Holland America records highest bookings for Alaska since pre-pandemic
As travel restrictions continue to ease around the world, one cruise destination stands out above all others in popularity and desire – Alaska. Holland America Line, celebrating its 75th year of sailing the last frontier, reported its highest bookings for the region, surpassing pre-pandemic levels of interest.
Application for Alaska
More and more people are looking for trips this summer, especially to must-see destinations that offer exceptional scenery and experiences not found anywhere else in the world. Alaska is such a destination, and it is a destination where cruises can offer unparalleled opportunities.
“People are excited to travel again while reconnecting with family and friends in a meaningful way,” said Beth Bodensteiner, senior vice president and chief commercial officer of Holland America Line.
“We’re seeing pent-up demand driving more bookings as guests realize cruising is a hassle-free way to enjoy unique destinations like Alaska.”
On an Alaskan cruise, travelers only have to unpack once and can simply kick back and relax as they travel between ports that can be hundreds of miles apart, as well as view glaciers from up close and intimately unimaginable by other means.
With departures from Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, Canada, Holland America Line offers a wide range of ship options and itineraries to Alaskawith the most sailings from Vancouver of any cruise line in 2022.
Holland America Line Koningsdam, New Amsterdam, Noordamand Zuiderdam are operating out of Vancouver and between Vancouver and Whittier, Alaska this summer. Cruises include 7-night ‘Glacier Discovery Northbound’, ‘Glacier Discovery Southbound’ and ‘Alaska Inside Passage’ itineraries with stops in Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway.
Meanwhile, the line is popular Eurodam and Westerdam offer 7-night “Alaskan Explorer” cruises departing from Seattle. Ports include Victoria, British Columbia as well as Ketchikan, juneauIcy Strait Point and Sitka.
Westerdam was the last of Holland America Line’s ships to return to service when she began her Alaska season June 12 in Seattle, bringing the return of the full fleet to passenger operations.
Best travel destinations for summer 2022
Seattle was named by the AAA as the top summer domestic destination in the United States for travelers from Washington State, and the second most popular domestic destination nationally, behind Orlando, Florida. Vancouver, BC is the top-rated AAA international destination.
The enormous popularity of Seattle and Vancouver is due in large part to the region’s thriving cruise industry and the accessibility of these cities as cruise hubs.
“With the cost and recent challenges of air travel, we are seeing excitement and customer appeal within driving distance of our cruise homeports such as Seattle and Vancouver,” said Kacy Cole, vice president of marketing and e-commerce for Holland America Line. “We have recently invested in local marketing near our home ports and we are already seeing that pay off.”
Although gasoline prices remain high, uncertainty over air travel disruptions has made many travelers less willing to fly for vacation this summer. Sailing to Alaska from Seattle or Vancouver is an accessible and convenient option, however.
As COVID-19 cases continue to decline as vaccinations become more widespread, many eager travelers feel safer to visit new places and make new, happier memories.
“Our summer travel inquiries and bookings show people are feeling safe to explore again,” said Michelle Glass, vice president of travel for AAA Washington. “A preferred partner, like Holland America Line, helps us provide our customers with convenient departures to and from our own backyard to this incredible location, without the added cost of airfare.”
The summer season is not without challenges
However, Holland America Line’s growing popularity in Alaska this summer has not been without its challenges.
Staff shortages, both on board the cruise line’s ships and at its land-based resorts where popular pre- and post-cruise tour extensions are offered, have forced last minute cancellations of some reservations.
Additionally, despite the overall decline in pandemic levels, the cruise line has chosen to reimplement required face masks aboard its Alaska crossings in mid-Juneout of “overabundance of caution” for the region.
This mandate was relaxed slightly for most crossings of the line in Alaska at the end of June, although masks will remain mandatory on board trips to and from Whittier, Alaska and Vancouver, Canada. According to cruise line websitemasks are now only recommended, and not required, on Holland America Line sailings departing from Seattle.