Families looking to expose older children to exotic and unique cruise destinations can take advantage of Oceania Cruises’ new Sirena Exotic Collection, scheduled to kick off next fall.
Perfect for families whose schedules allow for longer vacations, the itineraries offer in-depth explorations of the Holy Lands of Egypt, Israel and Turkey, the Arabian Peninsula, India, Myanmar and Indonesia.
By contrast, this isn’t the ship for families looking for the kinds of kid-centric amenities — like water slides and bowling alleys —available on some mainstream cruise lines. Instead, the 342-stateroom ship, which recently underwent a top-to-bottom redo, offers an elegant vibe, complete with a multimillion-dollar art collection that includes works by Jacques Pepin and Soumiya Lakshmi Krishnaswamy, and highly regarded cuisine.
Passengers as young as 1 year old are welcome, but ideally kids school-aged and older kids are a good fit, especially if they are experienced travelers. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult and must occupy the same stateroom as an adult.
The ship was originally scheduled to sail to Cuba during the winter and spring seasons, but thanks to the latest round of travel restrictions to the destination, the company revamped the schedule by extending the 2020 European season before moving on to more far-flung destinations for winter through spring 2021.
“We’ve thoughtfully crafted these immersive and off-the-beaten-path explorations to some of the hardest to reach destinations in the world to satiate our guests’ appetites for new and unusual travel experiences, “said Bob Binder, president and chief executive officer, Oceania Cruises.
The Sirena Exotic Collection comprises nine cruises of 10 to 24 days, sailing from November 2020 to April 2021.
All itineraries include overnight port calls with some itineraries featuring as many as four overnights along with such new ports as Marmaris in Turkey, Sir Bani Yas in the Emirates, Doha in Qatar, Al Bahrain in Bahrain, Al Khasab in Oman, and Sabang in Indonesia.
The season kicks off with a 12-day voyage from Jerusalem to Istanbul called Aegean Awakening, with calls in Haifa and Ashdod, Israel; Paphos in Cyprus; Alanya, Marmaris and Bodrum in Turkey; Crete and Athens in Greece, and Kusadasi and Istanbul in Turkey.
Sirena then charts a course through the Red Sea to explore the Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman and then on to India, the Maldives and Myanmar.
If all this seems a little too exotic, try one of the company’s kid-friendly Alaska departures, which features an Alaska Explorer Youth Program, designed for children ages 5–12, which showcases the beauty of the Northwest coast of Alaska through games, activities and Alaska-inspired special onboard events.
Chances are you know South Beach or have heard about the southernmost section of Miami Beach — 23rd Street to South Pointe Park. It’s the historic Art Deco district with stunning white and pastel buildings lining Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue and beyond.
Tucked into the central coast of California is a trail of history waiting to be found by your kids. The Highway 1 Discovery Route through San Luis Obispo County snakes along the winnowy Pacific Coast Highway, CA-1, between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The more than 100 miles of mostly protected coastline begins after a four-hour drive from San Francisco at Ragged Point, or about three hours from Los Angeles at Nipomo. The trail features 10 cities, connected by cliffs, carved by a moody ocean, and a slower pace of life. There are plenty of reasons to stop and walk into the past, preserved by those whose hearts still live there. Nature lovers will linger on the many trails to hike and picnic areas. We drove from Los Angeles with two 9-year-old boys to explore this part of the state.
Raising a budding Julia Child or Jacques Pépin? Or just looking for a more interactive family activity? Register your family (or kids) for a cooking class at the Culinary Institute of America.
If walking through a winter wonderland is still on your family’s list of things to do this season, Maine can definitely help check that box. By this time of year, Maine is almost certainly covered with snow and awaiting the arrival of winter lovers and outdoor adventurers alike.