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Holland America Line (HAL) is increasing its presence in Alaska for 2013, with growth in departures and passenger numbers. Although the number of HAL ships deployed in Alaska will remain at seven — the same as in 2012 — the 1,380-paqssenger Amsterdam will double its departures on new seven-day roundtrip sailings from Vancouver, raising the number of Alaska departures by 8.5 percent, with guest capacity increasing by six percent over 2012. Agents can offer a choice of Saturday and Sunday departures out of Vancouver, Seattle and Seward (Juneau).
HAL’s capacity-controlled Early Advantage savings include complimentary upgrades as well as free and reduced fares for third or fourth guests who share the same stateroom on select sailings. These allow a family of four to take advantage of rates starting at $699 per person for the first and second guest in a stateroom, with the third and fourth sailing free (taxes are additional).
“Increasing our capacity in Alaska means that Holland America Line will offer nearly 1.6 million passenger days in the 2013 season,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “These itineraries have always been among our most popular, and Amsterdam’s new seven day departures will allow us to bring more guests to Alaska and show off the natural beauty of this part of the world. We also encourage travelers to book early and enjoy greater benefits with Early Advantage savings.”
The Amsterdam will sail a series of 17 seven-day Inside Passage cruises, starting May 24. The Vancouver sailings include port calls in Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan as well as scenic cruising throughout Glacier Bay National Park or Tracy Arm Fjord/Twin Sawyer glaciers.
The full lineup of seven-day sailings is as follows:
• Starting May 5, the 1,916-passenger Oosterdam will sail 21 Alaskan Explorer departures out of Seattle, with calls at Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan, Alaska; Victoria, British Columbia; and a scenic cruising experience at Tracy Arm Fjord/Twin Sawyer Glaciers or Glacier Bay National Park.
• From May 11, the 1,916-passenger Westerdam will sail 20 cruises on the same route, also from Seattle.
• Five HAL ships sail seven-day Inside Passage itineraries out of Vancouver: the Amsterdam, Statendam, Volendam, Zaandam and Zuiderdam.
• The 1,432-guest Volendam and the 1,916-guest Zuiderdam sail a total of 41 voyages from May 1 to September 21. During those cruises, passengers will visit Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and Glacier Bay National Park and make a shore excursion call at Tracy Arm Fjord.
• Four additional Inside Passage cruises are operated by the 1,260-passenger Statendam and 1,432-passenger Zaandam. Statendam departs Vancouver on May 5 and 12, and September 22. Zaandam departs on May 5.
• Seven-day Glacier Discovery cruises sailing between Vancouver and Seward (Anchorage) are scheduled aboard the Statendam and Zaandam. The Sunday departures May 13 through Sept. 16 feature port calls at Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, a day at sea in the Gulf of Alaska and scenic cruising through the Inside Passage. Each ship will sail 18 cruises, and all include visits to Glacier Bay.
During embarkation for the Seattle voyages, a ranger from the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park will be available to talk to guests about the Klondike parks and other national parks located throughout the Inside Passage. On all Glacier Bay sailings, a park ranger and native interpreters from the Huna people board the ships to explain the origins of their tribe and cultural traditions.
The added capacity and departures are expected to send more guests on the line’s CruiseTours, which combine a three-, four- or seven-day Inside Passage cruise with in-depth overland tours to the Yukon and Alaska’s interior, offering up to three days at Denali National Park for viewing wildlife and the spectacular scenery. In addition, HAL offers Cruise with Purpose choices, combining traditional tour content with a chance to make a difference in the local community.