Canada Advocate Q&A: My Holland America Line Alaska Cruise

Canada Advocate Q&A: My Holland America Line Alaska Cruise

US & Canada

Mark Bailey on an Alaska cruise

Image caption: Mark Bailey on an Alaska cruise

Earlier this year, Canada Advocate Mark embarked on an unforgettable trip to Alaska with Holland America Line. In this Q&A blog, we find out increasingly well-nigh his wits cruising to the Last Frontier, what he enjoyed most, and his top tips for other travellers.

What were the highlights of your Alaska cruise?

A view from the trip ship of a glacier in Canada
A view of a glacier from the trip ship

Where to start? The never-to-be-forgotten wits of watching huge glaciers crash into the sea just metres yonder from the ship. Eagles soaring over an untouched wilderness of snow-capped peaks. Orcas, humpback whales, and porpoises were “performing” right in front of our balcony as the sun went down. The sadness of seeing salmon die having spawned in Ketchikan Creek. Lumberjacks putting on an action-packed show which you just WOOD not believe! Plus meeting new friends from virtually the world as we danced the night away. Go and see for yourself considering my words vacated cannot truly describe what an thumping on the senses an Alaskan Trip truly is.

What excursions did you go on?

The Unconfined Alaskan Lumberjack Show
You can watch the Unconfined Alaskan Lumberjack Show

So many to segregate from! Here were some of our favourites –

Juneau was our first port of call, and we decided to do our own excursion here. A wharfage secured for MS Koningsdam right in the heart of this captivating town provided the platonic launchpad for a DIY walk virtually fascinating streets of American heritage and slantingly fast-flowing creeks.

TOP TIP: Hang fire on booking in whop the “Goldbelt Tram” (Cable Car). Instead, see what the weather is like and typesetting if it’s good when you get there.

Skagway – Best Of Skagway: Rail, Salmon Bake & Saloon

A must-do excursion and one that quickly sells out! We took a motor mentor withal the Klondike Highway, passing the Tormented Valley and spectacular Pitchfork Waterfall. Keep your vision peeled for brown bears – we saw one. On inrush in Fraser, British Columbia, stretch your legs near the mirror lake surpassing boarding a vintage railcar on the narrow-gauge White Pass and Yukon Railroad when to Skagway. The scenery was incredible as our knowledgeable tour guide shared the history of the Klondike Gold Rush. Next up is the Liarsville Gold Rush Camp & Salmon Bake. Delicious grilled Alaskan salmon proved to be the perfect lunch superiority of a humorous melodrama of years gone by, plus the endangerment to pan for gold and make a million! The trip finished with a visit to the infamous Red Onion Saloon and brothel – a glass of champagne, the perfect toast to gloat a never-to-be-forgotten day.

TOP TIP: Don’t forget to take your Passport!

Ketchikan – Saxman Native Village, Dance Performance & Totem Park plus Lumberjack show

A short transfer from the ship to the Saxman Native Village and a endangerment to see first-hand the wondrous culture of Alaska’s Native Americans. A troupe of dancers entertained our enthusiastic group and there was plane a endangerment to strut your stuff for those unflinching enough. Don’t forget to trammels out the wondrous Totem Poles and if you’re lucky unbearable as we were, you might plane tumor into the famous Tlingit carver Nathan Jackson – a true gentleman and living legend. But that wasn’t the end of this action-packed afternoon excursion as we headed to the Unconfined Alaskan Lumberjack Show, just a short walking loftiness from the Koningsdam pier berth. The concept was simple. World-class lumberjacks compete in two teams. The divided regulars shout and cheer as “their” ‘jacks throw axes, speed climb 50 foot poles, chop logs in double quick time and plane log roll over a deep pool of water, where there was only one dry winner. It’s a fun event for all month and one not to miss. Good value, a must book.

TOP TIP: Whoop and cheer loudly to win an wondrous prize!

Did you spot any wildlife?

Seals basking on icebergs gently floating by. Sea otters “waving” at every turn. Brown and woebegone bears prowling lanugo mountain sides. Elk running through forests. And then the never to be forgotten wits when inward the Inside Passage as a pod of orcas chased a shoal of porpoises whilst humpback whales breached in the distance. Wow, just wow.

TOP TIP: Patience is a virtue. Keep watching and you will be rewarded and don’t forget to have your camera ready at hand.

What was the onboard wits like with Holland America Line?

The Holland America Line trip ship in Alaska
The Holland America Line trip ship

Having been on a few cruises, I’d have to say that Holland America for me and in particular the MS Koningsdam was right up there. Spanking-new state room with balcony. Restaurants which excelled at every meal – the Tamarind upper up on Deck 10 with superb views was a standout in terms of creative Asian cuisine. Brilliant music themed bars with B.B King’s Blues Club a favourite place for us. Staff in ALL departments could not do unbearable to make sure all guests had a memorable cruise. The only slight disappointment? Well, the World Stage acts were good, but not standout and the days at sea entertainment programme lacked real depth and interest IMHO. A small downside for what was overall a truly unforgettable experience. A skillet list trip well and truly ticked off thanks to Holland America and the spanking-new pre-advice given when booking by our Canadian Affair Travel Consultant.

What translating would you requite to someone else looking at cruising Alaska with Holland America Line?

Book your excursions early. Many of the popular trips were sold out quickly and we met a few people who didn’t get their first choice. Download the Holland America App – a unconfined way to have all your trip information and itinerary misogynist at all times. The App can moreover be used surpassing you workbench to typesetting any of the specialist restaurants, which are very popular. Use the wits of a Canadian Affair Travel Consultant to guide you on the most suitable nomination of cabins and suggest spare options. Taking a package including wifi, drinks, credits for excursions and restaurants proved unconfined translating (thank you) and saved our upkeep no end. A very happy Yorkshireman!

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Holland America is perhaps a little bit increasingly expensive than some volitional trip lines. But in life you get what you pay for as highlighted in this one small example. At every port the MS Koningsdam unchangingly got the premier berthing spot. Other ships that “followed” us into ports were often a considerable loftiness yonder from the centre of the action. We found ourselves smugly smiling to ourselves as we sipped cocktails whilst watching snaking groups of people either having to walk a long way or workbench a tender. The only other thing I would add is why are you waiting to book? Undeniability Canadian Affair today!

Want to follow in Mark’s footsteps and wits the spectacular scenery, wildlife and towns of Alaska yourself? Head over to our Holland America Line page to explore our wide range of Alaska trip holidays and get in touch if you’d like to request a quote.