From majestic glaciers to rugged coastlines, Alaska promises awe-inspiring landscapes and wildlife encounters. Join Holland America Line on a journey that marries luxury and wilderness, creating unforgettable memories in the Last Frontier.
Alaska is the largest state in the United States of America. The state has an area of 1,481,347 km², making Alaska approximately the same size as Spain, France, Germany and the Benelux combined. However, only 800,000 people live there, making Alaska the fourth least populated state. About half of the state’s residents live near or in the city of Anchorage.
Alaska was sold by Russia to the United States on March 30, 1867 for 7.2 million US dollar. On January 3, 1959, Alaska became the 49th state of the United States. The name “Alaska” was already used when the state was still part of Russia. The name was first used only for the Alaska Peninsula, which was derived from the Aleutian “alaxsxaq”, meaning “mainland”.
Alaska offers so many natural highlights that it is difficult to visit them all in one trip. The perfect way to get as many impressions as possible and experience the unspoiled nature is with a cruise. The green forests, snow-capped mountain peaks and glaciers are at their best from the water. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about anything: you step on board and just admire the natural beauty.
It is difficult to describe what makes Alaska so unforgettably beautiful. But Glacier Bay National Park is an absolute must-see for nature lovers: here the wilderness is still untouched. In terms of grandeur, the area is comparable to, for example, the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone National Park.
This applies to the entire state, by the way. In Denali you will find the highest mountain on the North American continent: Mount Denali, a giant of no less than 6194 meters high. The park itself is also gigantic – two-thirds the size of Belgium in terms of area – and offers an enormous diversity of flora and fauna. Here you may be lucky enough to spot moose, caribou, foxes, wolves and grizzly bears.
Cruise trip to the wilderness
Holland America Line offers cruise trips to Alaska that will allow you to experience this beautiful state in an unforgettable way. During the cruises to Glacier Bay and the unique cruise tours, which allow you to discover the interior of Alaska, before or after your cruise with an organized tour, local guides and rangers come on board and enthusiastically provide information about the ecosystem and the centuries-old cultures and history. This way you gain even more appreciation and understanding for all the beauty around you. For example, you’ll discover how advancing glacial ice forced the original Huna Tlingit people to leave their homes, and why it’s crucial that wild areas remain truly wild.
During a cruise trip to Alaska, you’ll sail through waters surrounded by glaciers, take a guided excursion through pristine wilderness, and dine on tasty local salmon and other regionally produced dishes in the evening. You can choose a cruise tour to Denali from 9 to 14 days, including a stay at McKinley Chalet Resort at the entrance to Denali National Park & Preserve. But you can also opt for a 9 to 18 day trip to Denali and the Canadian province of Yukon, not only known for the greatest gold rush of all time, but also for the ruggedness of the area with mountain ranges, wildly flowing rivers and glaciers. This trip includes an unforgettable journey aboard the White Pass & Yukon Route train, which began operating in 1898 after gold was discovered in the Klondike in 1896.
The great thing about a cruise trip is that you see multiple destinations, but only having to unpack your suitcase once. With Holland America Line, transportation, accommodations, food and entertainment are all included. You usually sail at night, so you can discover new locations during the day. The service on board is of unprecedented luxury: your cabin is made ready twice a day, there is not only English-speaking but also multilingual staff available, and you can enjoy a delicious dinner in one of the restaurants.
Holland America Line offers more cruises to Glacier Bay than any other cruise line. With 75 years of travel experience in Alaska, this cruise line knows every corner of this stunningly beautiful state. Every Alaska cruise visits one or more of the following glaciers: Glacier Bay National Park, the Hubbard Glacier, the glaciers of College Fjord or the two Sawyer Glaciers of Tracy Arm. From the cruise ship you board a smaller boat to get very close to the glacier giants. You can hear the cracking and groaning of the ‘living ice’, spot humpback whales and see eagles soar high in the sky. Put on your fleece sweater, bring your binoculars and prepare for all the natural beauty.