Anchorage resident’s around-the-world adventure is a travel lover’s dream job

Cella Baker landed in Anchorage recently immediately after a impressive spherical-the-environment journey. Whilst she did not technically circumnavigate the world, she definitely did not sit continue to earning her way from nation to state.

“I’ve been to 140 nations around the world,” she stated. “The initially issue I do is discover how to say ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ in the local language. On this trip, I think we went to 46 nations around the world.”

Baker’s journey started off final November in Aruba. She had been hired by Oceania Cruises to operate on a round-the-entire world cruise. But the ship, the Insignia, was laid up throughout the COVID pandemic. Portion of her occupation was to get it ready to sail once again.

“We were channeling Jules Verne,” she claimed. “But as a substitute of going about the world in 80 days, we included an additional 100 days.”

The Insignia, crafted in 1999, is 594 ft very long and retains 656 passengers and 400 crew users. Right after her retrofit in Aruba, the ship sailed to New York to decide up its initially passengers on Dec. 21, 2021.

Baker’s career aboard the ship is a “Oceania Club Ambassador.” She sells foreseeable future cruises to company on board, manages a loyalty program and guides tours in port. Some visitors on the ship acquire the full 180-working day cruise, though other people sail precise segments of the itinerary.

“This is my retirement position,” she said. “I retired two several years in the past and went to sea!”

Oceania Cruises has presented the spherical-the-earth trip considering that 2015. “We have some guests who have been six instances,” stated Baker.

“We managed COVID seriously well on board the ship, but there were being at any time-altering protocols on shore.”

Those people “ever-transforming protocols” led to some re-routing in the middle of their journey.

Soon after leaving Los Angeles on Jan. 6, the Insignia manufactured it as significantly as French Polynesia in advance of turning around. Lots of of the Asian ports-of-phone however ended up shut to cruise ships.

“We did a U-flip in Tahiti,” stated Baker. “We went back again by the Panama Canal and invested about a thirty day period in the Caribbean. From there we went to Europe, Israel, the jap Mediterranean, the Greek Isles, about Italy, France, Spain and Gibraltar. Then we sailed up to the Baltic region.”

Baker very easily remembers the spur-of-the-minute itinerary modifications and all of the setting up that necessary to be done on-the-fly.

“When you vacation in the course of a pandemic, you have to be flexible. You can’t have set expectations,” she stated.

But the new port phone calls yielded some incredible activities.

“We had been one of the quite very first ships allowed in Istanbul,” reported Baker. “I escorted a evening tour to the Blue Mosque space for the duration of Ramadan. We observed people arrive and unfold out picnic blankets on a huge 100-acre garden location for a celebration. And it was a celebration each and every night (throughout Ramadan).”

Yet another adventure when the ship called in Italy was truffle searching in Tuscany. “We went out with two men and their puppies. And indeed, the canine did the digging,” she reported.

Cruising in the Atlantic, the Insignia identified as in Funchal, Madeira. Just off the coastline of Africa, the island is controlled by the Portuguese and is recognized for its port wine.

Baker went with a team on a cable automobile up to the top rated of a mountain on the island. From there, they went back again downhill in sleds with soft chairs. “It was the most pleasurable,” stated Baker. “Each sled experienced two gondoliers that steered the sled down the steep streets.”

In Montenegro, which is north of Albania and south of Croatia, the cruise line arranged a tour of an olive grove. When they arrived, the farmer fulfilled them and they experienced an olive-oil tasting in the subject. From there, the group went to the farmer’s house for a wine tasting.

Other dining events were extra extravagant. “We experienced dinner under the sea,” claimed Baker. “We went to the lower amount of the Countrywide Aquarium in Copenhagen,” she explained.

“Most friends are in their 60s and 70s,” mentioned Baker. “Of the 250 round-the-globe cruisers, there have been some mother-daughter pairs, as effectively as some lately-retired company. Also, there were being some who offered every thing and determined to go close to the environment. Other people marketed their houses, set all the things in storage and made use of the trip as a sabbatical.”

The guests on board came from 15-20 nations around the world, in accordance to Baker. The crew associates came from 30-50 international locations. “It’s like a tiny United Nations on board,” claimed Baker.

Wanderlust usually has been element of Baker’s tale due to the fact she begun functioning in the journey business. That contains employment in resorts, at travel agencies and with cruise lines. “This is a terrific retirement job. I get compensated to see the planet in a way that I could not afford. And that tends to make it all the more attention-grabbing,” she stated.

What is following? Well, Baker is scheduled to perform the 2023 itinerary for Oceania. “Next year, we’re heading to Antarctica,” she said. “Next calendar year will be my third attempt to get all over the globe. The cruise in 2020 obtained canceled and this year we had to make a U-transform.”

The 2023 itinerary also provided some Alaska ports: Dutch Harbor, Juneau and Ketchikan. Oceania offers a 198-working day itinerary leaving just immediately after Christmas, on Dec. 28, 2022 from Miami. Staterooms are accessible from $47,199 per particular person.