Holland America Line Unveils “Alaska Up Close” Lineup

Holland America Line, which celebrates 75 years in Alaska this year, unveiled the “Alaska Up Close” lineup, which will feature a massive number of immersive experiences on board and ashore.

This year, six of Holland America’s 11 ships will be deployed to Alaska.


Capitalizing on its long history in the Mainland, programming will put Alaska in the spotlight through Explorations Central (EXC) talks, which focus on the history and culture of the destination and its people, workshops featuring local Alaskans, culinary immersion on land and at sea, and much more.

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“We’ve been helping our customers explore Big Earth for longer than Alaska has been a state,” said Gus Antorcha, the line’s president.

“We literally invented modern Alaskan cruising, giving us a breadth of knowledge and a level of access that goes way beyond what other lines have.”

Beth Bodensteiner, Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, added, “Alaska is so bountiful it needs to be explored and presented differently, and with ‘Alaska Up Close’, our guests will have access to activities and experiences that ‘they won’t find anywhere else.’

As examples, highlights from EXC Talks will include “Breaking the Ice Ceiling,” detailing how Alaskan women have broken into traditionally male-dominated fields; “Ancestral Memories” will focus on Alaska Native culture; and “Iditarod – The Last Great Race” will take a look at the iconic annual dog sled race.

Guests will also have access to workshops led by naturalists, who will also be on hand to spot wildlife on deck.

Itineraries that include Glacier Bay National Park will feature a park ranger and a member of the Huna Tlingit tribe who will provide their perspective on the area.

Holland America's Nieuw Amsterdam sailing in Glacier Bay.
Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam sailing in Glacier Bay. (photo courtesy of Janeen Christoff)

On the culinary front, Port-to-Table programming will explore the destination’s culinary traditions and include cooking demonstrations illustrating how locals eat.

“Savor My Catch” will allow guests on select excursions to bring their catch on board and have the fish prepared and served by onboard chefs for dinner, while food and wine excursions will explore Alaska’s culinary offerings .

Among other things, the cruises will also include BBC Earth’s ‘Alaska in Concert’ multimedia performance, which features footage from the BBC Earth TV series ‘Wild Alaska’.

“Other cruise lines do scenic cruises in Alaska,” Antorcha said. “I like to turn the page. We show you everything Alaska has to offer. And you just happen to get there aboard one of our amazing ships.

In 2022, Holland America Line ships will sail round-trip itineraries from Seattle, round-trip from Vancouver, and between Whittier, Alaska, and Vancouver.

Fares start at $799 pp, pp, double, for seven-day sailings.

About Mariel Baker

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