SEATTLE, Aug. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- A leader in Alaska cruising and touring, Holland America Line presents a trio of unique and exclusive cruise options to the Great Land in 2008. The premium line's three major cruising itineraries - - Glacier Bay Inside Passage Cruises, Glacier Discovery, and Alaskan Explorer Cruise -- showcase the highlights of Alaska with distinctive options to suit the various wishes of Alaskan-bound travelers.
"Next summer in Alaska, Holland America Line will offer the most entries into Glacier Bay National Park and extraordinary scenic cruising past Alaska's immense Hubbard Glacier in Yakutat Bay, as well as the 15 glaciers of College Fjord and the twin Sawyer Glaciers in Tracy Arm," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales, and guest programs. "Of course, we also feature a full line of excursions in Alaska's most popular ports. The breadth of our experience in this region translates into an award-winning and up-close experience in Alaska."
Holland America Line will offer 156 premium cruises to Alaska on a total of eight ships in 2008, including 59 sailings on three ships home-ported in Seattle and 97 cruises on five ships based in Vancouver, BC.
Alaskan Explorer Cruises from Seattle
Quickly becoming an Alaskan favorite, The Alaskan Explorer offers the glaciers, wildlife and history of Alaska from the popular Seattle departure port. From May 3 through Sept. 21, Holland America Line features two Vista-class ships, the 1,848-guest ms Oosterdam (Saturdays) and 1,916-guest ms Westerdam (Sundays), on its roundtrip, seven-day Inside Passage cruises from that city, joined by the 1,380-guest flagship ms Amsterdam (Fridays).
The Amsterdam highlights Glacier Bay National Park or Tracy Arm and Sawyer Glaciers, the Oosterdam showcases the Hubbard Glacier and Yakutat Bay, and the Westerdam cruises spectacular Glacier Bay. All Alaskan Explorer cruises call at the historic ports of Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan, plus Victoria, BC, and feature scenic cruising of the Inside Passage and Vancouver Island.
With two larger Vista-class ships -- Oosterdam and Westerdam -- plenty of options exist for verandah staterooms. Popular among today's cruisers, verandahs allow guests to step outside to view Alaska's glaciers, wilderness and wildlife from the privacy of their own verandah.
Vancouver Sailings Roundtrip and One-way
Five Holland America Line ships will offer a total of 97 Alaska cruises from Vancouver, BC -- a combination of roundtrip Inside Passage sailings and one-way cruises between Vancouver and Seward for those who wish to cruise beyond the Inside Passage and also possibly combine the cruise with a land vacation in Alaska. Ships depart in 2008 from May 2 to Sept. 19, offering guests a wide choice of shoulder and peak season Alaska cruising.
Four Holland America Line ships will feature 43 seven-day Glacier Bay Inside Passage cruises roundtrip from Vancouver with departures from May 2 through Sept. 19 on Wednesdays and Saturdays, as well as selected Friday and Sunday departures. The 1,258-passenger sister ships Ryndam, Statendam and Veendam, plus the 1,432-passenger Zaandam, will all feature a full day of scenic cruising through Glacier Bay National Park and call at Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan.
Two ships -- the Zaandam and sister ship Volendam -- will offer 36 seven-day, one-way cruises between Vancouver and Seward departing on Sundays May 11 through Sept. 14. The northbound Glacier Bay Discovery cruises leave Vancouver to call at Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway and include scenic cruising of both Glacier Bay National Park and College Fjord before arriving in Seward, home of the stunning scenery and wildlife of Kenai Fjords National Park. Southbound, the itinerary is similar with a port call at Haines instead of Skagway.
Also for those guests looking to sail further afield and sample additional glaciers, the Veendam also features seven-day, one-way Hubbard Glacier Discovery cruises between Vancouver and Seward departing Fridays May 16 through Sept. 12. These sailings combine calls at Ketchikan, Haines (northbound) or Skagway (southbound), Juneau and Sitka with scenic cruising past the colossal Hubbard Glacier.
Shore Excursions & CruiseTours Broaden the Experience
Shore excursions allow guests to further their Alaskan experience with the ever-popular flight-seeing over the Mendenhall Glacier near Juneau and helicopter glacier tours of Skagway. Guests can enjoy active excursions ranging from sea kayaking and fly or sport fishing to dog sledding and wildlife watching for eagles, sea otters and whales. Other exciting excursions feature such attractions as the White Pass Summit Scenic Railway from Skagway, Saxman Native Village in Ketchikan and Russian heritage of Sitka.
Holland America Line also features an extensive selection of 29 CruiseTours, which combine one of the above cruises with further exploration of "The Great Land." Guests can opt for 11- to 20-day CruiseTours that add highlights of Alaska and the Yukon such as Denali, Kenai Fjords and Kluane National Parks, Tombstone Park, Fairbanks, Dawson City and Whitehorse, Arctic Circle adventures and a Yukon River cruise. Many CruiseTours feature "Double Denali" -- two full days in Denali National Park to maximize wildlife and Mt. McKinley viewing.
2008 Alaska Cruises & CruiseTours Brochure Is Now Available
Cruise-only fares start at US $849, per person, double occupancy for a seven-day cruise. For a copy of the new 2008 Alaska Cruises & CruiseTours brochure, contact a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit http://www.hollandamerica.com.
Holland America Line's fleet of 13 ships offers nearly 500 cruises to 314 ports of call in 97 countries, territories or dependencies. Two- to 108-day itineraries visit all seven continents, including Antarctica, South America, Australia/New Zealand and Asia voyages; a Grand World Voyage; and popular sailings to ports in the Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico, Canada/New England, Europe and Panama Canal.
In the 2006 Portrait of Affluent Travelers survey by Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown and Russell, Holland America Line topped the list of cruise lines sought after by affluent leisure travelers. Fleetwide, the company features Signature of Excellence enhancements, totaling more than $225 million, that showcase the Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine -- a state-of-the-art onboard show kitchen where more than 60 celebrated guest chefs and culinary experts provide cooking demonstrations and classes -- Explorations Cafe powered by The New York Times, teens-only activity areas and all new stateroom amenities highlighted by flat-panel TVs and plush Euro-top Mariner's Dream Beds.
World's Leading Cruise Lines
The highest-rated premium cruise line in the world, Holland America Line is a member of the exclusive World's Leading Cruise Lines alliance, which also includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, Seabourn Cruise Line and Costa Cruises. Sharing a passion to please each guest and a commitment to quality and value, these lines appeal to a wide range of lifestyles and budgets. The World's Leading Cruise Lines offer exciting and enriching cruise vacations to the world's most desirable destinations.
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