Worldwide security concerns have put international travel plans on hold for many, As a result, the familiar Caribbean is looking better than ever to North Americans. The ability to drive rather than fly to the ship, is attractive. New ports of call bring a different Caribbean experience. Increasingly diverse itineraries are causing travelers formerly bored with the Caribbean to take another look. Equally safe Alaska is looking better than ever too for many of the same reasons. But while most major cruise lines have a substantial presence in the Caribbean, Alaska is a different story. Most cruise lines have a ship or two Alaska-bound to satisfy the demand of their loyal past guests. Holland America and sister line Princess Cruises have more ships in Alaska, sending more cruise travelers there than all others combined. That huge presence alone is reason enough to book with either line but there are some specific, bona fide reasons to choose the Holland America Alaska experience over all others.
Holland America Line Owns Alaska
For all practical purposes in our world of cruise travel, Holland America Line has the most of everything in Alaska. The hotels, motorcoaches, train cars, tour operations and ground operation of Holland America Line is super organized, in place and effective. They also own the most extensive chain of Alaska hotels (lodges) with locations in Sitka, Anchorage, Skagway, Denali and more.
The Season Begins And Ends With Holland America Line
Holland America is the first cruise line to visit Alaska with their first ship marking the beginning of every season. Lingering as long as possible, Holland America is the last one to leave at season’s end too. If considering round-trip Seattle itinerary, know Holland America is considered Seattle’s Hometown Cruise Line. Pre- and Post-cruise opportunities abound via Holland America Line’s close connection to the community.
Continued Investment In Alaska
As a seasonal destination (no one sails there year round), Holland America Line owns and maintains the Westmark Hotel chain. Looking around the places we visited via Holland America Line on a trip to Alaska recently, there are not a lot of other choices. That brings cruise travelers from sister line Princess Cruises and other lines to their hotel as well. Holland America Line guests, naturally get priority in the hotels Holland America owns, as one might expect. Unexpected: the associated restaurants and ground operations at Westmark are wonderful.
While Alaska is vast and any one trip can’t see it all, Holland America Line also has an extensive travel program in the Canadian Yukon. They are the only cruise line that does too. Admittedly, the scenic treasures of Alaska far outnumber those of The Yukon. Still, for a relaxed frontier-like travel experience, The Yukon is a marvelous place to visit and often added as a pre- or post-cruise option in connection with some Alaska adventure.
Tip: Do The Yukon first and save more diverse Alaska for last.
Alaska And The Yukon App
While other cruise lines have apps on board ships aimed specifically at efficiency (replace the paper newsletter, see onboard account, book things), Holland America Line’s Alaska and The Yukon app is a portable travel guide. Loaded on your smartphone, a wealth of information is available to use at locations visited, even offline. Tapping nearly 70 years of experience in showing visitors the best of Alaska and the Yukon, nobody is better qualified to be your guide.
I have one more reason to choose Holland America Line which actually goes far beyond Alaska and The Yukon but is probably the very most important reason of all. At the Rotterdam christening of ms Koningsdam, Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford spoke on the topic of ‘Travel’s Higher Purpose’.
The video we have here captures the moment and serves as a good example of what the Holland America Line of today is all about:
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