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.
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
Had the chance Monday evening to jump up in the air to take a look at “The Mountain” from 12,000 feet and … — Andy
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!
Here’s what the area will look like when it’s complete:
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
Then on to Glacier Bay …
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
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
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
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
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
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
This is what you come to Alaska for… — Andy
After you get through freezing your fanny at Chena Resort’s ice museum, you can take a dip in the hot springs. — Andy
Chena had some of the most magnificent sunflowers I have ever seen. — Andy
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
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
Our transportation from Dawson City to Whitehorse was this comfortable Holland America motorcoach. — Andy
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
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
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
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!