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.
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.