree to mature a bit longer and are only harvested once their color begins to turn dark. They are usually stored in olive oil or vinegar, and are typical in Greek salads and make a great tapenade.

Filo Dough
Filo dough is an unleavened tissue-thin dough that is stretched or rolled so thin you can see through it. This type of dough is very versatile since it can be layered, filled, folded, rolled and even turned into cups, flowers or spirals. On board, we use filo in various Greek recipes such as baklava and spanakopita, as well as dishes like strudel, pastilla and tartlets. Filo-based pastries are made by layering many sheets of filo brushed with olive oil or butter, filling them and then baking.

Come live the Greek life with us in the Mediterranean this summer!

0 comments on “A Local’s Guide to Santorini
 

A Local’s Guide to Santorini
 

Curated by Captain Dimitrios Flokos

Uncover local picks from Captain Flokos to savor the gorgeous island of Santorini in a whole new way. From hidden shopping gems to Greek dining secrets, here are some of the best ways to enjoy this Aegean gem just like the Santorinians.

SHOP
Atlantis Books E.E.

Nomikos Street, Oía

For a one-of-a-kind shopping experience in Santorini, explore this book lover’s dream. A charmingly old-fashioned independent bookstore, this literary haven carries everything from classic novels to travelogues and cookbooks in multiple languages. Once inside, look up to see a handwritten spiral on the domed ceiling – a thoughtful homage displaying the names of every employee who has ever worked there.

EAT
Parea Restaurant

Fira

Exquisite Greek food and exceptional service are the hallmarks of this quaint al fresco
restaurant overlooking the caldera. Though it’s in the center of bustling Fira, it’s a treasure you’ll wish you had time to dine at more than once. Don’t miss the tomatokeftedes, which are fried Santorini tomato balls, and moussaka, a layered dish of eggplant and ground beef with a creamy béchamel sauce.

VISIT
Town of Imerovigli

Nestled in between Fira and Oia, the quaint town of Imerovigli garners less attention but is well worth a visit. For a quiet and relaxing afternoon, stroll down the cobblestone streets of this white-washed village known as the “balcony of the Aegean,” and take in the breathtaking views of the volcanoes and gorgeous sunsets before heading back to Oia for a traditional dinner or glass of local wine.

We hope to see you in Greece this summer!

0 comments on “A Chef’s Guide: Mapping Culinary Greece
 

A Chef’s Guide: Mapping Culinary Greece
 

Olives_from_Crete

By Director of Culinary Enrichment & Executive Chef Kathryn Kelly

Lindos Bay, Rhodes, Greece

 

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to explore many places in Greece, meet the locals and be invited into their homes and restaurants to share a meal. When most think of Greek food, they immediately think of gyros and spinach pies – both of which are delicious – but there’s so much more to the cuisine of this country, which is one of the most diverse and ancient in the world.

In Greece, it’s difficult to separate cuisine from lifestyle, which is why traveling here is a must for anyone who considers themselves a culinary explorer. Below, I share a glimpse of what makes the various island regions so distinctive and special.

THE DODECANESE | Considered the heart of Greece’s gastronomic history, these islands are home to a traditional cuisine that reflects the meeting of cultures that occurred here long ago. The proximity of the islands to Constantinople and Spice Road means the cuisine has been influenced by the Levant, so the dishes feature a rich variety of spices and worldly influences. You’ll taste notes of coriander, allspice, anise and cinnamon in everything from meat dishes and bread to tarts and cookies on islands such as Patmos and Rhodes.

Baklava

 

Dish not to miss: Baklava

IONION ISLANDS | Due to the strategic seafaring location of these islands, they have been occupied by the Romans, Venetians and Sicilians over the centuries, so you’ll notice a strong Italian influence on these decidedly Greek islands. One of our guests’ favorite dishes from Corfu is pastitsio, a baked pasta covered with ragù and béchamel sauce.

Dish not to miss: Sofrito, a typical Corfiot dish of beef or veal cooked in a garlic wine sauce

THE CYCLADES | Here the elements have clearly influenced what will grow. For example, Santorini is in the crater of a volcano so the soil has a very high mineral concentration. Likewise, the island not only produces some of the best wines, they also grow delicious tomatoes. Cycladic islands such as Mykonos are also famed for their sausages and preserved meats, along with capers and sundried tomatoes.

Dish not to miss: Tomatokeftedes, or tomato fritters

THE PELOPONNESE | In these lands, olives and citrus are in great abundance and the landscape is dotted with vegetable gardens and orchards. Locals often add oranges to their sausage and lemons to their tomato stew. The fresh grilled fish with lemon and herbs that you’ll find at neighborhood restaurants and taverns in destinations such as Gythion and Monemvasia is divine.

Dish not to miss: The catch of the day

CRETE | As the southernmost island, Crete is the birthplace of the Mediterranean diet and is a true culinary mecca. To this day, the island has maintained a very traditional cuisine. In fact, one of the most typical foods, paximadia, or barley rusks, was once kept in shepherds’ pockets for long mountain journeys with their sheep and then later dipped in water and eaten with feta.

Dakos – Barley rusks topped w/ tomatoes, oregano, and olives.

 

Dish not to miss: Dakos, which are rusks topped with fresh tomatoes, local oregano and olives

The best way to get a behind-the-scenes look at the culinary traditions of these famed islands? With one of our Culinary Discovery Tours™, of course. I hope to see you at the markets this summer!