The 2017 Alaska season marks Holland America Line’s 70th anniversary of exploring the great land.
To commemorate, the company is planning a series of special experiences and events on all its Alaska cruises as well as Land+Sea Journeys this year, the same as Denali National Park’s centennial.
Highlights will include exclusive entertainment, an Alaskan menu from the line’s Culinary Council, a pair of anniversary Alaska beers, special gifts and more.
“Celebrating 70 years in Alaska — or any destination — is a milestone that isn’t often seen in our industry. We are especially proud to have been the first tour company in Alaska back in 1947, showing the beauty and greatness of this region to travelers, said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line, in a press release.
“Going into 2017 we wanted to mark our anniversary in a memorable way with special experiences that add an extra dimension to our robust Alaska programming and bring even more of Alaska to our guests.”
As for entertainment, Holland America Line in partnership with BBC Earth will present an “Alaska in Concert” multimedia production with live music and BBC Earth television footage from “Wild Alaska.” The Huna indigenous people will also stage the “Native Voices” cultural interpretation program for those sailing through Glacier Bay National Park.
The cruise line’s new collaboration with “America’s Test Kitchen” will feature an “Every Salmon” cooking show. Plus, Master Mixologist Dale DeGroff will bring his signature Midnight Sun cocktail onboard.
Of course, the main dining room will also serve up new dishes from the council of Rudi Sodamin, Jonnie Boer, David Burke, Elizabeth Falkner and Jacques Torres, as well as a classic 70th Anniversary Baked Alaska. There will even be special decor in the restaurant.
Besides the aforementioned cocktail, two anniversary beers will also be poured in addition to already showcased Alaskan Brewing Company beers. An exclusive Holland America Line Pale Ale is being customized for the anniversary while Denali Brewing Company will additionally craft an anniversary beer available at Denali on Land+Sea Journeys.
To also celebrate the occasion, there will be a themed bon voyage party and 70th Anniversary Champagne toast on every cruise. What’s more, Land+Sea Journey guests will be able to partake in additional anniversary menu items as well as get a commemorative backpack.
Holland America Line is scheduling seven ships in Alaska for 2017, between April and September, including the Amsterdam, Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam, Oosterdam, Volendam and Zaandam on 135 total departures. 126 of those will be 7-day sailings while nine will be 14-day voyages—featuring Glacier Bay, Hubbard Glacier, Tracy Arm and/or the twin Sawyer Glaciers.
Adding to the 7-day cruises, or even abbreviated 3- and 4-day variants, Land+Sea Journeys tack on shoreside tours of the Yukon and Alaska’s interior. Points of interest include Denali National Park and Dawson City in Klondike Gold Rush country.