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2020 Europe & The Americas: Destinations to Delve Into

From the rolling Irish countryside to the birthplace of Aphrodite, the destinations in our 2020 Europe & The Americas Collection offer imaginative adventures and the chance to explore more of Europe’s and North America’s most intriguing destinations. To inspire your cruise planning, here’s a glimpse from our Destination Experts at what you’ll find in just a few of our newest ports in Europe – surprising facts, tempting culinary specialties and more.

Ciutadella de Menorca, Spain
In contrast to the more hopping Balearic Islands driven by the thumping bass of lively nightclubs, you’ll immediately notice that the rhythm of life on Menorca is reflected in gentle waves lapping at powdery sands.

Did you know? Ciutadella’s daily open-air market has been a place to socialize and shop since the 14th century. Meet locals as you shop for handcrafts, jewelry, colorful textiles, leather goods and avarcas, traditional Menorcan sandals.

Culinary delight to try: Artisanal Mahón made from raw cow’s milk and aged for 2 to 3 months

Dartmouth, UK
Don’t miss the pristine coves of the River Dart estuary, lined with quaint cottages and bobbing sailboats. The waterfront is so picturesque that you may wonder if any Pilgrims were tempted to unload here when the Mayflower pulled in for repairs en route to the New World.

Did you know? Agatha Christie summered in Dartmouth. Greenway, her gorgeous summer home and gardens, as well as nearby landmarks often surface in her stories.

Culinary delight to try: Real Devonshire cream tea with scones at a riverside café

Glengarriff, Ireland
Far away from Ireland’s cosmopolitan urban centers, nestled deep in Bantry Bay, Glengarriff offers all the joys of the Irish countryside, from the dramatic beauty of its coastline to quirky cultural distinctions like a nature walk through the private gardens of a local family.

Did you know? To properly kiss – and reap the rewards from – the famed Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle near Glengarriff, you need to lean backwards holding onto an iron railing from the parapet walk. The legendary gift is worth it: eloquence.

Culinary delight to try: When in Ireland, do as the Irish do and drink the country’s national drink, whiskey. At Jameson Distillery near Glengarriff, go behind the scenes for a look at whiskey making and enjoy a tasting.

Marina di Carrara, Italy
As you sail into Marina di Carrara, the gorgeous snow spilling down from the mountains onto the green pine forests above the nearby town of Carrara will take your breath away – until you remember it is summer. What you are seeing is the exposed veins of the world’s most sought-after white marble. The Tuscan seaside resort of Marina di Carrara lies just outside the Marble City and invites you to enjoy some quality beach time or journey farther afield to explore the magic of Tuscany. 

Did you know? The lush green hills of Carrara provided the white stone for Michelangelo’s Pieta and Rodin’s The Kiss and have been worked since Roman times.

Culinary delight to try: Tuscan wine, of course. Head into the geographic and metaphoric heart of Italy for a memorable wine-tasting adventure.

Paphos, Cyprus
Paphos isn’t just sunny, it’s really sunny – with an average of 13 hours a day in the summer and five hours during what are normally dreary months. It’s easy to fall in love with this beautiful land of rocky coastline and clear blue waters, which is why it was the perfect setting for the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite, goddess of beauty and love.

Did you know? A highlight of the Paphos Archaeological Park, the House of Dionysus has some of the finest, best-preserved mosaics in the world. Discover gods, goddesses and a floor made of seashells depicting the mythical Greek sea monster Skyla.

Culinary delight to try: Eat like a Paphos native with mezes, a series of small dishes served at a leisurely pace to allow space for conversation. Start with olives, followed by bread with tahini, before moving on to grilled lamb kebabs.

What destination caught your eye in our new 2020 Europe & The Americas Collection? Share it below or on Facebook.

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 “Top Ways to Win Big O Points

Top Ways to Win Big O Points

Whether you’ve always been driven to win or just have a fondness for contests and tournaments, here are our favorite ways to embrace your inner competitive spirit on board and score some Big O Points. Once you’re on board, check your daily Currents and look for the Big O Points logo and activities hosted by your Entertainment Team. Regardless of what you choose, you’re certain to discover a few new ways to mingle with your fellow travelers – and you just might meet your match.

    Check your daily issue of Currents for these rousing favorites – you’ll be up against historians, scientists, professors, engineers and the like. Join trivia during the beginning of your cruise and arrive early to form the best team. It’s time to get those Big O Points!
    We’re excited to be one of the very few cruise lines partnering with Mensa, the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world, to bring you this challenging daily quiz on board. Put your knowledge to the test!
    Keep an eye out for hosted morning tournaments listed in Currents.
    Practice your swing, mingle with other golf enthusiasts and enjoy the chance to earn Big O Points during hosted sessions.
    Check Currents for sports deck competitions – with great views and the chance to win Big O Points, these activities can’t be beaten.
    Join guests in Martinis for cocktails and put your music repertoire to the test with this competitive classic.

What’s your favorite way to win Big O Points? Share below or on Facebook!

0 comments on “Discover Our OLife Newsletter Fall Issue

Discover Our OLife Newsletter Fall Issue

Our OLife Newsletter is specially created several times a year for all of our Oceania Club members and features exclusive news and updates, in-depth destination spotlights, chef-curated recipes and more. Now available online, our fall OLife Newsletter features a deeper look at our exciting Re-Inspiration as well as a spotlight on our unique country-intensive voyages, a new signature voyage with Sara Moulton, a mouthwatering recipe for our asparagus and black truffle risotto and much more. Get inspired and start reading below.

0 comments on “3 Off-the-Beaten-Path Things to Do in Florence

3 Off-the-Beaten-Path Things to Do in Florence

Benvenuti a Firenze! One of the most beautiful and historical cities in the world, Florence offers hundreds of things to do. You can tour the Uffizi Gallery or Galleria dell’Accademia, walk to the top of the Florence Cathedral’s Duomo, or shop until you drop at the Gucci Garden. But even for those that have been there time and time again, Florence is filled with alluring ways to spend your day. Here are 3 off-the-beaten-path things to do in the beautiful City of Lilies.

Museo di Palazzo Vecchio
Piazza della Signoria
There are beautiful views of Florence in many locations – from the top of the Duomo to Piazzale Michelangelo. But a great place to experience Florentine art while enjoying the view of the city is the Museo di Palazzo Vecchio. This breathtaking museum was originally built for the city’s governing body. It houses Renaissance artwork by artists including Michelangelo and Donatello because it was lived in by part of the Medici family during the 1500s. After experiencing the art of the Renaissance, make sure pay the extra 10 euro to climb the 416 steps to the top of the tower. This view may very well be the most breathtaking view of Florence.

Mercato di Sant’Ambrogio
Piazza Lorenzo Ghiberti
Decidedly less for tourists and more for locals, this smaller food market offers a intimate taste of Florentine life as you mix with locals picking up produce and fresh pasta. Filled with stalls both indoors and outdoors selling everything from cheeses, bread and honey to soaps and household goods, it’s a colorful alternative to the larger and more popular San Lorenzo markets. De Rocco, the trattoria inside, makes a great spot for an inexpensive lunch.

I Tarocchi Ristorante Pizzeria
Renai 12-14/r
This modest restaurant is home to some of Florence’s most delicious food. Open from noon to 3 p.m. for lunch and 7 p.m. to midnight for dinner, I Tarocchi serves authentic Italian food. On a typical day in this local favorite, you may be the only tourist in the restaurant. Make sure to try the fagottini di pere alla crema, a tortellini-like pasta dish stuffed with pear. This sweet and buttery dish is the perfect meal after a long day in the city. Other classics include the warm and delicious calzones and pizzas.
Have a favorite Florence spot? Share it below or on Facebook!