Holland America Unveils “Alaska Up Close” Programby Dori Saltzman /
Debuting this summer, Holland America Line is cramming 75 years of experience touring Alaska into an “Alaska Up Close” immersion program that includes cultural, culinary and shoreside experiences.
“Alaska is so abundant that it needs to be explored and presented differently, and with ‘Alaska Up Close’ our guests will have access to activities and experiences that they won’t find anywhere else,” said Beth Bodensteiner, senior vice president and chief commercial officer for Holland America. “We want our guests to be immersed in Alaska from the moment they step on board, and as we celebrate 75 years of exploring Alaska in 2022, we tapped into our unparalleled expertise to craft memorable and exclusive programming.”
Explorations Central Talks
Taking its shipboard lecture experience to the next level, HAL will offer passengers a series of Exploration Central (EXC) talks that offer insights into local culture through the eyes of resident Alaskans.
- “Breaking the Ice Ceiling” features stories of Alaskan women working in fields traditionally dominated by men;
- “Ancestral Memories” tells the stories of native Alaskans keeping their culture and language alive;
- “Pacific Giants” describes the wonders, habits and future of Alaska’s largest inhabitants;
- “Iditarod – The Last Great Race” shares what it’s like to ride in the sled of this iconic Alaskan race
Other experts onboard will include a National Park Ranger and a member of the Huna Tlingit Tribe who will share their insights and answer questions during visits to Glacier Bay National Park.
Through Port to Table programming, guests can explore the culinary traditions of Alaska and learn how to eat like a local via live cooking demonstrations.
Passengers who reel in a fish on select fishing-focused shore excursions can enjoy every bite of their catch onboard, as Holland America chefs prepare their hard-earned catch in a true ocean-to-table experience.
Other culinary shore excursions will focus on Alaska’s craft beer scene or take in an authentic crab feast or salmon bake.
Raptors on Westerdam
Princess shows off sled dog puppies on its ships’ piazzas; Holland America brings raptors. On Westerdam cruises that stop in Sitka, guests will be able to ask questions of experts from the Alaska Raptor Center while posing for pictures with one of the center’s Red Tail Hawks or Northern Goshawks.