Last week I visited Alaska via Holland America Line‘s Oosterdam for a seven-day round trip sailing from Seattle. It was our first time on Holland America, our second time to the land of the midnight sun and, quite frankly, I had reservations about the itinerary if not the cruise line. Our previous sailing with Princess Cruises, on Coral Princess, was a North to South cruise tour and an experience we thought to be a once-in-a-lifetime event. We had done Alaska in a big way and would probably not repeat the attempt. Little did I know what Holland America had in store for us.
Ever since our fabulous Princess Cruisetour, my thought had always been “Why bother with a seven-day round trip Seattle or Vancouver sailing?” because it would not get us deep enough into Alaska to see so much of what the gigantic state had to offer. Well, after doing it, I have to say:
A seven-day round-trip Seattle Alaska sailing
is just as comfortable
as a seven-day round-trip Caribbean sailing, if not more so.
All the iconic Alaska elements are there. Flight seeing, whale watching, majestic mountains, amazing landscapes, glacier viewing and more. The experience just happens in seven days and it’s America. There is a whole lot to be said for it being a sailing with such majestic beauty and wonder and its all a part of the United States. For any traveler who ever needed a reason to be proud of our country, this is it.
The Cruise Line
I’m not really sure why after so many sailings on so many cruise lines that we had not tried Holland America Line before now. Probably because of the notion that Holland America = old people. Not so. It took about 32 seconds in line for embarkation to see that, at least in the summer, there is as much diversity in age on Holland America as any other line. I am almost embarrassed to admit:
Saying Holland America has all old people is like saying Carnival Cruise Lines has all drunks
Both notions are incorrect. I have spent a great deal of time and effort convincing Carnival haters to lighten up. I suppose I owe Holland America an apology.
Yes, there are drunks on Carnival Cruise Lines, just as there are drunks on any other line or in bars, hotels and other places on land. A higher percentage of drunks on Carnival than other lines? Maybe, if we look exclusively at short weekend sailings from Florida. The sailings that only a few lines do that also enable new generations of travelers to get a taste for what cruise travel is all about.
Yes, there are “old people” on Holland America Line and probably many more of them when school is in session and families do not travel as much. But these “old people” are not being dug up from the grave then propped up in a chair for formal night. These are interesting, active people with great stories to tell and experience to share.
At the end of the day, Holland America Line brings to the table a rich maritime history, dating back almost 140 years. If there is a claim to “old” therein may be where it factually lies. Sailing to Alaska, a relatively “young” part of the United States, Holland America Line is absolutely up to the task and in most ways, exceeded our expectations.
I case you missed them, here are a number of posts made from Holland America’s Oosterdam during that sailing. I’m sure there will be many more to come too.
- 24 Hours On Holland America = Relaxation
- Three Unique Things About Holland America Line
- Cruise Line Breaks Down Onboard Programming, Makes It Tasty
- Whale Watching In Alaska Takes Concentration, Luck
- Holland America Line Brings Alaska Home, Tastefully
- Unlikely Dining Venue Tops On Holland America Line
- Some SuperStar Features On Holland America’s Oosterdam
- Holland America Line Is Not All Old People
- Your Cruise Questions Answered: Holland America Dining