Skip the standard shore excursion on your next cruise: Last month, Oceania Cruises rolled out more than 120 new immersive Go Local tour experiences fleetwide. These small-group shore excursions – from going inside a local’s home for dinner to joining a fishing crew off the coast of Portofino, Italy – bring regional day-to-day life into sharper focus. The kicker, Oceania CEO Bob Binder says, is that cruisers who take part in these excursions “don’t see the highlights, or even visit a landmark.”

“Oceania does an excellent job with the selection of excursions and the variety of activities,” says Virtuoso travel advisor Jesse Taylor. “The Go Local Tours now being offered allow guests to really get an off-the-beaten-path experience with locals of the area.”

On a 23-day, Dublin-to-Venice voyage on the 684-passenger Nautica, cruisers can ride an indigenous Catalan donkey (a popular symbol of Catalonia) around the volcanic countryside surrounding the town of Olot, Spain, followed by a walking tour of the medieval cobble-stone town Santa Pau. They can imagine the buzz of the annual Marathon du Medoc race by going for a jog on one of Bordeaux’s many running paths along the Garonne River during a 28-day, Rome-to-Reykjavik sailing; or learn the careful process of painting traditional Matryoshka nesting dolls in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on an 11-day, Stockholm-to-Oslo sailing. Go Local tours are available during select port calls in Alaska, Europe, and South America. They range from one to 12 hours, and typically max out at just 20 participants.

In Kotor, Montenegro, Oceania passengers can tour olive groves of a family estate.

These new Go Local shore excursions are part of a major multiyear revamp for Oceania. Since last August, the line has invested more than $100 million in upgrading accommodations, reinventing onboard dining experiences, and more for its four Regatta-class ships.

This article is sponsored by Oceania Cruises.