With the 2021 Alaska cruise season in jeopardy, given U.S. law and a Canadian cruise ship ban, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises (both Carnival Corporation brands) are focusing on making sure consumers know that their 2021 “Alaska land” experiences will operate. Those include escorted, explorer and rail tours, as well as hotels and sightseeing.
In a recent press briefing, Arnold Donald, president and CEO, Carnival Corporation, said that whether or not Alaska cruises materialize sometime this summer season, the company’s 2021 Alaska land travel products will operate.
Lodges and Tours
Holland America and Princess will offer many ways for travelers to experience Alaska through Gray Line Alaska, Princess Alaska Lodges and Holland America Line’s Westmark Hotels.
“We’re committed to helping locals and visitors alike experience all the best parts of Alaska in a safe way,” said Dave McGlothlin, vice president, tour operations for Holland America Line/Princess Cruises. “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.”
Among the highlights of the land touring lineup is an eight-day “Tundra Wilderness Tour“ at Denali, where guests can look for 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.
Escorted and Explorer Tours
Options this summer include escorted and explorer tours with variations between Kenai, Anchorage, Denali and Fairbanks. Escorted tours include a tour director and range from six to seven nights.
Explorer tours do not include a tour director (but staff members along the way will assist) and range from five to six nights. The tours also include rail travel on GoldStar service on Alaska Railroad rail cars. Most meals and some sightseeing included.
Denali Rail Tours
For 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 also include roundtrip 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
For those who desire a hotel-only experience with add-on sightseeing, Holland America and Princess offer the following:
The Westmark Fairbanks Hotel & Conference Center is currently open. Additional properties will open for guests for stays between May 28 and September 6. They include Holland America Line’s McKinley Chalet Resort at Denali National Park and Preserve and the Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge overlooking the Kenai River.
Portage Glacier Cruises will operate between May 28 and September 6. Five daily departures of its one-hour cruise will take guests to 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.
Health and Safety Protocols
Princess and Holland America Line are working to create new health and safety protocols. 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.
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