Alaska Up Close

Discover immersive experiences on Holland America Line.
By Stacey Zable

Experience real Alaska on Holland America Line, something the cruise line should know about after 75 years of exploring The Great Land. Guests will find an abundance of workshops, presentations, interactions, shore excursions and more that delve into the culture, nature, wildlife, cuisine, and history of the state. Holland America has six ships sailing in Alaska in 2022, with every cruise including at least one or more visits to Alaska’s iconic glacier destinations. Guests can immerse themselves further into the state with a choice of 16 different Cruisetours that combine an Alaskan cruise with an inland exploration of Denali National Park or Canada’s Yukon Territory.

Immersed in the Stories of Real Alaska


Explorations Central (EXC) invites local experts to lead workshops and lectures that provide insight into the local culture with authentic stories of real Alaskans telling their own tales. Hear about Alaskan women working in fields traditionally dominated by men, stories of native Alaskans keeping their culture and language alive, or get an inside look at what it’s like to ride in the sled during the great Iditarod. Other experts on board can include naturalists leading workshops and spotting wildlife while on deck. Itineraries that include Glacier Bay National Park feature rangers who answer guests’ questions and a Huna Tlingit Tribe member telling their stories. Those that sail on Westerdam can meet and learn about raptors, including the Red Tail Hawk or Northern Goshawk, while in Sitka through presentations from the Alaska Raptor Center. And be mesmerized by Alaska’s wildlife during BBC Earth’s “Alaska in Concert” multimedia performance, with a live orchestra playing as the soundtrack during the fascinating footage from the BBC Earth television series “Wild Alaska.” The music is by world-leading composer Timo Baker.

Indulge in the Local Cuisine


Holland America’s Port to Table program features live cooking demonstrations and tastings, as well as fine dining events, that explore the culinary traditions and local fare of Alaska. Guest chefs also lead shore excursions off the ship that embrace and show the local cuisine through a chef’s eye. Exclusive Food & Wine shore excursions can get you dining on the foods of Alaska during an authentic crab feast or a salmon bake. Taste local craft beers during a brewery tour in Anchorage. A Juneau Culinary Walk showcases award-wining crab bisque, hog wings, and more. A hands-on culinary experience in Skagway introduces food science while learning about the foods typically eaten during the Klondike Gold Rush. Fishing-focused shore excursions gets your catch of the day prepared and served just for you in an ocean-to-table experience.

Embrace Alaska on Shore


Alaskan adventures await with Holland America’s award-winning shore excursions that bring you into the natural beauty of Alaska’s wild and up close to its intriguing cultures. Take a flightseeing plane onto a glacier and walk along its icy path. Get your adrenaline going while whitewater rafting, zip lining, or kayaking. Head for Point Adolphus on a high-speed cruise to see humpback whales and more in their own natural habitat. Discover the art of panning for gold while in Skagway. Explore the authentic Alaska Native village of Hoonah, including Tlingit totems, and join in on a traditional celebration during an interactive performance.

Ready To Go?

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