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.

1 comment on “Northern Beauties: Bordeaux, Dublin & St. Petersburg”

Northern Beauties: Bordeaux, Dublin & St. Petersburg

Where do our experts recommend you go in these sought-after cities of the north? From château picks to Dubliner favorites, here are our top recommendations and insider tips.

 

Bordeaux: La Perle d’Aqiutaine
Although no single destination can claim to offer the quintessential best of France, Bordeaux makes even Francophiles question the notion. The UNESCO World Heritage city is a visual feast of ornate buildings, broad avenues and stately squares all accompanied by a renowned gastronomy culture and some of the most coveted wines in the world. Enjoy the surrounding vineyards by sampling the local cabernet sauvignon and merlot – the region is revered by oenophiles as the epicenter of excellence for reds. Stop at Château Margaux and other famed vineyards along Route des Châteaux in the Medoc region. Whichever estate you visit, you’ll experience both impressive cellars and experts that are eager to share their passion for wine making, as well as their exquisite varietals.

Insider Tip | Follow the chefs to Le Marché des Capucins, where you’ll find butchers, fishmongers, fruit, vegetables, flowers – and yes, wine. Moustached vendors and beret-donning shoppers complete the old world French ambiance.

Dublin, Ireland: The Fair City
An ancient city that buzzes with life and is one of Europe’s finest capitals, Dublin is a living museum with medieval castles and 18th-century architectural splendors as well as legendary distilleries and world-famous breweries. Discover some of the best sights during a leisurely cruise along the Liffey River or a walking tour through the charming Georgian squares of Merrion and Fitzwilliam, and by Dublin Castle and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. No visit to the city is complete without experiencing the convivial Dubliner pub culture, so pop into The Brazen Head, dating back to 1198, for a pint and hearty beef-and-Guinness stew. Of course, a tour of the Guinness Storehouse is a must for stout aficionados as is Old Jameson Distillery for whiskey connoisseurs.

Insider Tip | Leave yourself time to wander and savor the atmosphere that makes Dublin so charming. After all, it is the ultimate city for flâneurs – you’ll feel the art of slowing down all around if you pay attention.

St. Petersburg: The Venice of the North
Built on more than a hundred islands in the Neva Delta and connected by canals and bridges, St. Petersburg was once called the “Venice of the North” by Goethe. With so much art, culture and history packed into one canal city, the challenge here is deciding what to do. If you haven’t already, spend some time exploring the vast collection of the Hermitage, one of the world’s finest museums which features European masters such as Renoir, Monet, and Van Gogh. Also visit the elegant pavilions and gardens of Peterhof Palace and the gilded galleries of Catherine Palace. For those looking to get off the beaten path, discover the famed Russian writer’s flat at the Dostoevsky Museum or stroll the Udelnaya Fair to discover a wealth of Soviet ephemera, pre-revolutionary antiques and all things kitsch.

Insider Tip | From late May to early July enjoy the legendary White Nights – luminous midsummer eves when the sun barely sets and you can enjoy wonderful panoramas and the celebratory spirit across the city.

Join us on adventures in Northern Europe and beyond this summer!

1 comment on “The Water of Life: Single Malt Scotch Tastings On Board”

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?

 

1 comment on “The Cotswolds: England’s Hidden Gem”

The Cotswolds: England’s Hidden Gem

Rolling hills, open skies, ancient villages and secret gardens where time has stood still for centuries – this is the Cotswolds. A rural region in south central England known for its beautiful stone-built villages, historical towns, stately homes and enchanting gardens, the Cotswolds has come to symbolize quintessential England.