Tag Archives: Shore Excursions

Denali is a highlight of any Land+Sea Journey.
Denali is a highlight of any Land+Sea Journey.

It’s one of the most majestic places on earth with a juxtaposition of sights and sounds — from glistening glaciers to blooming sunflowers, from orcas and seals to caribou and black bears. Alaska might be called the Last Frontier, but for many travelers it’s first on their bucket list.

Combine an Alaska cruise that gives you access to places only visited by ship with an overland journey into the heart of the region and you have a perfectly crafted, unforgettable Holland America Line Land+Sea Journey.

And with the recent name change of Mt. McKinley to Denali, there’s going to be a spotlight on this incredible site. There’s no better or easier way to see Denali than on a Land+Sea Journey with the leader in Great Land travel.

Guest and photojournalist Andy Newman recently joined a Land+Sea Journey that started at Anchorage with the overland adventure and ended with four days of cruising aboard Volendam. Enjoy the beautiful photos he snapped along the way.

MAJESTIC DENALI

It is an absolutely gorgeous day in Alaska and the view from Holland America’s McKinley Explorer of the tallest mountain (Denali) in North America is stunning. — Andy

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Had the chance Monday evening to jump up in the air to take a look at “The Mountain” from 12,000 feet and … — Andy

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BASE CAMP PROGRESS AT DENALI

In July we posted about the new Base Camp complex at our resort in the heart of Denali National Park. Base Camp will be centrally located between the main part of the property, containing the reception hall, dining facilities and guest rooms, and the riverfront guest rooms that provide stunning views of the Nenana River. Andy was able to capture the progress during his stay at the resort. Come next summer, it will be ready to welcome guests on dozens of Land+Sea Journeys for our 69th season in Alaska!

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Here’s what the area will look like when it’s complete:

A rendering of Base Camp shows the facilities at the complex, including a restaurant, bar, shops and entertainment area.

A rendering of Base Camp shows the facilities at the complex, including a restaurant, bar, shops and entertainment area.

GLACIERS GALORE

Beauty of the Portage Glacier, a land-locked glacier about an hour outside of Anchorage.

Beauty of the Portage Glacier, a land-locked glacier about an hour outside of Anchorage.

After arriving at Skagway, I jumped in a Temsco helicopter to take a ride and land on Meade Glacier. I did the helo trip about eight years ago in the Juneau glacier field and came away with the thought that it will be the closest I ever get to walking on the moon. — Andy

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Then on to Glacier Bay …

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With more than 120 cruises to Alaska in 2016, Holland America Line is the leader in Great Land travel.

With more than 120 cruises to Alaska in 2016, Holland America Line is the leader in Great Land travel.

WILD ABOUT WILDLIFE

Would you believe I hopped on the back of a moose to get this photo, or that I mounted a GoPro? Of course, neither is true. At the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, about an hour outside of Anchorage, you can get close to a number of Alaska’s indigenous creatures in rehab. No matter how hard I pleaded to get this moose to turn around, he refused, so here’s a moose-eye’s view of the surroundings. — Andy

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 Brown bear looks for food at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.


Brown bear looks for food at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.

Tuesday evening had plenty of moose as the land portion of our Holland America Alaska trip continued. As we ventured to our destination, we spotted a cow eating aquatic grasses in a small river and we stopped. But the best opportunity of the trip came at the resort when a wild bull and cow wandered on property. — Andy

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Holland America Line took us to Ketichikan, Monday, for the final stop on our Alaskan-Canadian land-sea sojourn. Maria and I really wanted to see wild bears so we opted for the Alaskan Bear Adventure by Floatplane excursion, a 20-minute floatplane trip to Prince of Wales island, a short van ride and hike to a salmon-rich stream. We ended up viewing three black bears. — Andy

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I waited for a black bear to catch a salmon at Prince of Wales, Alaska, stream. I waited and waited and waited. And just as the guide was telling us we had to leave, it almost happened. But the darn bear missed the fish. Lucky salmon. Not so lucky for me or for the bear. — Andy

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Sailing back to Vancouver I saw humpback whales, killer whales and some Pacific white-sided dolphins hitched a ride in our bow wave. To have the opportunity to see these marine mammals in the wild was special. — Andy

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VARIOUS SCENES FROM ALONG THE WAY

Wedding photos off the Seward Highway. I would have loved to hopped off the bus here to take more photos. — Andy

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This is what you come to Alaska for… — Andy

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After you get through freezing your fanny at Chena Resort’s ice museum, you can take a dip in the hot springs. — Andy

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Chena had some of the most magnificent sunflowers I have ever seen. — Andy

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Thursday, our Holland-America Land+Sea Journey had us still in Dawson City, Yukon, and we decided since Maria hit it big at Gold Dredge #8 in Fairbanks that we would visit the Goldbottom mine about 45 minutes away. It was a real “placer” mine and we had a chance to see some of the equipment used today. At the end of the tour, each person received a pan of dirt and rocks and took it to a nearby stream to sift for gold. — Andy

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Nope, an earthquake didn’t cause this. These 1901-circa buildings in Dawson City sank because of permafrost, or the ground underneath freezing and thawing creating moisture and then a muddy mess causing the foundations to sink. — Andy

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Our transportation from Dawson City to Whitehorse was this comfortable Holland America motorcoach. — Andy

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Five Finger Rapids — off the Klondike Highway — is not so rapid anymore, because many years ago gold rushers used dynamite to blow up many of the rocks that posed dangerous obstacles to the early stampeders. — Andy

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We arrived in Ketchikan Monday, our final Alaskan stop before returning home later in the week. In Alaska small planes are abundant. Alaska has six times as many pilots per capita and 16 times as many aircraft per capita when compared to states in the rest of the U.S. — Andy

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One more photo. Pretty Wednesday morning in Vancouver, B.C. Temperature at 6:52 a.m. is 65 degrees F. Sojourn is now officially over. — Andy

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If you’re cruising to Alaska, remember that shore excursions are very popular. We recommend pre-booking your tours so you get all of your choices.

If you’re thinking about a cruise to Alaska, now is the time to book. Be sure to take advantage of savings up to $1,000 per stateroom with the Fall Finale promotion that highlights 2015 itineraries. At least 60 different sailings, including many Alaska cruises, are eligible for this deal if booked by Sept. 10, 2015, with a $60 deposit.

If you want to cruise next year or beyond, the Explore 4 special also is in full swing. Benefits for guests booking any category stateroom include a free Signature Beverage Package valued at up to $1,400, a free Pinnacle Grill dinner for two, reduced cruise fares for third and fourth guests in the same stateroom and 50 percent reduced deposits. Bookings must be made by Oct. 31, 2015. There’s never been a better time to book one of the many Alaska cruises included in this promo!

Penguins can be seen on tours in South America and Australia/New Zealand.
Penguins can be seen on tours in South America and Australia/New Zealand.

Holland America Line cruises travel all over the world, and some of the most unique and exciting shore excursions are the many wildlife tours highlighting native species unique to an area.

If you’re cruising to South America or Australia and New Zealand, keep your eyes peeled for an adorable little bird unique to the South Pole. With their tuxedo-like coloring, playful antics, wit and signature waddle, people travel from far and wide to see these birds up close.

That’s right, we’re talking about penguins! And lucky for Holland America Line cruisers, we offer a number of enriching shore excursions focused on penguin sightings.

SOUTH AMERICA:

Magdalena Island & Penguin Reserve by Covered Speedboat
Hop on a speedboat from Punta Arenas, Chile, and ride across the Strait of Magellan. You’ll drive past a 1,000-member colony of sea lions on Marta Island before going ashore at Magdalena Island. There, you’ll spend time walking among one of the largest colonies of more than 150,000 Magellan penguins.

Magdalena Island is home to Magellan penguins.

Magdalena Island is home to Magellan penguins.

Guest AnneElizabeth rated the tour five stars:

“This was our favorite shore excursion on our South American trip. There were lots of penguins and the guides were professional. We spent a little more than an hour on the island with the penguins and about 25 minutes offshore seeing the sea lions. There was plenty of opportunity to view the wildlife and get photos – great tour!”

Punta Tombo Penguin Adventure
Puerto Madryn is the stepping-off point for at least two of Argentina’s most exciting Natural Parks: the Valdes Peninsula and Punta Tombo. Punta Tombo Nature Reserve, which you will visit on this tour, is world renowned as perhaps the finest spot from which to view Magellan penguins, and indeed is home to the world’s largest colony of that species. It is estimated that more than a million penguins come here each year, and from November onwards it is possible to also see baby penguins leaving their nests. As you quietly stroll along the footpath through the colony, the lovable and endearing penguins will not be afraid of you. They are used to having visitors, and the visitors’ code of conduct, explained by your guide, ensures that disturbance to the birds is minimal. You will learn about how the Magellan penguins mate for life — the female lays two eggs each year, which the male and female then brood and raise together.

Get close to Magellan penguins at Punta Tombo Nature Reserve.

Get close to Magellan penguins at Punta Tombo Nature Reserve.

Patagonian Experience: Otway Sound & Penguin Reserve
Also from Punta Arenas, this tour takes in the beauty of Patagonia with a brief stop at a penguin colony. Head northeast by motor coach across huge sheep farms bordering Otway Bay. You will have magnificent views of the Pinto Range. Skirting Otway Bay, you will reach the caves where Magellan penguins live and nest. To reach the nests and beaches where the penguins live, you will leave the coach and walk approximately three quarters of a mile. Your guide will be with you to help answer questions. Bring your camera for some great close-up photos of these majestic birds.

Wildlife-Lovers’ Paradise
From Callao (Lima) Peru, board an uncovered boat for transportation to the Palomino Islands. En route, and at the islands themselves, you will observe rocky islands, dung birds, fishermen at work on their boats and a Humboldt penguin colony. A huge group of sea lions will likely meet your boat. They live in complete safety because there are no predators here, and they will play, swim, jump and dive around you! Heading back to the pier, your boat travels past shoals and rocks that are crowded with bird colonies, rounding out your marine nature experience.

Bluff Cove Penguin Rookery
Off the coast of Argentina lie the Falkland Islands, home to more penguin tours than any other port! One of these tours heads to the Bluff Cove Lagoon where you’ll travel through rugged beach terrain via a Land Rover 4-by-4. Stroll down the lagoon’s white, sandy beaches, home to thousands of king and Gentoo penguins, sea lions and a number of other bird species. Stop at the Sea Cabbage Café for warm drinks and pastries before taking time to browse the Bluff Cove Museum and gift shop.

The Blue Cove Penguin Rookery.

The Blue Cove Penguin Rookery.

Joe’s Gentoo Penguins
On this fun-filled adventure in the Falkland Islands, you will see a colony of approximately 200 breeding pairs of Gentoo penguins just 30 minutes from Stanley. Take an off-road 4×4 vehicle for the 20 mile off-road drive to Beach Point. At the Gentoo penguin rookery, you will enjoy time with the penguins, observing them going about their business with little regard for your presence. Other birds to watch for are southern giant petrels, skuas, rock cormorants, upland geese, turkey vultures, kelp gulls and, occasionally, flightless steamer ducks in their natural environment.

Great visit to Joe’s Gentoos. The van ride driver was full of many Falkland facts, which made the trip go quickly. Surprised how close we could get to the penguins, even saw a handful returning from the sea, no doubt with tasty morsels for their little ones. So I’ve got on video my own march of the penguins. Also have a pic of me digging peat … Joe is a character! — Guest Myacchico

Gentoo penguins can be found in the Falkland Islands.

Gentoo penguins can be found in the Falkland Islands.

Elusive & Exclusive: Rockhopper Penguins
The funniest members of the incredibly comedic penguin world are undoubtedly Rockhopper penguins in their natural environment. Due to new road construction, visitors to the Falklands now have the chance to view these funny little penguins, rarely found in other locations. You’ll travel by minibus and take in the main sights of Stanley, then change to 4×4 transportation at Murrell Farm. From here, an experienced overland driver/guide will navigate the terrain en route to the Rockhopper penguin colony where wardens will be on hand to offer information and assistance. This is a unique opportunity to take amazing, once-in-a-lifetime photographs and experience the joy these penguins naturally and effortlessly bring to any audience.

AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

Antarctic Encounter & Auckland Sky Tower
After docking at Auckland, New Zealand, a scenic drive down a waterfront road will take you to Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium, home to an 80-member colony of king and Gentoo penguins. The aquarium is also home to many different species of fish, sharks and stingrays.

This tour doesn’t stop with the penguins! After your done at the aquarium you’ll be transported to the famous Sky Tower. A 1,072-foot elevator ride to the top promises awe-inspiring panoramic views of the city.

Nature’s Wonders: Wildlife Cruise & Penguins
Also in New Zealand lies the charming city of Dunedin. Board a 55-foot wooden launch for an hour and a half scenic cruise to Taiaroa Head. Sip on a warm beverage and enjoy cookies while keeping an eye out for fur seals and albatross. Then head to Nature’s Wonders where you’ll have the chance to jump in an all-terrain Argo vehicle for an exciting ride through the rolling farmlands. Discover a fur seal colony and a yellow-eyed penguin nesting area on the Otago Peninsula. Finish off this excursion with a brief orientation tour of Dunedin, renowned for its fine Edwardian-era stone buildings.

Otago Peninsula Yellow-Eyed Penguin Reserve
Penguin tours are in abundance in Dunedin. At Penguin Place — an award-winning penguin-conservation project — you will have the privilege of entering a protected yellow-eyed penguin nesting area. A carefully controlled and informative tour begins with a talk about the penguins and their conservation before a guide takes you to the beachside colony where well-camouflaged trenches and hides among the dunes allow excellent proximity to the penguins and great photographic opportunities. Proceeds from the tour are used to fund the conservation work and a unit that looks after injured penguins.

The yellow-eyed penguins at Penguin Place.

The yellow-eyed penguins at Penguin Place.

International Antarctic Centre & Canterbury Boutique Winery
Depart Akaroa, New Zealand, for a scenic drive over Banks Peninsula to the outskirts of Christchurch city. Since the 1950s, Christchurch has been the main staging center for Operation Deep Freeze — the US. Government’s Antarctic project. During the Southern Hemisphere’s summer months, numerous American Starlifter and Galaxy aircraft fly south to McMurdo Station in Antarctica. But Christchurch’s Antarctic links go back much further, to the time when Captain Scott sailed from Lyttelton on his final journey to the South Pole in the early 1900s.

Visit the International Antarctic Centre in Christchurch to see the many informative displays depicting life and work on the frozen continent. You can even experience sub-zero wind-chill conditions in a specially designed blizzard room. A highlight includes the new 4-D Antarctica Experience and the Penguin Encounter enclosure where you can see the cute and entertaining little blue penguins swimming and roaming about in their specially re-created marine environment. After you leave the Antarctic Centre you will stop for lunch at a local winery before returning to Akaroa and the ship.

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Whether it’s food, architecture, museums or wildlife, when traveling to a new part of the globe you’ll want to take in the aspects unique to the area. A trip to the South Pole just wouldn’t be complete without visiting the exclusive resident penguin, and we guarantee they’ll steal your heart at first waddle!

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If you’re interested in visiting these locations, remember that the shore excursions can be pre-booked so you’re sure to get the tour of your choice.

If you book by October 2015 the 14-Day South America Passage aboard Zaandam stopping at the Falkland Islands and Punta Arenas is included in the Explore 4 promotion. That means it will include a complimentary signature beverage package and dinner at the Pinnacle Grill, plus reduced fares for third and fourth guests, and a 50 percent reduced deposit.

If it’s New Zealand you’d rather visit, Noordam’s 13-Day New Zealand Discovery stops at both Dunedin and Auckland, and it’s included in our Fall Finale special. If booked by September 10, cruisers can save up to $1,000 per stateroom!

Have you ever had the chance to see penguins in person? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Half Moon Cay's Private Oasis is your personal sanctuary in paradise.
Half Moon Cay's Private Oasis is your personal sanctuary in paradise.

Half Moon Cay is Holland America Line’s number-one-rated port on Caribbean cruises. This idyllic destination features everything you would expect in paradise: crystalline waters, powdery beaches and an endless array of activities. From snorkeling and kayaking to horse-back riding for those who want to get moving and beach chairs for those who want to relax, Half Moon Cay has it all.

But if you’re looking for the ultimate getaway within this amazing getaway, be sure to book the Private Oasis for your family and spend the day in your own, personal sanctuary. This tropical haven is perched on a point partially over the island’s warm waters. They make the perfect spot for a private day with friends and family … a luxurious setting at one of the most stunning beaches the Caribbean has to offer.

Start the morning with an onboard greeting from the butler who takes you to the tender for the journey ashore. Once on land, stroll along a private walkway to your slice of paradise — and a large slice at that with 1,620 square feet of space to enjoy. You can spend time in the large covered pavilion or out in the sun. The facility features a slide that lands right in the ocean, an eight-person hot tub perfect for a relaxing soak, private bathrooms, indoor and outdoor showers with warm water, 100-foot walkway with misting stations and changing rooms.

There's plenty of room for friends and family.

There’s plenty of room for friends and family.

The Private Oasis includes a full wet bar and refrigerator so you can get into the Bahamian spirit with the island cocktail of your choice. With options like Mojitos, Beach Cruisers and Rum Runners or frozen tropical classics like Piña Coladas, Strawberry Daiquiris and Margaritas, you’ll catch the island vibes in no time. Soft drinks, bottled water, juices, beers, wines and mocktails are also included and your own personal bartender and bar waiter are there to whip up whatever you’re in the mood for.

We booked this excursion to celebrate my husband’s retirement and share the experience with 22 of our closest friends and also purchased the Palm Package upgrade. It was worth every penny!! The service by the Pinnacle Grill staff was exemplary and the food and beverages were beyond our expectations. HIGHLY recommend this excursion!!! Guest QuilterPat

You won’t go hungry here either — fresh fruit, danish, chips and salsa are served in the early morning and a barbecue lunch buffet will satisfy your hunger in the afternoon. Enjoy assorted salads, grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, fresh Teriyaki-glazed Mahi Mahi, barbecued pork spare ribs and barbecued chicken, brownies and cookies, all at the indoor teak dining table with seating for six or the outdoor teak lounges and bar stools that accommodate 12. All the cooking is done by your own personal chef — who’s not the only staff that comes with the place — you will also have a butler and lifeguard!

From fresh fruit to grilled shrimp, this oasis has something for all tastes.

From fresh fruit to grilled shrimp, this oasis serves up something for all tastes.

Guest Mom2Huskies gave the Private Oasis five stars on the Holland America Line website and said it was the highlight of her trip:

“This is the most amazing thing to do on HMC you feel like a VIP and so worth every penny plus you get cruise day credits.”

All the above amenities are included in the Private Oasis Palm Package. The packages below offer even more indulgences!

The Private Oasis Royal Palm Package

This upgrade features even more delicious Caribbean fare with seafood, pasta, potato and chop salads; grilled shrimp, Caribbean-style barbecue steaks, blackened grilled fish, tropical spears and banana coconut cake added to your barbecue. You’ll also be able to truly relax in paradise with a Greenhouse Spa masseuse available.

A postcard-perfect day at the Private Oasis.

A postcard-perfect day at the Private Oasis.

Jmack81598 also gave the Private Oasis five stars and said it’s the perfect setting for a celebration:

“We did this to celebrate a birthday during our cruise. We were a party of 10 ages 5-71 and it was perfect for everyone. The food and service were fantastic. The oasis is beautiful and only steps to the main beach. Lifeguard, bartender, waiter and host included. Couldn’t ask for more. Stunning beach! Well worth it – if you are going to treat yourself, this is the way to go!”

Ultimate Oasis Package

The Ultimate Oasis Package is perfect for guests who truly want to enjoy the good life, Caribbean-style! Once you arrive via your escorted transfer from the ship you can begin to pop as many tops as you want with unlimited Dom Perignon Champagne! Snack on Russian Caviar with iced vodka, Iced King Crab Legs and Jumbo Chilled Shrimp, conch and pasta salads and Ceviche of Tuna. You better save room for the main course with Grilled Sea Scallops, Grilled Lobster and Beef Tenderloin on the menu! One Pinnacle Grill Manager, a Chef de Partie and an assistant cook will make sure all the food is to your liking, and two waiters and an assistant waiter will make sure you don’t have to lift a finger! The Private Pasis is also staffed with a bartender, assistant bartender, housekeeper and masseuse.

Here’s what two more cruisers had to say about this getaway-within-a-getaway:

This was a special trip for our family and we treated ourselves to this. We loved it and wished we could have stayed longer! The day starts with a ‘butler’ coming to your stateroom to take you to the oasis. It was so nice not having to wait in line for the tender. We arrived to a great spread of fruit, veggies, dips and chips and guacamole … Lunch was wonderful! Just when you thought that was all the food, surprise there was more! This is a must for a family reunion or if you are traveling with a group of friends. It is well worth the money and you well love it!- Trevor

Guests of all ages enjoy a day in a Private Oasis.

Guests of all ages enjoy a day in a Private Oasis.

If your cruise is calling at Half Moon Cay, remember that the Private Oasis can be pre-booked. There’s only one on the island so book early to make sure it’s available.

If you’re thinking about a cruise to the Caribbean, now is the time to book. Be sure to take advantage of savings up to $1,000 per stateroom with the Fall Finale promotion that highlights 2015 itineraries. At least 60 different sailings, including many Caribbean cruises, are eligible for this deal if booked by Sept. 10, 2015, with a $60 deposit.

If you want to cruise next year or beyond, the Explore 4 special also is in full swing. Benefits for guests booking any category stateroom include a free Signature Beverage Package valued at up to $1,400, a free Pinnacle Grill dinner for two, reduced cruise fares for third and fourth guests in the same stateroom and 50 percent reduced deposits. Bookings must be made by Oct. 31, 2015. There’s never been a better time to book one of the many Caribbean cruises included in this promo!

Have you spent the day in a Private Oasis? What would you celebrate in this idyllic setting? Tell us in the comments below.

The Schoelcher Library is a beautiful historical site on the Martinique tour.
The Schoelcher Library is a beautiful historical site on the Martinique tour.

Holland America Line carries thousands of cruisers to the Caribbean each year who are drawn to the region because of its tropical climate and relaxing lifestyle, but there’s more to the islands than meet the eye.

When planning a cruise to the Caribbean, you’ll likely think of the typical snorkeling, sailing and other beach-related excursions that the area is famous for. But with a past packed with imperialism, immigration waves and ancient civilizations, historical tours in the Caribbean make stories fly off the pages of your grade-school textbooks.

Rich with cathedrals, plantations and traditional colonial architecture, the Caribbean has preserved so much of its history for visitors to enjoy today. Almost every destination offers a historical tour, so no matter where your ship may visit, be sure to check out the historical excursions available. These tours offer a chance to get off the beaten path, take a break from the beach and plunge into all of the history the islands have to offer!

Here are six of the fascinating historically themed tours offered by Holland America Line:

1. HISTORY & LEGENDS IN KEY WEST

Visit Ernest Hemingway's famous home in Key West.

Visit Ernest Hemingway’s famous home in Key West.

If you get the chance to stop at Key West, Florida, the “History and Legends” tour is a self-guided experience offering over 100 points of interest to pick and choose from, spending as much or as little time as you want at each destination. Enter the home of the famous author Ernest Hemingway, learn about Key West’s unique role in the Civil War, explore the vacation home of former President Truman and play with the Hemingway polydactyl cats. The visible influence from Spanish explorers and railroad development in the 1800s are nestled within this uniquely historical and tropical location.

2. HISTORICAL ISLAND EXTRAVAGANZA ON ST. LUCIA

Visit the Balenbouche Estate on the historical tour in St. Lucia.

Visit the Balenbouche Estate on the historical tour in St. Lucia.

The “Historical Island Extravaganza” tour at Castries, Saint Lucia, offers a full day of diverse locations and experiences showcasing the best of the island’s history and culture. You’ll travel to a valley packed with banana plantations and small villages, then see breathtaking views as you drive down the Atlantic Coast to the Balenbouche Estate. One of few surviving original plantation houses in St. Lucia, its colonial architecture dates back to the early 1800s. See the island’s history come to life as you explore rooms furnished with antiques, rock basins and petroglyphs on the banks of the nearby Balenbouche River, and a collection of ancient artifacts including stone axes, tools and crafted clay pottery. Cool down with some refreshments before heading to the gardens, and then find the perfect souvenir at the Choiseul Craft Market selling indigenous arts and crafts. Next on the itinerary is the Caribbean’s only drive-in volcano, Sulfur Springs. After a day filled with traveling and exploring the beautiful island, relax with a delicious lunch at the Morne Coubaril working plantation, then enjoy a ride to the jetty with magnificent views of the Pitons.

3. HISTORICAL TRUJILLO AT BANANA COAST
Trujillo

Take the “Historical Trujillo” tour at Banana Coast in Honduras and learn about Christopher Columbus’ landing there in 1502. Explore the Santa Barbara Fortress then revel in the 19th-century Spanish and French colonial architecture that make up the city.

4. LES SAINTES IN GUADELOUPE

Fort Napolean is a highlight of the Les Saintes tour in Guadeloupe.

Fort Napolean is a highlight of the Les Saintes tour in Guadeloupe.

The Les Saintes tour at Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe starts with a 30-minute boat ride to Terre de Haut where you’ll find Fort Napolean. Originally built for defense against British invasion, the fort was later used as a penitentiary. Enjoy panoramic views and vibrant flower gardens before retreating to enjoy a traditional Creole lunch and some beach time.

5. ST. CROIX’S WEST END HIGHLIGHTS

This tour in St. Croix visits the historical sites on the island.

This tour in St. Croix visits the historical sites on the island.

The West End Highlights tour includes a visit the Whim Plantation Museum at St. Croix in the Virgin Islands to admire the 18th-century ambiance. Hear stories of former residents of the Great House, take a walk through the 16-acre botanic gardens dating back as far as 100 A.D., then finish this tour with a trip to the island’s largest distillery where the famous Cruzan Rum has been produced for the last 300 years.

St. Louis Cathedral has an imposing presence in Martinique.

St. Louis Cathedral in Martinique.

6. MARTINIQUE’S HISTORIC STROLL

A Stroll Through Historic Fort-De-France” in Martinique explores the city’s narrow streets and features the island’s history, architecture and local flora. You’ll stop at Fort St. Louis, the War Memorial and La Savanna. Pass the Schoelcher Library, named after the island’s most famous abolitionist who labored to free Martinique’s slaves. Imagine yourself in the colonial era at Maison Bougenot, a traditional home from that time. Pause and energize with some fresh local juice or mineral water before your last stop touring the St. Louis Cathedral, then you’ll be set loose on the main street for some retail therapy!

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Veendam is calling at Key West and Banana Coast in early February on a Seven-Day Western Caribbean cruise. If it’s the southern islands that captivate your interest, Oosterdam will visit Basseterre, Fort-De-France and Castries in the fall on a 21-Day Southern Caribbean Wayfarer/Seafarer cruise, then Maasdam will visit Basseterre, Fort-De-France and St. Croix in the spring on an 11-Day Southern Caribbean cruise.

If you’re interested in visiting these locations, remember that the shore excursions can be pre-booked so you’re sure to get the tour of your choice.

If you’re thinking about a cruise to the Caribbean, now is the time to book. Be sure to take advantage of savings up to $1,000 per stateroom with the Fall Finale promotion that highlights 2015 itineraries. At least 60 different sailings, including many Caribbean cruises, are eligible for this deal if booked by Sept. 10, 2015, with a $60 deposit.

If you want to cruise next year or beyond, the Explore 4 special also is in full swing. Benefits for guests booking any category stateroom include a free Signature Beverage Package valued at up to $1,400, a free Pinnacle Grill dinner for two, reduced cruise fares for third and fourth guests in the same stateroom and 50 percent reduced deposits. Bookings must be made by Oct. 31, 2015. There’s never been a better time to book one of the many Caribbean cruises included in this promo!

Which of these historical tours interest you the most? Have you been on any already? Let us know in the comments below!

KODM_new

Guests who have been anticipating booking a Caribbean voyage on Holland America Line’s newest ship, ms Koningsdam, can now do so. Bookings opened for the cruises that feature Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s private Bahamian island, as well as a host of other tropical favorites.

The ship, launching in April 2016, will homeport at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and sail a series of Caribbean voyages from November 2016 through March 2017.

The seven-day cruises visit popular ports in the region, while the longer nine-, 10- and 11-day itineraries provide more time for exploring a diverse array of off-the-beaten-path islands.

“Since we began taking reservations for Koningsdam’s summer Europe season, guests have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to book a Caribbean voyage on our beautiful new ship,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Demand for being among the first to experience our latest innovations on Koningsdam is high, so we encourage anyone interested in a Caribbean cruise to book early. It’s going to be a fantastic inaugural season.”

Starting in November 2016, the ship will offer two different seven-day Caribbean itineraries. The eastern Caribbean route calls at the Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Half Moon Cay. The western Mediterranean route visits Half Moon Cay, Grand Cayman, Mexico and Key West, Fla.

The ship’s longer nine-, 10- and 11-day cruises showcase more ports in the region and include unique and lesser-visited islands such as Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Jamaica, Martinique and St. Lucia, to name a few.

The Caribbean cruises follow Koningsdam’s inaugural season sailing roundtrip from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to Norway, the Baltic, British Isles and Iceland.

Half Moon Cay: Holland America Line’s #1-Rated Caribbean Port

The island's crescent shape is how Half Moon Cay got its name.

The island’s crescent shape is how Half Moon Cay got its name.

Featured on all itineraries, Holland America Line’s private island paradise of Half Moon Cay is consistently rated the number-one Caribbean destination by guests. Perhaps it’s the port’s pristine beaches and crystalline waters in varying shades of blue. Or maybe it’s the variety of activities offered, from swimming with stingrays to horseback riding through the surf. Or the option to simply sit back with a cool drink in hand and soak up the sun.

Cruise Critic’s Erica Silverstein recently wrote an article about Half Moon Cay and had this to say:

“Half Moon Cay — the private island in the Bahamas that Carnival and Holland America share — looks like a movie set of a beach. The sand is pristinely white, with nary a scratchy shell or untoward piece of seaweed. The sea is warm, but not too warm, and turquoise, just like all the postcards you see of Caribbean beaches that you always assumed were fake. The cabanas are painted in bright, happy colors, and the bars have quaint thatched roofs and inviting Adirondack chairs — or are set inside a faux pirate ship. You have to try to have a bad time there.”

To read Erica’s full article on how to enjoy Half Moon Cay, click HERE.

Sun, Sand and Surf … Activities Galore!

Visitors looking to get out and explore Half Moon Cay have more than a dozen shore excursions to choose from that include options in every level of activity intensity. These include horseback riding by land and sea, personal watercraft adventures on the interior lagoon and a stingray adventure, as well as catch-and-release deep-sea fishing trips, eco-tours by glass-bottom boat, parasailing, guided kayak trips and guided bike rides around the island.

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One of the most popular tours is horseback riding by land and sea. Guest Sammiefitz had this to say:

“We have been to Half Moon Cay several times and love the beach day, but this time we rode the horses. Not only did we see parts of the island we have never seen before, but we went to the highest point of Half Moon Cay for a beautiful view of the ocean and our ship. We saw the gardens and animals that the locals who live on the island take care of, and the BEST, I mean BEST part, was taking the horses out into the water, and having them swim with us on their backs. They split us into small groups for this swim, and I would suggest that and someone in your party splits up, like, my husband and did, so they can take photos of you in the water. Second suggestion, it’s a lovely walk back to the beach, instead of taking the truck back. Try it…”

Fun For All Ages

Many guests rate the call so high for its abundance of children’s activities. The Half Moon Lagoon aqua park offers large water toys in the shapes of whales, octopi, sharks and dolphins for kids to climb on and a pirate ship water slide that sprays water from its cannons. A pirate-themed playground is available with two slides and two kid-sized wooden pirate ships.

Half Moon Cay has a variety of fun activities for kids of all ages.

Half Moon Cay has a variety of fun activities for kids of all ages.

Private Beach Cabanas and Villas

Guests looking for a bit of luxury ashore take advantage of the private beach-side cabanas and two-story villas. The cabanas feature a refrigerator, ceiling fan, air conditioner, table and chairs inside, deck chairs and a misting shower on the private terrace, while the luxury villas feature all that plus an exclusive hot tub on the second floor, floating mats and snorkel gear for use throughout the day.

“Loved the beach villa!!!! I have been known to frequent the cabans, but no more. I will choose the beach villas from now on. My family had the best time. If you have more than three people…this is the way to go.” — Guest Racergirl24

The villas, left, and cabanas are popular a feature on Half Moon Cay.

The villas, left, and cabanas are popular a feature on Half Moon Cay.

Why do guests love Half Moon Cay so much? Matt Samms, Holland America Line’s vice president Caribbean relations, summed it up nicely:

“It is what guests have pictured in their mind the Caribbean should look like. The experience ashore matches their high expectations as well. And, we have the best staff in the industry.”

There’s so much to do and see on Half Moon Cay that guests keep coming back time and again.

About Koningsdam
Currently under construction, Koningsdam represents a new Pinnacle Class of ship for Holland America Line. When it sets sail on its Premier Voyage April 8, 2016, the vessel will debut several innovative concepts while still featuring popular amenities guests associate with Holland America Line.

In a first for Holland America Line, the ship will feature purpose-built staterooms for families as well as single staterooms among its 1,331 guest accommodations.

Entertainment is taken to a new level with the energetic Music Walk area featuring all genres of music showcased in venues including Lincoln Center Stage with artists performing chamber music nightly; Billboard Onboard, where live musicians rock the crowd with chart-topping hits; and the popular B.B. King’s Blues Club in the Queen’s Lounge, bringing the best of Memphis music to sea.

Read more about Koningsdam’s exciting features in a previous blog post.

Will you be booking a trip to Half Moon Cay on one of Koningsdam’s Caribbean cruises?

Europe is known for its incredible museums, like the Lourve in Paris.
Europe is known for its incredible museums, like the Lourve in Paris.

Holland America Line’s cruises to Europe feature some of the most interesting and exciting cities in the world. Europe and its many regions are famous for many reasons, particularly the vast amount of art and culture found in nearly every port.

Almost anywhere you call at during a Europe cruise will feature a museum and an opportunity for you to quench your thirst for knowledge about the area. Culture vultures know that museums are much more than art. They teach history, about the great talents of the locals and we get to step back in time and imagine how those that came before us lived. Here are some of Europe’s highest-regarded museums, all reachable during a Holland America Line cruise to the city that holds them.

The Vatican Museums, Vatican City, Italy

The Vatican Museums are seemingly endless with each room bringing more and more impressive pieces.

The Vatican Museums are seemingly endless with each room bringing more and more impressive pieces.

No visit to Rome is complete without a visit to the sovereign state of Vatican City. Within its boundaries you will find the Vatican Museums, displaying an incredible, seemingly endless collection of paintings, tapestries, maps and more assembled by popes throughout the centuries. During the Vatican Museums & St. Peter’s Basilica tour you’ll enjoy a visit to the Sistine Chapel, perhaps the most famous church in the world, with its priceless collection of masterpieces by Botticeli, Signorelli, Perugino and of course Michelangelo’s famous The Last Judgment. Afterwards, you’ll head to St Peter’s Square, which can hold more than 300,000 people during papal appearances. There will still be plenty more to see with a visit to Christianity’s largest church, St. Peter’s Basilica.

Many of our cruises visit Civitavecchia, the port for Rome. If you’re looking for a last-minute getaway, check out Nieuw Amsterdam’s 12-Day Mediterranean Romance departing July 27. In 2016, Eurodam will be sailing a 12-Day Mediterranean Romance cruise departing June 23.

The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain

Bilbao's Guggenheim is as beautiful inside as it is out.

Bilbao’s Guggenheim is as beautiful inside as it is out.

The famous Guggenheim Museum is located in Bilbao’s Abandoibarra area. When it opened in 1997, it was widely regarded as the most important structure of its time, and when you spot it you’ll quickly know it was designed by Frank Gehry. The exterior of the museum is art in itself, made with titanium, glass and limestone. Inside, there is a vast amount of art to be seen by Spanish and international artists. You can explore this architectural masterpiece during the Bilbao Highlights & the Guggenheim Museum tour. The exhibitions here change often, so even if you have been before, it’s worth a second visit.

Holland America Line’s elegant explorer Prinsendam is the ship you have to be on to visit Bilbao. Come aboard in 2016 on a 14-Day Bourgundian Explorer cruise departing Sept. 6.

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Van Gogh is known for his colorful style. Photo courtesy nl.wikipedia.org.

Van Gogh is known for his colorful style. Photo courtesy nl.wikipedia.org.

Located in Amsterdam’s Museum Square, the famous Van Gogh Museum features a unique collection by the 19th-century master of the same name. Opened in 1973 this museum attracts visitors who enjoy seeing Vincent Van Gogh’s amazing, colorful, post-impressionist renditions of sunflowers and potato-eaters and of course his tortured self-portraits. You’ll experience his life as you browse among his paintings and drawings, the largest collection of Van Gogh’s work in the world. The Amsterdam Highlights & Van Gogh Museum tour also includes a drive by the Dam Square, Amsterdam’s cultural center, and the Mint Tower.

One of our three Dutch homeports, Amsterdam hosts several Holland America Line ships. But if you want to be among the first to sail on Koningsdam and visit Amsterdam, join the 13-Day Christening Cruise departing May 9, 2016.

The Louvre, Le Havre (Paris), France

The Louvre with its unique pyramid is one of the most recognizable museums.

The Louvre with its unique pyramid is one of the most recognizable museums.

The Louvre, is one of the world’s largest museums and its most visited. This historic monument, originally built as a fortress by King Phillip II and having served as a royal palace, today is one of Paris’ most famous landmarks. On exhibit guests will find more than 35,000 pieces but the Louvre holds over a million pieces in its collection, including the Mona Lisa and the Venus of Milo. You can visit the Louvre during a call at Le Havre, France. With a transfer to Paris you’ll have enough time to explore the city on your own and this incredible museum should be at the top of your list of things to do.

Bon Jour! Koningsdam’s 13-Day Christening Cruise departing May 9, 2016, also calls at the French port of La Harve, the gateway to Paris.

The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

A Medallion Collection tour is the best way to enjoy the Hermitage.

A Medallion Collection tour is the best way to enjoy the Hermitage.

St. Peterburg’s Hermitage Museum, created by Czarina Catherine the Great in 1764, is one of northern Europe’s best attractions and one of the world’s finest museums. Catherine’s original purchase of 225 canvasses by Dutch and Flemish masters are still the nucleus of today’s collection, which consists of almost three million pieces. The museum’s 353 rooms are filled with masterpieces by Raphael, Titian, Giorgione, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and many others. The buildings’ spectacular staircases, marble structures, malachite columns and highly-decorated floors and ceilings will also impress you. Have the Hermitage all to yourself with the Exclusive Evening at the Hermitage tour. This Medallion Collection tour features an evening viewing exclusively for Holland America Line guests.

St. Petersburg is a popular port, and five Holland America Line ships call at the Russian favorite. Eurodam’s 12-Day Baltic Adventure is a good option for a last-minute getaway this summer, while next summer Zuiderdam takes on the route.

Vasa Museum, Stockholm, Sweden

The Vasa was salvaged and restored and is today the centerpiece of Stockholm's Vasa Museum.

The Vasa was salvaged and restored, and is today the centerpiece of Stockholm’s Vasa Museum.

Stockholm’s Vasa Museum is an authentic piece of living history. In the early 17th century, the Swedish battleship Vasa was the pride of Sweden’s mighty navy. The ship capsized while preparing to set out on its maiden voyage in 1628, sinking into Stockholm’s inner harbor. 333 years later, in 1961, a Swedish team salvaged the ship which was very well preserved. It was then restored and today is the centerpiece of the museum. You can visit the museum and its incredible ship during the Historic Stockholm, Sigtuna & the Vasa Museum tour. You’ll also enjoy the island of Gamla Sta, an enchanting medieval old town, and you’ll visit Sigtuna with the smallest Town Hall in Scandinavia.

Prinsendam and Zuiderdam visit the port of Stockholm. For an epic adventure embark Zuiderdam’s 29-Day Azores, Normandy and Baltic Adventure cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Copenhagen that calls at Stockholm and St. Petersburg.

If you’re interested in visiting these museums, the shore excursions can be pre-booked so you’re sure to get the tour of your choice.

Which of these museums do you want to visit the most? Have you been to any of these already?

Many South America cities, like Buenos Aires, come alive at night.
Many South America cities, like Buenos Aires, come alive at night.

A cruise to South America is full of culture, history and exotic flavors. It’s the ideal adventure for travelers who like new experiences, beautiful scenery, varying climates, bustling cities and quaint villages.

On longer cruises such as the upcoming 2016 67-day Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage, guests have even more opportunities to experience the ports with five overnight calls in Lima, Peru; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Panama City, Panama; Rio de Janeiro and Manaus, Brazil. By day, these cities are interesting and vibrant, but at night the energy rises to a whole new level and the streets come alive with music, dance and excitement.

If you’re looking to make the most of your evenings ashore, take a look at these five tours and head out for a night on the town.

FountainLima by Night & Magic Fountains
Lima is the capital of Peru, and it’s not only one of the country’s largest cities but also one of the largest cities in South America. Its historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and features grand old buildings, attesting to its longtime role as one of the queen cities of the Spanish empire. This popular place is also one of the gastronomic capitals of the Americas, thanks to Spanish, Andean and Asian influences.

With the Lima by Night & Magic Fountains tour you can get a different view of this vibrant city. You’ll drive through downtown Lima, featuring the Main Square and Plaza San Martin. Then, you’ll take in the Magic Water Circuit of Lima — one of the city’s most visited attractions. The circuit consists of 13 impressive fountains that combine movement, light, sound and images. Here, you’ll be treated to a stand-up show.

NatalieInAK gave the tour five stars on the Holland America Line website and said Lima is worth an evening visit!

“This was a fun excursion for all ages. The fountain park was big and beautiful and it felt very safe. It was great to see so many Lima families there enjoying the fountains. There were plenty of fountain-light shows and interactive fountains that you could run through if you didn’t mind getting a little wet. It was also lovely getting a chance to see Lima and its beautiful architecture all lit up at night. Overall, it was a fun and safe nighttime excursion well worth the money.”

Tango: A Night of Passion & Desire
Buenos Aires, Argentina, is one of South America’s cultural and commercial capitals. You’ll quickly fall in love with this romantic city that magically becomes even more lively at night.

Watch professional dancers take the stage for a captivating Tango performance.

Watch professional dancers take the stage for a captivating Tango performance.

The Tango: A Night of Passion & Desire tour features a marvelously entertaining tango show arranged exclusively for Holland America Line guests. You’ll head to one of the most iconic tango theaters in Buenos Aires for a spectacular presentation of the popular dance. The professional performers will leave you breathless with their skills, timing, passion and stamina. You can also combine this tour with dinner: a three-course meal in opulent surroundings while the dancers get ready for the show.

Diane gave the tour five stars on the Holland America Line website.

“This was one of the most memorable tours of the entire trip. The Tango show was very well done and included a history of Tango told through out the dances. There was drama, comedy, passion and fantastic music.”

Night Out In Rio: Samba Show

Rio de Janeiro is one of South America’s most colorful cities in more ways than one.

Rio de Janeiro is one of South America’s most colorful cities in more ways than one.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is a stunning city with beautiful people who have a contagious lust for life, and there’s no question why it’s nicknamed the “cidade maravilhosa,” or “marvelous city.” By day you can enjoy the breathtaking city views from the top of Corcovado Mountain or Sugar Loaf, and by night you can get a whole different feel for the culture.

The Night Out In Rio: Samba Show shore excursion is a Medallion Collection tour offering a firsthand glimpse of Rio’s fabulous nightlife. You’ll visit a local show house and enjoy a 90-minute live presentation featuring dazzling color, costumes, song and dance of Afro-Brazilian culture. You’ll quickly fall in love with the samba beat and enjoy the most important dance of the world-famous Carnival festival.

An Evening Exploration in the Amazon
Manaus, Brazil, one of the world’s greatest boomtowns, rose to glory as the rubber trade exploded in the late 19th century. Today, the boom-time landmarks still stand. At night, you can enjoy a visit to the world-famous pink-and-white Teatro Amazonas Opera House, a copy of the Grand Opera de Paris.

Guest UKTourist wrote:

This turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip. Listening to talented young people perform in such a magnificent venue is something I will always remember. The choice of music was “inspired.”

Enjoy the stunning theater or watch your guide dive into the water to catch alligators at Manaus.

Enjoy the stunning theater or watch your guide dive into the water to catch alligators at Manaus.

But if it’s adventure you seek, the Alligators by Night tour is just what you’re looking for. Cross the Rio Negro by riverboat into Lake January to board a covered canoe with an outboard motor. You’ll cruise through the dark and exciting jungle as you closely watch the shadows and listen to mysterious sounds. Your guide will watch for caimans and when he spots one he’ll jump into the water to catch it! You’ll get an incredible up-close look before it is released back into the water.

Fast trip across the lake to caiman areas, with spotter shining light to find caiman. Ours about 3 years old, but still had sharp teeth. Second canoe with naturalist came along side, good descriptions of how caimans lived. Naturalist spoke excellent English, main guide more difficult to understand. Good trip, different experience at night crossing large rivers. Lights of Manaus beautiful at night. — Guest “ecmcd”

Miraflores Locks by Night
Fuerte Amador, or Fort Amador, in Panama was one of the U.S. installations, along with Fort Grant, that guarded the southern end of the Panama Canal. Today, it is a suburb of Panama City and a travel destination.

The lock of the Panama Canal are an interesting sight at night.

The lock of the Panama Canal are an interesting sight at night.

The Miraflores Locks by Night tour is an exciting opportunity to watch the huge ships that make their way through the Miraflores Locks’ chambers and see the locks up close. You’ll also enjoy the Miraflores Visitor Center, with four different halls depicting the background of the Canal and how it operates. Afterwards, you’ll pass through the former Panama Canal Zone, very much intact and resembling a still life image of the days of the American Administration. You’ll head back to the ship with a whole new appreciation of your recent transit.

GrayGrammy wrote on the Holland America Line website:

This tour, taken the evening before our Eastbound transit, made our adventure through the Panama Canal – especially through the Miraflores Locks – even more interesting and fun. Although we had done a good deal of research before taking our cruise, we learned much more at the Miraflores Visitors Center…

The Miraflores Visitor Center features four halls depicting the history of the Canal and how it operates.

The Miraflores Visitor Center features four halls depicting the history of the Canal and how it operates.

—–

The full 67-day Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage departs Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Jan. 4, 2016. The cruise also can be split into two segments: 36 days from Fort Lauderdale to Buenos Aires, or 31-days from Buenos Aires to Fort Lauderdale, departing Feb. 9.

Remember, you can pre-book your shore excursions online to save time onboard and ensure that you don’t miss your tour of choice! If you want to read or write a review of the tours, click HERE and then click “review.”

Have you spent the night in any of these cities before? What did you enjoy most? Tell us in the comments below.

Holland America Line's new tablet app brings Alaska to your fingertips.
Holland America Line's new tablet app brings Alaska to your fingertips.

Now it’s easier and more convenient for travelers to tap and swipe their way through Holland America Line’s Alaska cruises and Land+Sea Journeys with the launch of a new application for tablets. Those using an Apple, Android or Windows tablet can search key words such as “Holland America Alaska” in their respective app store and download the application for free.

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“Today’s consumer wants to have a thorough understanding of the travel experience before they book, and technology is essential in helping vacationers choose the right fit,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Our new app makes it easy for anyone to get an inside look into Holland America Line’s Alaska options anytime, anywhere.”

The app is optimized for tablets and offers the best of Holland America Line’s Alaska brochure, web site and other collateral in an easy-to-navigate mobile tool. Users can explore both cruises and Land+Sea Journeys with a new level of detail, including an interactive map with destination details and excursion options, as well as a sampling of the line’s Glacier Bay podcasts.

TabletCollage

Users can post, share or print information. For those without a tablet, there is also a “desktop viewer” that offers the same rich content with mouse-click navigation.

Through the app, Holland America Line Alaska cruises and Land+Sea Journeys itineraries are available “on the go.” The app can be used to electronically view different itinerary options and route maps and to personalize travel plans. Once a day-by-day itinerary is finalized, a pdf flyer to email can be created with the swipe of a finger.

Anniversary Sale Features Alaska Adventures
If you’re looking to cruise Alaska this summer, now is the time to plan using the new app. Cruisers who book an Alaska cruise or Land+Sea Journey by June 1, 2015, will gain a valuable shore excursion credit, complimentary stateroom upgrades, dining package and more.

WHY TAKE AN ALASKA CRUISE?

As the experts in Alaska cruising and overland travel, here are some reasons why we think an Alaska cruise should be at the top of your list.

Bucket-list Shore Excursions

A cruise to Alaska is an adventure in itself, and certain tours make it even more memorable. The Dog Sled Adventure by Helicopter tour is a truly Alaskan adventure offering the rare opportunity to mush your own dog sled team across a snow-covered glacier, while the Whale Watching & Wildlife Quest tour is a memorable option to maximize time viewing Alaska’s marine wildlife.

Enjoy Alaska's locals surrounded by beautiful landscapes.

Enjoy Alaska’s locals surrounded by beautiful landscapes.

The Denali Glacier Landing by Helicopter tour is another once-in-a-lifetime experience. Explore the beautiful Yanert Glacier at the base of Mt. Deborah and head to the breathtaking Ice Falls in Yanert Valley. This video describes your soaring adventure better than we ever could!

Land + Sea Journeys let you explore Alaska from all angles!

Holland America Line’s Land + Sea Journeys combine an interior exploration with an Alaskan cruise, giving guests truly the best of both worlds. The Yukon Double Denali Land + Sea Journey option is the perfect way to experience all that Alaska has to offer with time in some of Alaska’s most exciting cities and two nights at Denali.

Take in the beautiful scenery at Denali National Park.

Take in the beautiful scenery at Denali National Park.

Serene scenic cruising lets you reach otherwise unreachable places.

Scenic cruising is one of the best facets of visiting Alaska on a cruise, because it is the only way to access these beautiful locations. Enjoy a scenic cruise along Glacier Bay, the Inside Passage and Tracy Arm, where the ship will be surrounded by Alaska’s natural beauty and you’ll be in awe as you take it all in.

Cruise along stunning natural beauty at Glacier Bay.

Cruise along stunning natural beauty at Glacier Bay.

Unique Cultures

There is plenty of culture to discover in Alaska and you’ll be delighted by the state’s many interesting traditions. At Ketchikan the Saxman Native Village and Lumberjack Show provides exclusive access to the Beaver Clan House — a working native carving center — and a chance to watch traditional dancers perform. At Haines, you can also learn of the Tlingit culture with a visit to Klukwan, the mother village of the Tlingit nation.

Watch a lumberjack show and visit a totem park.

Watch a lumberjack show and visit a totem park.

Are you convinced? From May through September 2015 seven ships in the Holland America Line fleet will sail a total of 124 Alaska voyages that stretch from the Inside Passage to Glacier Bay and beyond. See you in the Last Frontier!

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