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Top Things to do on a Holland America Line Alaska Cruise

11 August 2023

Westerdam sailing to Hubbard Glacier

Founded in 1873, Holland America Line has long been a popular cruise line sailing to an array of destinations around the world. One of the most popular destinations this beloved cruise line sails to is Alaska. Sailing to Alaska for over 75 years, Holland America Line offers cruises to Glacier Bay National Park, the Hubbard Glacier and other extraordinary destinations throughout the beautiful state and Canada.

Giving you the opportunity to explore the soaring peaks, breathtaking glaciers and scenic cities, along the way you’ll see a variety of fascinating marine wildlife whilst enjoying all the ships have to offer. Sailing from Vancouver and Seattle, each of the itineraries are guaranteed to impress.

Read on to discover which Holland America Line ships sail to Alaska, the Alaska themed activities available onboard and the top things you can do ashore.

Which Holland America Line Ships Sail to Alaska?

Nieuw Amsterdam in Glacier Bay
Nieuw Amsterdam in Glacier Bay‌ ‌

Offering more cruise port departures with visits to Glacier Bay National Park than any other cruise line, 7 ships within their fleet sail to Alaska. All offering fantastic itineraries, visiting destinations such as the capital of Juneau, awe-inspiring Skagway and the fascinating Ketchikan, each of Holland America Lines Alaska itineraries are simply extraordinary.

Not only are Holland America Line’s Alaska cruises ideal for adventurous travellers who love to explore the great outdoors, but they are also suitable for families looking for an unique cruise experience filled with fun activities.

Holland America Line ships that sail to Alaska include:

Alaska Themed Activities Onboard

BBC Earth in Concert
BBC Earth in Concert 

Whilst on a Holland America Line Alaska cruise, there will never be a dull moment as they have introduced exclusive programming (known as Alaska Up Close™) that will bring you up close and personal to the wildlife, culture and scenery through a variety of Alaska themed activities, alongside award-winning excursions.

From providing you with culinary journeys that fully immerse you into the cuisine of Alaska, to shows, Exploration Central™ talks and Alaskan experts onboard, there’s something for everyone onboard.

BBC Earth Concerts: Wild Alaska™

Holland America Line is partnered with BBC Earth and brings guests awe-inspiring programming to the World Stage aboard their ships. With BBC Earth in Concert, you can watch breathtaking wildlife footage from Alaska, accompanied by a live orchestra. Filling the big screen, you’ll be on the edge of the seat as you watch local wildlife, from soaring bald eagles to moose and bears traverse their native surroundings.

EXC® Talks

Fully Immerse yourself into an array of Alaskan related subjects through these fascinating talks. Providing a rich and dynamic experience, these informative talks are given by experts and include multimedia presentations that bring Alaska to life.

Some of the talks may include Iditarod: The Last Great Race, Breaking the Ice Ceiling: Pioneering Women of Alaska, Alaska’s Iconic Whales and We Are Alaska, which are delivered with storytelling that will have you in awe from start to finish.

Glacier Bay National Park Experts

Whilst visiting the incredible Glacier Bay National Park, members of local tribes and park rangers will provide engaging presentations about the area, offer Q&A’s and point out parts of the park that are must-sees along the way. This useful and informative feature within Alaskan cruises will elevate your cruise experience to the next level.

Throughout the cruise, you can spend time spotting other wildlife on deck and have the ability to ask a naturalist onboard. Using a set of binoculars is a great way of seeing these fascinating animals from afar.

Alaskan Onboard Dining

Not only will you feel fully immersed into the Alaskan scenery and culture, but you’ll have the opportunity to indulge in some of Alaskan’s decadent cuisine and beverages.

From freshly-caught salmon dishes to Alaskan craft beer and special events (both onboard and ashore), the Alaskan food and drink experiences are bound to tickle your tastebuds. Some of the Alaskan special events include cooking demonstrations and food and wine tours.

Something unique about Holland America Line is that the Alaskan seafood used onboard is certified sustainable by the RFM (Responsible Fisheries Management), the first (and only) cruise line to achieve this; it shows their commitment to the local communities and marine life.

Things to do in Alaska on Your Holland America Line Cruise  

Whale watching trip
Whale watching trip ‌ ‌

Whilst visiting Alaska, there’s no better way to explore the area than by heading on a shore excursion. Giving you the chance to fully experience it, no matter what your preferences, a Holland America Line cruise in Alaska will have something for you. Getting you up close to the wildlife, mountains and glaciers, each of the experiences you can enjoy onshore will heighten your experience; whether that be watching local wildlife in their natural habitats, eating local cuisine or taking part in another type of activity.

Top things to do on a Holland America Line Alaska cruise include:

At certain times of the year, you might also be able to see the northern lights. Of course, the aurora borealis can only be seen at the right time, in the right conditions, but Alaska is known for being one of the best and most underrated places to see them from.

Top Destinations Visited by Holland America Line Cruises

White Pass railroad
White Pass railroad‌ ‌

As mentioned above, Holland America Line Alaska cruises visit a wide variety of breathtaking destinations throughout the US State and Canada. With 30 different destinations on offer, you’re guaranteed an unforgettable Alaskan cruise. Some of the top destinations visited on Holland America Line Alaskan cruises include:


Alaska's bustling capital, Juneau is surrounded by many national parks, including Glacier Bay National Park, which is teeming with salmon, bears, and bald eagles. With attractions like the Alaska State Museum and a famous cable car ride that provides awe-inspiring vistas, Juneau is well worth an explore whilst on your Holland America Line Cruise.

College Fjord

Situated in the northern sector of the Prince William Sound, the incredible College fjord boasts a series of glaciers that were all given names in commemoration of Ivy League schools, such as Harvard Glacier. On a Holland America Line cruise you can venture to the College Fjord, bringing you up close to the magnificent glaciers.

Glacier Bay

Glacier Bay is the perfect example of Alaska’s natural beauty. Here, you'll discover astounding vistas wherever you look, from the highest snow-capped peaks to the mysterious glacial fjords strewn around. And along the way, you’ll learn about the local environment, including the flora and fauna.

Icy Strait Point

Icy Strait Point features exquisitely protected environments as well as exhilarating outdoor activities that are unmatched anyplace else. The area is surrounded by thick forests and wide oceans, and there are attractions including the largest ziprider in the world and whale-watching excursions that you can enjoy whilst stopping off during your cruise.


Sitka, once known as Novo-Arkhangelsk, has a stronger Russian vibe than other Alaskan cities due to its orthodox architecture. With the Sitka National Historical Park, as well as with bear and bird sanctuaries, Sitka also has a strong connection to the indigenous Tlingit community and the preservation of culture, nature, and history.


Whittier is a wonderfully distinctive city that’s situated around 60 miles from Anchorage. Top attractions to visit whilst in Whittier include the Prince William Sound Museum, the Horsetail Falls Trail and Decision Point State Marine Park.


Skagway is a great place to take a step back in time to the Klondike Gold Rush thanks to the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park Visitor Centre. Known for its architecture from the gold rush era and the historic steam engine line that runs through, it portrays a breathtaking image of Alaska unlike any other, surrounded by the unparalleled scenery and residing animals of the national park.


The moment you arrive in Ketchikan, you’ll be in awe with the breathtaking scenery, its history and the friendly locals. The totem heritage museum in Ketchikan is well-known for educating visitors about the history and culture of the indigenous inhabitants via an unparalleled exhibition of native items and totems.

Book a Holland America Line Alaska Getaway with Iglu Cruise

Explore the incredible scenery, learn about the culture and discover Alaska’s captivating history on a Holland America Line cruise. Sharing the wonders of this breathtaking state with a cruise line that focuses on unforgettable Alaskan cruises, each day onboard and ashore whilst on a Alaskan cruise will be unlike any other getaway.

Book a Holland America Line Alaska cruise today with Iglu Cruise and indulge in a holiday that will create memories that last a lifetime.

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