For those ready to travel again, there’s no better place to start than Alaska, offering opportunities for travelers to see glaciers up close, spot bucket-list wildlife, explore national parks, including Denali. This summer, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises offer many ways for travelers to experience Alaska through Gray Line Alaska, Princess Alaska Lodges and Holland America Line’s Westmark Hotels, giving travelers a combination of tours, lodging and sightseeing options on land.
“We love Alaska, and we love that we get to share it with visitors from all over the world. We’re committed to helping locals and visitors alike experience all the best parts of Alaska in a safe way,” said Dave McGlothlin, v.p., tour operations. “For the last year, many people stayed close to home, so this summer, as we’re able to reopen some of these land offerings, we are more ready than ever to welcome visitors back through our doors.”
This year’s tours highlight the best of Alaska’s interior with COVID-19 health and safety precautions top of mind, both for the well-being of employees and guests. For travelers who want to take the legwork out of planning their Alaska vacation, a tour is a great option. For travelers who want to go at their own pace and make their own itinerary, hotel and sightseeing options make for a custom experience.
Among the highlights for escorted tours will be the full eight-hour Tundra Wilderness Tour at Denali, where guests have opportunities to see the big five—grizzly bears, wolves, moose, caribou, and Dall sheep. Other included tours are the Portage Glacier Cruise near Anchorage and Riverboat Discovery excursion in Fairbanks. In addition, optional tours such as flightseeing around the mountain, river rafting, and more will be available to book at each hotel property.
Options this summer include the following:
- Escorted and Explorer tours
- Variations between Kenai, Anchorage, Denali and Fairbanks are available.
- Escorted tours include a tour director and range from six to seven nights.
- Explorer tours do not include a tour director, but helpful staff members are available along the way. Tours range from five to six nights.
- Rail travel on GoldStar service on Alaska Railroad rail cars.
- Most meals and some sightseeing included.
- Denali Rail tours
- Trip variations range from one to six nights with up to four nights at Denali National Park.
- Options include travel by rail or a combination of rail and deluxe motor coach. Rail travel is hosted in Adventure Class on Alaska Railroad rail cars with the option to upgrade to GoldStar.
- Tour choices include round trip from Anchorage to Denali, Anchorage to Denali to Fairbanks, or Fairbanks to Denali to Anchorage.
- No meals or sightseeing included. Guests may customize their experience with optional tours.
- Hotel only and sightseeing
- The Westmark Fairbanks Hotel & Conference Center is currently open. Additional properties will open for guests, May 28- Sept. 6, including Holland America Line’s McKinley Chalet Resort at Denali National Park and Preserve and the Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge overlooking the world-famous Kenai River.
- Portage Glacier Cruises will operate, May 28-Sept. 6. Portage Glacier Cruises will run five daily departures of its one-hour cruise to see the face of Portage Glacier, including one departure at 1:30 p.m. that includes round trip transportation from Anchorage with a stop at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.
Princess and Holland America Line are working to create new health and safety protocols to address COVID-19, to ensure the well-being of guests, team members and the greater community. Information and advisories about traveling to Alaska from the Lower 48 or an international destination is available at the State of Alaska Safe Travels website. Anyone booking with Gray Line Alaska, Princess Alaska Lodges or Holland America Line’s Westmark Hotels is encouraged to review and follow the advisories put in place to help people travel responsibly.
2022 Alaska Season
In 2022, Holland America Line will celebrate 75 years of Alaska exploration—longer than any other cruise line—and bookings are now open for its cruises and Land+Sea Journeys. From April through October 2022, guests can embark on Holland America Line’s cruises to Alaska aboard Eurodam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam, Oosterdam and Zuiderdam. For explorers who want to travel farther into the Great Land, 16 different Land+Sea Journeys combine a 3-, 4- or 7-day Alaska cruise with an inland exploration of Denali National Park. Holland America Line is the only cruise line that extends land tour options up to the unspoiled reaches of Canada’s Yukon Territory. For more information, visit hollandamerica.com.
The newly announced 2022 Alaska cruise and cruise tour program with Princess offers six ships, including the line’s newest ship, Discovery Princess. Guests can choose from 12 cruise itineraries, plus 25 seamless cruise tour options. Cruise tour guests see even more of Alaska by combining a 7-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruise with multiple nights on land in the heart of Alaska. Every cruise tour features Alaska’s top two attractions: Glacier Bay National Park and Denali National Park, with options ranging from 10 to 17 nights. Princess owns and operates five wilderness lodges, located on the doorsteps of national parks. For more information, visit princess.com.
For more details and to book a tour visit graylinealaska.com.
Don’t miss, “Alaska Cruise Cancellations” for 2021.