A locavore’s delight
Oceania’s very small Regatta (684 passengers) and exceptional cuisine put it at the doorstep of Regent and Silversea—but for about half the price. Its five restaurants serve dishes like whole lobster with crushed chile peppers, and many of their ingredients are secured from local ports of call. In keeping with the food focus, the popular Wild Alaska Culinary Extravaganza offers expert instruction on grilling local salmon and halibut, preparing Dungeness crab and more. “It’s a foodie’s cruise line,” says CruiseCenter’s Baker, “with some of the best cuisine out there.” Oceania’s seven-day itineraries from Vancouver travel the Inside Passage, while its less-frequent ten-day trips may include Hubbard Glacier, Icy Strait, Juneau and Victoria, British Columbia. All you need is patience: Oceania opted out of Alaska this season but will be back in 2013. Seven-day itineraries start at $1,800; oceaniacruises.com.