SEATTLE, Aug. 28 — From Alaska’s incomparable Glacier Bay and Denali National Parks to the Kenai Peninsula, Arctic and Yukon Territory, Holland America Line’s 2008 Alaska CruiseTours will explore natural wonders and provide guests with in-depth wilderness experiences. With 29 CruiseTours ranging from 10 to 20 days in length, Holland America Line combines an exceptional Inside Passage cruise with land tours designed to show guests the best of the North’s wilderness, wildlife, native culture and eventful history.
Holland America’s comprehensive CruiseTours indulge guests with a relaxing north or southbound cruise aboard five-star ships and exciting land travel via the luxury, domed McKinley Explorer(R) railcars and custom-built, highway Explorer CoachesÃ¢â€žÂ¢. Introduced in 2007, the Explorer Coaches(TM) with just 45 seats, provide 50 percent additional leg room over the 54-seat version. The new coaches feature first-class amenities: leather seats, battery-charging stations for guests traveling with electronic equipment, LCD monitors and a mini-galley serving beverages and snacks. Every seat is equipped with a headset and eight-channel audio.
“Holland America’s CruiseTour itineraries let guests take their time to have a personal wilderness experience in the areas of Alaska and the Yukon that most intrigue them,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales, and guest programs. “We take guests to scenic national parks and recognized wilderness areas, and we design optional excursions to let them fully experience the adventure while they are here. “Guests can do a self-drive jeep tour, wilderness jet boat safari or helicopter flight-seeing with a glacier landing in Denali National Park. They can enjoy hiking in Tombstone Park, dog-sledding in Skagway, sport-fishing in Ketchikan and river-rafting in Kluane National Park, a pristine UNESCO World heritage site. Between our 29 CruiseTour itineraries and many optional excursions, guests are sure to have memory-making experiences of a lifetime.” Meadows noted that the 2008 itineraries and optional excursions encompass 14 national parks and wilderness areas. In addition to Denali, Glacier Bay, Kluane and Tombstone, they include the Kenai Fjords, Gates of the Arctic, Klondike (Skagway), Wrangell-St. Elias and Sitka national parks, plus the Klondike Historic Site (Dawson City), Yukon Charley National Preserve, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Misty Fjords National Monument and Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge.
Most Holland America Line itineraries feature Denali National Park stays that offer more time to experience this untamed wilderness. A total of 18 Holland America CruiseTours feature “Double Denali” — two nights at a classic wilderness lodge near the gates of Denali National Park to provide more time there — plus a guided Tundra Wilderness Tour offering the best wildlife and Mt. McKinley viewpoints. Ten other CruiseTours include a one-night Denali stay and either the Tundra Wilderness Tour or Denali Natural History Tour. All Double Denali tours include tour directors to ensure excellent guest satisfaction.
Great Land Klondike CruiseTours
In 2008 Holland America Line offers six Great Land Klondike CruiseTours highlighting Klondike heritage and wilderness. All include three- or four-day Inside Passage cruises between Vancouver and Juneau or Skagway with southbound cruisetours featuring Glacier Bay National Park. The Great Land Klondike CruiseTours offer 11- to 15-day adventures that let guests experience Denali National Park; Dawson City with optional excursions to Tombstone Territorial Park; Fairbanks; an exciting Yukon River cruise aboard the mv Yukon Queen II; and Whitehorse, capital of the Yukon Territory. Some cruisetours also include Kluane National Park and the White Pass & Yukon Railroad with Lake Bennett excursion. All departures have tour directors.
Great Land Wilderness CruiseTours
The Great Land Wilderness CruiseTours range from 10 to 13 days and provide a more affordable wilderness experience. They feature Denali, Whitehorse, Kluane, the White Pass & Yukon Railroad, Beaver Creek and Fairbanks, with travel along the most scenic stretch of the Alaska Highway. These CruiseTours feature three new attractions: Uncommon Journeys, where sled dogs demonstrate their skills during summer training near Whitehorse; a tour of the Museum of the North at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks; and a natural history presentation at the entrance to Kluane National Park. All four itineraries feature tour directors.
Glacier Discovery CruiseTours
In 2008, all 19 Glacier Discovery CruiseTours treat guests to the stunning icescape of Glacier Bay National Park or mammoth Hubbard Glaciers on a seven-day cruise. Glacier Bay departures also include scenic cruising in College Fjord. These CruiseTours range from 11- to 20-days. In addition, most offer the two-night “Double Denali” stays, the Denali Tundra Wilderness Tour and tour directors. Guests who wish to travel above the Arctic Circle or cruise the Kenai Fjords National Monument can do so on several of these CruiseTours. Another tour explores the Kenai Peninsula–a favorite vacation spot for Alaskans–to visit Homer on Kachemak Bay and Cooper Landing on the Kenai River. Guests also can opt for a luxurious, two-night stay at the Alyeska Resort near Anchorage, plus the Portage Glacier tour aboard the mv Ptarmigan.
The leader in Alaska Cruises and CruiseTours
This fall, Holland America Line celebrates its 60th anniversary as the leader in Alaska travel with eight premium ships offering a total of 156 cruises in 2008. These include 59 sailings on three ships home-ported in Seattle and 97 cruises on five ships based in Vancouver, BC. For more information about booking an Alaska cruise or CruiseTour, contact a travel agent or call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit www.hollandamerica.com.