NEWS + 5 PHOTOS: Following passage of the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act, work with Alaska government officials, and recent guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Holland America Line is announcing plans to restart cruising to Alaska on July 24, 2021 roundtrip from Seattle, Washington, aboard Nieuw Amsterdam.
Bookings are open for the 10 Saturday departures that will operate from July 24 through Oct. 2. The seven-day “Alaskan Explorer” itinerary calls at Juneau, Icy Strait Point, Sitka and Ketchikan. Scenic cruising in Alaska’s iconic locales includes Glacier Bay and Stephens Passage.
Plans for these cruises to fulfill Holland America Line’s obligations under the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA) are expected to be approved, as are final instructions from CDC, and the company is beginning the return-to-cruising preparation process effective immediately.
“Holland America Line has been cruising to Alaska for nearly 75 years, and we feel deeply committed to trying to help our friends in ‘The Great Land’ get back on their feet in any way we can this summer,” said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. “Given the recent positive collaboration from the CDC, as well as optimism about a resolution with the PVSA, we feel like it’s now or never to give ourselves a chance to bring cruising back to Alaska this year.
“We would like to offer our sincerest appreciation to Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, Congressman Don Young and Governor Mike Dunleavy for their tireless efforts on behalf of the many small businesses that are the backbone of Alaska tourism.”
“The Last Frontier is eager to welcome the return of the cruise industry this summer to restart our economy,” said Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy. “Cruising has a tremendous impact on the people of our state and our communities, especially in the southeast, and we’re thrilled to finally see a light with the impending return of the cruise ships.”
On board, Holland America Line will continue to offer the amenities that are a hallmark of the brand. Dining will be available in all restaurants and specialty venues, as well as room service. Entertainment will be in full swing in the main show lounge, and live music will be featured in Lincoln Center Stage, B.B. King’s Blues Club and Billboard Onboard. Port-to-Table culinary demonstrations and other enrichment programming will bring Alaska and its culture on board through engaging activities. To accommodate physical distancing, additional performances may be added.
Alaska cruises also feature expanded onboard programming. Guests can engage with an Alaska naturalist, while EXC Talks and special presentations explore local topics such as Alaska’s bush pilots and famous Iditarod race. In Glacier Bay, the ship takes on a National Park Ranger and Huna native speaker.
These Holland America Line cruises in 2021 to Alaska are available for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination. Shipboard crew vaccinations will also be in accordance with CDC guidelines.
Holland America Line guests will be required to comply with all health and safety protocols in place at the time of departure for travel to and from the ship, as well as all onboard protocols and procedures for visiting ports.
As of now and subject to change as CDC, public health and medical guidance evolves, Holland America Line’s onboard program provides steps to enhance public health. Travelers are encouraged to regularly check hollandamerica.com since updates will be posted as new procedures are finalized and existing protocols may evolve.
Full details, including information on shore excursions, are being finalized and will be shared in the coming weeks at hollandamerica.com.
Guests who were scheduled to sail on Oosterdam‘s roundtrip Seattle cruises with a Sunday departure will be moved to similar accommodations on sister-ship Nieuw Amsterdam, departing on Saturdays. Eurodam guests who were affected by that ship’s move to Greece also will be moved to similar accommodations on Nieuw Amsterdam.
Source: Holland America Line
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