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Sea Of Plenty: Six Holland America Ships Offer 2021 Alaska Cruises

Bruce Parkinson

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A leader in introducing cruise lovers to the glorious scenery of Alaska for over 70 years, Holland America Line has big plans for the ‘The Last Frontier’ in 2021, with half a dozen ships showcasing the 49th state’s attractions. 

sitka alaska waterfront

HAL has Alaska covered, both at sea and on land. As well as its fleet of modern, mid-sized ships, the company boasts 3,500 staff on the ground, many of them local Alaskans. It owns its own motor coaches, the luxury railcar McKinley Explorer and hotels, including the awe-inspiring 60-acre McKinley Chalet Resort bordering Denali National Park. 

With all these assets, Holland America Line is able to offer a wide selection of cruise itineraries, plus once-in-a-lifetime Land+Sea Journeys that combine a thrilling sea voyage with an unforgettable land exploration of Alaska’s interior and Canada’s Yukon Territory.

From April through September, Eurodam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam, Oosterdam and Volendam will offer authentic Alaska experiences, showcasing a region rich in wildlife, incomparable views and singular cultural and culinary experiences. 

Round-trip itineraries are available from Seattle, Washington, and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, or guests can choose one-way sailings between Whittier (the port for Anchorage), Alaska, and Vancouver. 

“We’re seeing strong interest for next summer’s Alaska season as people anticipate being able to get out again, travel and spend time with family and friends,” said Gus Antorcha, Holland America Line’s recently appointed president. HAL is based in Seattle, the jumping-off spot for many of its Alaska cruises.

“Alaska has a natural beauty and an aura that are unmatched, and it’s right in our backyard. If you want to have an immersive experience, see Glacier Bay and go up to the Yukon, no one does it better than Holland America Line. We’re ready to return with plenty of options for everybody from couples to multi-generational families,” Antorcha added. 

Highlights Of HAL’s 2021 Alaska program include:

  • The popular Pinnacle Class ship Koningsdam returns to Alaska featuring seven-day “Inside Passage” itineraries roundtrip from Vancouver. HAL is the only cruise line with seven-day round-trip itineraries from Vancouver that include Glacier Bay National Park.

 

  • New for 2021, seven-day “Glacier Discovery Northbound” and “Glacier Discovery Southbound” itineraries cruise between Whittier, Alaska, and Vancouver aboard Nieuw Amsterdam and Noordam. Cruises include two glacier experiences to Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier or College Fjords and port stops at Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, Alaska.

 

  • Seven-day “Alaska Inside Passage” itineraries cruise roundtrip from Vancouver, aboard Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam and Volendam. Ports include Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway.

 

  • Seven-day “Alaskan Explorer” itineraries cruise roundtrip from Seattle aboard Eurodam and Oosterdam, and include calls at Victoria, British Columbia and Ketchikan, Juneau and Sitka.

 

  • Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam and Volendam will offer Land+Sea Journeys ranging from nine to 18 days.

 

  • All HAL ships cruising in Alaska feature expanded onboard programming. Guests can engage with an Alaska naturalist, while cruises featuring Glacier Bay are enhanced by the presence of a National Park Ranger and Huna native speaker. Unique presentations explore distinctly local topics such as Alaska’s bush pilots and the famous Iditarod sled-dog race.

 The great glaciers of Alaska are best viewed from the sea, and every HAL Alaska cruise includes a visit to one or more of the state’s iconic glacier destinations: Glacier Bay National Park, Hubbard Glacier and the Twin Sawyer Glaciers of Tracy Arm. The line offers more itineraries to Glacier Bay National Park than any other cruise operator.

 For explorers who want to travel further into the wilds of Alaska and beyond, 15 different Land+Sea Journeys combine a three-, four- or seven-day Alaska cruise with an inland exploration to spend up to three nights at Denali National Park and Preserve, the crown jewel of Alaska’s interior. Every journey includes a train ride into Alaska’s interior on HAL’s iconic glass-domed McKinley Explorer.

Plus, HAL is the only cruise line that extends land tour options all the way to Dawson City, the heart of the Klondike Gold Rush, and the unspoiled reaches of Canada’s Yukon Territory. 

The experience aboard a Holland America ship is sophisticated and lively, with fine art spread throughout the ship, a strong emphasis on live music at several different venues and a wide range of diverse, high-quality cuisine. 

Bruce Parkinson has written about cruising and the broader international travel industry for more than 25 years.

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