HOLLAND AMERICA LINE ENHANCES ALASKA CRUISETOUR PROGRAM FOR 2013
Written by: Cruise News
November 1, 2012.
In 2013, Holland America Line will expand its Alaska CruiseTour program with some notable additions, including three new Triple Denali itineraries, four new short pre/post “Sampler” tours for guests with limited time and other enhancements to existing CruiseTours. Holland America Line also designed four of its most popular tours to allow them to begin and end in Seattle.
Ranging in total length from 10 to 20 days, all CruiseTours combine a three-, four- or seven-day Inside Passage Holland America Line cruise with in-depth overland tours. CruiseTours are created to highlight the best of Alaska’s wilderness, wildlife, native culture and history. Six tours also feature Canada’s Yukon Territory with its Klondike Gold Rush heritage and pristine national parks such as Kluane National Park and Tombstone Park. Departures are from May through September.
“As an industry leader in Alaska for the past 65 years, Holland America Line is adept at creating personalized vacation experiences that combine Alaska’s must-see highlights with its seldom-seen wonders,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs for Holland America Line. “Our CruiseTours are the perfect choice for guests looking for more in-depth exploration because they feature the wonders of Alaska by both land and sea.”
CruiseTours feature luxurious glass-domed McKinley Explorer railcars with comfortable, forward-facing seats and expert commentary by guides. In addition, Holland America Line’s exclusive Explorer Coaches create a superior environment for traveling the highway on Denali and Yukon tours with roomy leather seats, first-class legroom and no more than 44 travelers.
The three new Triple Denali itineraries feature three-night stays at the majestic Denali National Park. Denali CruiseTour options also include the industry’s first ever one-, two- and three-night stays at or inside the Park. The four new short pre/post “Sampler” tours were created to accommodate guests with limited time looking to immerse themselves in some of Alaska’s most stunning scenery.
Also new for the 2013 Alaska season, ms Amsterdam will join ms Volendam and ms Zuiderdam on select CruiseTours during the seven-day Inside Passage itineraries sailing round-trip from Vancouver, B.C., Canada.
The new tours offered provide unique opportunities to explore Denali with an emphasis on flexibility, choice and convenience. Some options include a direct, same-day connection between Denali and the ship, and luxury travel aboard Holland America Line’s McKinley Explorer dome train.
Triple Direct to Denali CruiseTours D1
Holland America Line’s first-ever Triple Direct to Denali CruiseTour offers guest an unprecedented three-night stay at Denali. This CruiseTour features the Tundra Wilderness Tour and scenic cruising throughout the Gulf of Alaska. The Glacier Discovery itinerary sails from Vancouver to Anchorage, or reverse. At Glacier Bay, guests can cruise the ice-studded fjords of this national treasure for a full eight hours as a Park Service Ranger narrates. Additional ports of call include Haines or Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, a uniquely Alaskan port famous for its rich native culture, salmon fishing, and scenic Misty Fjords. Rates start at $1,499 per person based on double occupancy.
Triple Denali Classic CruiseTour D4
This exclusive CruiseTour that only is offered by Holland America Line includes three nights and two full days in one of Alaska’s top-attractions, the perfect choice for guests seeking a short pre- or post- cruise land extension. Guests will embark on a seven-day Glacier Discovery cruise and sightsee aboard the McKinley Explorer domed railcars. During this CruiseTour guest will enjoy unforgettable nights in Denali plus highlights in Anchorage and Fairbanks. On the second day at Denali, guest travel deep into Denali National Park during the Tundra Wilderness Tour. The tour, narrated by a naturalist, ventures 53 miles into the Park to the Toklat River. On the third day, guests can explore on their own with a free day in Denali. Rates start at $1,599 per person, double occupancy.
Sampler CruiseTours S1-S4
The Sampler Tour combines three-, four-, or seven-day cruises with one- and two-night land packages for guests seeking a short pre- or post-cruise land extension, providing guests with just enough time to have the essential Denali experience. During the Denali Sample Tour S1 guests will sail from Vancouver to Anchorage, or reverse, and enjoy scenic cruising throughout Alaska’s Inside Passage before calling at Ketchikan, Juneau, Haines or Skagway and Glacier Bay. Park Service Rangers narrate for a full eight hours as guests enjoy the breathtaking scenery of Glacier Bay. While at Denali, guests can spend the day exploring Denali National Park before boarding the McKinley Explorer train bound for Anchorage. Rates start at $999 per person based on double occupancy.
Expedition CruiseTours E1-E3
Holland America Line’s Expedition CruiseTours E1-E3, ranging from 12 to 14 days, provide guests with adventurous wilderness experiences and intimate opportunities to view wildlife, including the Bears and Wilderness CruiseTour. These rugged CruiseTours feature a seven-day Glacier Discovery cruise, quintessential Alaska destination Redoubt Bay Lodge near Lake Clark National Park, and Winterlake Lodge, located northwest of Anchorage and along Alaska’s famed Iditarod Trail. Additional Expedition CruiseTours highlight the best of the Kenai Peninsula and Denali backcountry. Rates start at $2,999 per person based on double occupancy.
Convenient Roundtrip Seattle CruiseTours R1, R2, R4, R5
Holland America Line’s convenient round-trip Seattle CruiseTours offer guests four of the company’s most popular tour options with the ease of beginning and ending in Seattle, Wash. Air link between Seattle and Anchorage or Fairbanks, transfers and a Seattle hotel overnight are included in the CruiseTour options.
Roundtrip Seattle tours feature scenic cruising of Alaska’s famed Inside Passage combined with two or three nights in Denali, Fairbanks and, on the most extensive option, the Yukon as well. Rates start at $1,899 per person based on double occupancy.
Notable Enhancements to Existing CruiseTours
In 2013, Holland America Line’s Dawson & Denali Plus CruiseTour Y4 will upgrade to a Triple Denali itinerary that includes a direct Explorer Coach connection between Dawson City and Fairbanks. Classic Denali CruiseTours D4-D7 will include the Alaska Railroad CruiseTrain between Seward and Anchorage, and tour concierges will be featured on the Yukon series Y1-Y6 and Denali Plus CruiseTours D8-D9. Additionally, the included Yukon River cruise on tours Y1-Y4 will operate as a round-trip excursion from Dawson aboard the nostalgic paddle-wheeler Klondike Spirit. Guests on these itineraries will travel by Explorer Coach between Tok and Dawson City on Alaska’s famous Top of the World Highway.
Unique to the Holland America Line cruise experience, Alaska-inspired cuisine is featured throughout both cruise and land components. Additionally, knowledgeable interpreters, tour concierges and Alaska travel guides are present on most CruiseTours and Alaska sailings. At Glacier Bay National Park, National Park Rangers provide extensive commentary and guided programs.