Wednesday, 5 January 2011

High Cuisine and Totem Poles

By guest blogger Steve Newman

Author, lecturer and naturalist Terry Breen will lecture on board Oceania Cruises' summer Alaska cruises on the elegant 684-passenger Regatta when the new itineraries debut in May. Breen will give enrichment lectures and share personal insights with guests as they explore the Inside Passage and lesser-known Alaskan ports.

With 19 years of expedition experience, Terry Breen has honed her love for cultural anthropology and exploration and has become an acclaimed area specialist. Author of The Cruiser Friendly Onboard Guide series, the first and only guides that explore the world as seen from the decks of a cruise ship, Breen will share her invaluable insight and understanding of Alaska's celebrated sights and uncultivated wilderness with guests.

- 12-day Alaskan Grandeur starting at £1406 per person -

Oceania's Alaskan Grandeur itinerary operates between San Francisco and Vancouver on May 26 and again August 14. Fares start from £1406 per person, based on two sharing. Ports include: Astoria, Wrangell, Juneau, Hoona, Sitka (called "Shee Atika" by the Tlingit Indians, then "New Archangel" by the Russians who moved in next) ousted and Ketchikan. Totem poles are one of Ketchikan's main attractions and the best places to view them are the Saxman Native Village (above) and Totem Bight State Park. Guests can also learn about the local cultures and ecosystems at the Southeast Alaska Discovery Centre.

As a special highlight, Pacific Northwest specialties will be featured during lunch in the casual Terrace Café and in the ship's elegant Grand Dining Room. Regional specialities will also be showcased in all four of the ship's open-seating restaurants, all of which are available with no surcharge.

Provisions are bought locally whenever possible and the ship's executive chef seeks the freshest catch and shellfish, making on-the-spot decisions. Consequently, not all selections will always be available and there may be surprise menu additions. Depending on the voyage and venue, appetisers might include Fresh Halibut Velouté - a creamy fish soup with saffron rice and julienne leeks - or Alaskan King Crab Legs, sure to be a guest favourite.