SEATTLE — Holland America is celebrating 70 years of Alaska exploration this year with special experiences and events on every Alaska cruise and on the popular Land+Sea Journeys.
“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. “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.”
In partnership with BBC Earth, the cruise line will debut a new Alaska in Concert multimedia production, which combines live music set against a backdrop of footage from the BBC Earth television series ‘Wild Alaska’. Plus, Holland America continues its long relationship with the Huna indigenous people of Glacier Bay to showcase Native Voices, a program of Huna cultural interpretation while cruising through Glacier Bay National Park.
The anniversary will also be commemorated with a new Alaska-centric menu and exclusive culinary offerings. America’s Test Kitchen will feature top tips to select and prepare regional favourites through its Every Salmon shipboard cooking show, while Master Mixologist Dale DeGroff will be on hand to create ‘Midnight Sun’ cocktails.
The main dining room will showcase customized menus that celebrate the cruise line’s Alaska heritage with new dishes created by Holland America Line’s Master Chef Rudi Sodamin and the company’s Culinary Council. A 70th Anniversary Baked Alaska will be the culmination of the celebratory meal.
Moreover, brewing beer – though not easily done in Alaska – is growing in popularity and has become one of the more popular highlights onboard. Holland America currently features beers by Alaska Brewing Co., both on the menus and during tastings. For the 70th anniversary, the company will introduce a customized Holland America Pale Ale, while another exclusive anniversary beer by Denali Brewing Company will be available at Denali for guests on Land+Sea Journeys.
Other special anniversary touches on 2017 Alaska cruises include a themed bon voyage party with a champagne toast, and a commemorative backpack for Land+Sea Journey guests.
Starting this spring, ms Amsterdam, ms Eurodam, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms NOordam, ms Oosterdam, ms Volendam and ms Zaandam will offer a total of 135 Alaska departures, more than any other cruise line. Holland America Line will feature 126 seven-day cruises and nine 14-day Great Land Explorer sailings beginning in late April and running through late September.