Holland America Line brings ‘Alaska Up Close’

Holland America Line’s ‘Alaska Up Close’ programming delivers authentic cultural, culinary and shoreside experiences. Alaska-focused workshops, presentations, interactions, shore excursions and more offer immersive perspective of The Great Land.

Holland America Line has been exploring Alaska since 1947, and the premium cruise line is putting 75 years of expertise into new ‘Alaska Up Close‘ programming – a 360° experience that immerses guests in The Great Land in a way that only Holland America Line can deliver.

Through authentic experiences on board and ashore that focus on culture, cuisine and immersive adventures, ‘Alaska Up Close’ allows guests to discover, taste and experience the real Alaska. Exploring Alaska with Holland America Line you won’t just cruise Glacier Bay, you will discover its ecosystem from native tribe members and National Park Rangers. You won’t simply eat seafood, but you will taste the salmon you caught that day and have it prepared by Holland America Line chefs.

Alaska Up Close features local experts and personalities leading workshops and lectures, Explorations Central (EXC) Talks revealing the stories of real Alaskans, tours highlighting the best of each destination, Port to Table culinary immersion and local cuisine served in dining venues throughout the ship.

EXC Talks focus on history and culture

Elevating the shipboard lecture, EXC Talks offer insight into local culture through the eyes of Alaskans with vivid imagery, compelling interviews and authentic stories:

  • “Breaking the Ice Ceiling” features stories of Alaskan women working in fields traditionally dominated by men. 
  • “Ancestral Memories” tells the stories of native Alaskans keeping their culture and language alive. 
  • “Pacific Giants” describes the wonders, habits and future of Alaska’s largest inhabitants.
  • “Iditarod – The Last Great Race” shares what it’s like to ride in the sled of this amazing Alaskan adventure.

Meet Alaska locals and experts on board

Guests will learn the science and history of Alaska’s splendors as naturalists lead workshops and host wildlife spotting on deck. Itineraries that include Glacier Bay National Park will feature a Park Ranger and a member of the Huna Tlingit Tribe who will share their insights, offer commentary and answer questions.

BBC Earth brings Alaska to life

Guests on all Alaska cruises will be moved by BBC Earth’s “Alaska in Concert” multimedia performance on the main stage. A live orchestra plays the soul-stirring soundtrack set against a backdrop of mesmerizing footage from the BBC Earth television series “Wild Alaska.” Audiences experience the cycle of four seasons and see this land is as unforgiving as it is beautiful.

Eat like a local

Through Port to Table programming, guests delve into the culinary traditions of Alaska and learn how to eat like a local via live cooking demonstrations.

Food & Wine Tours highlight local fare

Food lovers will find much to explore on an Alaska cruise, and through an array of exclusive FOOD & WINE shore excursions guests can tap into Alaska’s unique gastronomic scene. Developed in partnership with the culinary authority, guests can dine on some of the world’s freshest seafood, sample Anchorage’s craft beer, taste fire-warmed sourdough rolls and attend an authentic crab feast or salmon bake.

Alaska Shore Excursions for every interest

Holland America Line offers a wide selection of shore excursions to suit every interest and activity level. Helicopter onto a glacier, spy on whales in their natural habitat, go whitewater rafting or kayaking for a scenic adventure, strike it rich panning for gold and sail on a real crabbing boat featured on “Deadliest Catch.” Otters, bears and eagles await. Every tour provides an in-depth glimpse into The Great Land.

‘Savor My Catch’ ocean-to-table dining

Guests who reel in a big one on select fishing-focused shore excursions can savor every bite of their catch on board. Holland America Line’s expert chefs will prepare and serve it in a true ocean-to-table experience. Select tours also allow guests to ship their bounty home.

Raptor encounters on Westerdam

Guests on Westerdam will have the opportunity to meet and learn about raptors during calls at Sitka. Through presentations and interactions about the birds from the Alaska Raptor Center, guests will be able to ask questions, have a meet-and-greet and photo opportunity with the charismatic Red Tail Hawk or Northern Goshawk.

In 2022, six Holland America Line ships will explore Alaska, either roundtrip from Seattle, Washington; roundtrip from Vancouver, Canada; or between Whittier, Alaska, and Vancouver. Every Alaska cruise includes a visit to one or more of Alaska’s iconic glacier destinations. For explorers who want to travel farther, 16 different Cruisetours combine an Alaska cruise with an inland exploration of Denali National Park or to the unspoiled reaches of Canada’s Yukon Territory. For more details click here.

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