Shortly after Stein Kruse, president and CEO of Holland America Line, outlined problems with the relationship between the cruise industry and Alaska, his company is announcing four cruise itineraries to Alaska, of seven to 14 days, with the line in 2011. The company's fleet of seven ships will offer a selection of visits into Glacier Bay throughout the 2011 cruise season and reservations are now open for booking.
Guests can choose from a 14-day Explorer cruise roundtrip from Seattle and three seven-day itineraries departing from Seattle, Vancouver and Seward. The 14-day Explorer from Seattle will add Icy Strait Point as a port of call for the first time since 2007, providing guests with an opportunity to discover native Tlingit culture near Hoonah.
See more of Icy Strait Point in the video below
Holland America Line will deploy seven ships to cruise Alaska with 125 total departures from May 7 through September 21, 2011.
The seven-day roundtrip Seattle itineraries will feature two Vista-class ships - ms Westerdam and ms Oosterdam - increasing verandah stateroom availability by almost a quarter. The ms Zaandam will sail the seven-day Glacier Discovery between Vancouver and Seward, increasing verandah staterooms on that route by nearly a third.
14-Day Explorer from Seattle
The ms Amsterdam will sail 14-day Explorer cruises roundtrip from Seattle - a new itinerary that debuts in summer 2010 - and add Icy Strait Point as a new port of call in 2011. The 1,380-guest Amsterdam will also change to Friday departures, sailing May 13 to September 2 on an extensive itinerary that features scenic cruising in the Tracy Arm fjord and past the Hubbard Glacier— North America's largest and a UNESCO World Heritage Site— and port calls at Ketchikan, Juneau, Icy Strait Point, Anchorage, Homer, Kodiak and Sitka.
Guests will enjoy a day ashore at Icy Strait Point near Hoonah, the largest Tlingit Indian village in Alaska. They can visit the Native Heritage Center to learn Tlingit history and culture through exhibits and live performances. They can also go wildlife watching, flightsee above Glacier Bay, book a charter fishing excursion or ride the world's longest ZipRider line.
Seven-Day Alaska Cruises
The 1,916-guest Westerdam and Oosterdam will sail the seven-day Explorer itinerary roundtrip from Seattle from May 7 through Sept. 18. The Westerdam departs Saturdays and highlights the Hubbard Glacier, while the Oosterdam leaves Sundays and features Glacier Bay scenic cruising. In addition, the Amsterdam sails the itinerary on Friday, September 16. Ports include Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan and Victoria, British Columbia.
The 1,916-guest ms Zuiderdam and 1,432-guest ms Volendam will sail the seven-day Inside Passage roundtrip from Vancouver May 14 through Sept. 21, departing Saturdays and Wednesdays, respectively. The Zaandam also offers a Sunday sailing on September 18. The ships cruise Tracy Arm fjord with its twin Sawyer Glaciers, spend a full day exploring spectacular Glacier Bay, and call at Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan.
One-way, seven-day Glacier Discovery cruises between Vancouver and Seward will depart on Sundays May 15 through Septemeber 18. The 1,432-guest Zaandam and the 1,260-guest ms Statendam will each sail 18 cruises through the Inside Passage and Alaskan Gulf, visiting Glacier Bay and College Fjord with 15 glaciers named after Ivy League colleges. Northbound from Vancouver, the ships call at Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway; southbound from Seward, they visit Haines, Juneau and Ketchikan.
All cruises bring Alaska native guides, naturalists and park rangers aboard at key times to share their knowledge of local culture, history, glaciers and wildlife with guests.