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July 22, 2008

Holland America Line Showcases Alaska's Grandeur in Style with Eight Ships Sailing Three Itineraries in 2009

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Seven-day cruises depart from Seattle, Vancouver and Seward


Seattle, July 9, 2008 - Considered a leader in Alaska tourism with more than 60 years experience in the region, Holland America Line's 2009 Alaska cruise lineup includes eight ships sailing three different itineraries with 158 total departures. The premium line's three major cruising itineraries - Glacier Bay Inside Passage, Glacier Discovery and Alaskan Explorer - showcase the highlights of Alaska gleaned from decades of experience.

A longtime tour operator, Holland America has again been awarded the most Glacier Bay permit entries of any cruise line. On many people's "must see" list, Glacier Bay is a 65-mile long fjord with spectacular tidewater glaciers.

"We've arranged our ships and itineraries for 2009 to ensure that everyone who sails, even if they are on board for only three days as part of a CruiseTour, will visit a tidewater glacier," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales, and guest programs. "Seeing a glacier calve in front of you and hearing the thunderous cracking of ice is a thrilling experience every traveler should have at least once in a lifetime."

In addition to majestic Glacier Bay National Park, cruise itineraries visit Alaska's immense Hubbard Glacier in Yakutat Bay, as well as the 15 glaciers of College Fjord and the twin Sawyer Glaciers in Tracy Arm.

Through a partnership with Alaska Native Heritage Center, Alaska Native guides will be on board the majority of Alaska cruises on ships cruising in Glacier Bay. Alaska Native Travel Guides will bring their knowledge and personal experience of local culture, history, art and flora and fauna to guests on Alaskan cruises.

Alaskan Explorer Cruises from Seattle
Three ships home-ported in Seattle will sail 61 seven-day Alaskan Explorer cruises roundtrip: 1,432-guest Zaandam departs Fridays, 1,380-guest flagship ms Amsterdam departs Saturdays, 1,916-guest Westerdam departs Sundays. Cruises depart from May 8 through September 25.

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The Amsterdam highlights Hubbard Glacier, the Zaandam showcases Glacier Bay or Tracy Arm (with the twin Sawyer Glaciers), and the Westerdam cruises spectacular Glacier Bay. All Alaskan Explorer cruises call at the historic ports of Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan, plus Victoria, BC, and feature scenic cruising of the Inside Passage and Vancouver Island.

Glacier Bay Inside Passage
The 1,432-guest Volendam (Wednesday departures) and1,916-guest Zuiderdam (Saturday departures) sail 38 voyages from May 9 through September 19 roundtrip from Vancouver, British Columbia visiting Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Glacier Bay National Park and Tracy Arm fjord. The seven-day itinerary includes two days of glacier viewing with a visit to twin Sawyer Glaciers at the head of the narrow 26-mile Tracy Arm fjord, in addition to Glacier Bay.

Five more sailings of the Inside Passage itinerary - with port and glacier variations - will be offered on ms Ryndam May 8 and 15, ms Statendam September 13 and 20, and ms Veendam September 20.

Glacier Discovery
The 1,258-guest Ryndam (Friday departures), Statendam and Veendam (both Sunday departures) sail 54 seven-day cruises between Vancouver, B.C. and Seward (Anchorage), Alaska and reverse from May 10 to September 18. The Statendam and Veendam visit Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay National Park and College Fjord in Prince William Sound. College Fjord has numerous dramatic tidewater glaciers named after Ivy League colleges which helped fund the Harriman expedition in 1899. The Ryndam visits Ketchikan, Haines, Juneau, Sitka and the Hubbard Glacier in Yakutat Bay.

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The Glacier Discovery and Inside Passage cruises are often combined with a land tour to create a comprehensive CruiseTour. A diverse selection of 29 CruiseTours from 11 to 20 days may include visits to Denali National Park, Fairbanks, the Kenai Peninsula, the Arctic and the Yukon Territory. Many CruiseTours offer two-days at Denali - "Double Denali" - to maximize wildlife and Mt. McKinley viewing.

Shore Excursions
With more than 250 optional excursions in 2009, shore excursions in Alaska appeal to an increasingly broad range of interests and allow guests to further customize their Alaskan experience. Food lovers, adventure seekers and art enthusiasts will all find not-to-be-missed experiences. Guests can enjoy active excursions ranging from sea kayaking and fly or sport fishing to dog sledding and wildlife watching for eagles, sea otters and whales. Other exciting excursions feature such attractions as the White Pass Summit Scenic Railway from Skagway, Russian heritage in Sitka, a photography tour in Haines and a five-course tasting meal featuring Alaska seafood prepared by a local chef in Ketchikan.

2009 Alaska Cruises & CruiseTours Brochure Is Now Available
Cruise-only fares start at US $599, per person, double occupancy for a seven-day cruise. For a copy of the 2009 Alaska Cruises & CruiseTours brochure, contact a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit www.hollandamerica.com.

Editor's note: Photos available here: http://www.cleanpix.com/cleanpix/portal/WrAB:mYA:Q96


- www.hollandamerica.com -

About Holland America Line [a division of Carnival Corporation and plc (NYSE: CCL and CUK)]
Holland America Line's fleet of 14 ships offers nearly 500 cruises to 314 ports of call in 97 countries, territories or dependencies. Two- to 108-day itineraries visit all seven continents, including Antarctica, South America, Australia/New Zealand and Asia voyages; a Grand World Voyage; and popular sailings to ports in the Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico, Canada/New England, Europe and Panama Canal. A 14th ship, ms Eurodam, will launch in July 2008. For more information, contact a travel agent or call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit www.hollandamerica.com.

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Fleetwide, the company features Signature of Excellence enhancements, totaling more than $425 million, that showcase the Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine - a state-of-the-art onboard show kitchen where more than 60 celebrated guest chefs and culinary experts provide cooking demonstrations and classes - Explorations Café powered by The New York Times, teens-only activity areas and all new stateroom amenities highlighted by flat-panel TVs and plush Euro-top Mariner's Dream Beds.

World's Leading Cruise Lines
The highest-rated premium cruise line in the world, Holland America Line is a member of the exclusive World's Leading Cruise Lines alliance, which also includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, Seabourn Cruise Line and Costa Cruises. Sharing a passion to please each guest and a commitment to quality and value, these lines appeal to a wide range of lifestyles and budgets. The World's Leading Cruise Lines offer exciting and enriching cruise vacations to the world's most desirable destinations.

Posted by Denise at July 22, 2008 03:11 PM
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