Virtuoso Global February 2019 3 Ways to Plunge into a New Place

3 Ways to Plunge into a New Place

Princess Cruises offers more than 130 sailings to Alaska in 2019.
Princess Cruises offers more than 130 sailings to Alaska in 2019.
How Princess Cruises focuses on getting the most out of every moment.

One of the central reasons people love cruising is that it allows them to visit multiple destinations – be they Alaska’s frontier towns, vibrant Caribbean islands, or grand European cities – on one thoughtfully orchestrated journey.

But how can you be sure to get a real sense of a place when you spend, say, just a day or so in each port? Forward-thinking cruise lines, such as Princess Cruises, pull out all the stops to give guests more than a taste of the places they visit, offering immersive experiences on board and ashore that independent travelers couldn’t arrange on their own.

Here’s how to deep dive.

1. Soak up the real Alaska.

Celebrating 50 years of sailing in Alaska, Princess Cruises understands that the best way to know The Last Frontier is through its people. Book one of Princess’ Alaska voyages and meet the cast from the popular Discovery Channel program Deadliest Catch. (Captain David Lethin and his shipmates will entertain you with stories about their adventures in the Bering Sea.) You’ll also chat with well-known icons such as Libby Riddles, the first female Iditarod champion.

Depending on the cruise you choose, you might even get a chance to participate in an ax-throwing contest with a professional lumberjack. Love to fish? Cast your line on a Princess excursion and one of the ship’s chefs will prepare your catch that night.

During a Princess cruise in Alaska, chefs will cook your catch.
During a Princess cruise in Alaska, chefs will cook your catch.
Whether you catch it or not, you can expect to find fresh Alaska seafood on the dining room and specialty restaurant menus each night. Princess has also partnered with popular local eateries to offer their specialty dishes on board. At the top-deck grill, you can sample crab cakes from Tracy’s King Crab Shack in Juneau, fish tacos from The Alaska Fish House in Ketchikan, and seafood chowder from Bonanza Bar and Grill in Skagway.

“One of the things that I love about Princess is their variety in all aspects of their cruises,” says Virtuoso travel advisor Roxanne Girard. “And that goes with all of their dining and food choices on board.”

Don’t miss: The chance to snuggle with sled dog puppies and meet the handlers who will train them for a life of dog mushing in Skagway.

2. Sip sunshine from a glass.

It’s hard not to think of the Caribbean without picturing fruit-forward cocktails topped with tiny umbrellas. As part of its immersion in Caribbean culture, Princess has partnered with celebrity mixologist Rob Floyd to develop signature drinks that celebrate the region’s history. Savor revered traditions with rum punch, piña coladas, and mojitos that would make Hemingway proud. On a Princess Medallion Class vacation – a Princess exclusive – you can order those mojitos, coladas, and coolers using your smart device and have them delivered to you anywhere on the ship. (Medallion Class also features the best Wi-Fi at sea, with speed you expect on land, and a host of other enhanced experiences that make your cruise effortless.)

Celebrity mixologist Rob Floyd takes his inspiration from fresh ingredients and local traditions.
Celebrity mixologist Rob Floyd takes his inspiration from fresh ingredients and local traditions.
All that liquid culture is the perfect prelude to authentic island dishes. Think: red snapper, Jamaican jerk chicken, Creole black mussels, Puerto Rican mofongo, and pineapple crème brûlée.

This willingness to deliver a destination-focused experience is one of the reasons Virtuoso advisor Linda Allen-Speer is such a big fan of Princess Cruises (that and the “fab” key lime pie martinis she had on an Eastern Caribbean cruise). “It’s my go-to cruise line,” she explains. “I’ve actively recommended Princess for my entire career of 25 years. I can count on them to offer consistently high client satisfaction. They have a very high repeat factor; in fact, many of my longtime clients will only sail on Princess.”

Don’t miss: Up-close-and-personal time with parrots and macaws. You’ll find them in the ship’s atrium, where you can learn interesting facts about their habits and habitat – and snag a parrot-on-your-shoulder photo.

3. Delve into the heart of culinary Europe.

One of the joys of traveling is discovering the local cuisine scene – by visiting the restaurants and food carts favored by locals, meeting star chefs on the rise, strolling through colorful markets, and rolling up your sleeves and participating in cooking classes. Princess’ exclusive Bon Appétit shore excursions allow you to do just that. In Dublin, for instance, you’ll make scones from scratch with Catherine Fulvio, the acclaimed chef and proprietor of Ballyknocken House & Cookery School. In Copenhagen, sample smørrebrød, Denmark’s classic open-faced sandwich, at Ferry Café. A local chef in Valencia will teach you how to prepare paella, and in Sorrento you’ll learn the nuances of Italy’s favorite carb at a pasta factory.

Passengers aboard Princess Cruises have multiple culinary opportunities, including cooking classes. 
Passengers aboard Princess Cruises have multiple culinary opportunities, including cooking classes. 
Don’t miss: Should you book one of this year’s 58 Mediterranean sailings aboard Emerald Princess, be sure to reserve a spot at SHARE, from award-winning chef and restaurateur Curtis Stone, for a sumptuous six-course dining experience. “We’re an ingredient-driven restaurant,” executive chef Christian Dortch says. “We’re actually able to pick up local produce and local ingredients from every port around the world. And every single region of the world has its own quality that we’re able to showcase inside of the restaurant.”

Popular Articles

You may also like...