Ask Dave

Shelley and my friend, Kim had her 60th birthday this year and we all felt an Alaska cruise roundtrip to Vancouver would be a great idea – and very easy since almost every one of the 30 people who participated were within a few hours of Canada Place – the only exceptions were Joe and Lisa, our Hawaiian family who flew in and joined us on their first ever cruise. So the answer – it was SUPER FUN!

Travelling with Holland America

While I’ve been on most of Holland America ships, I personally like their larger new class: Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam and Rotterdam. They hold 2600 passengers, but they are brilliantly designed.  It’s easy not to get lost; the live entertainment is terrific (especially if you love live bands like I do); there’s more specialty dining choices and they’re geared to an active boomer or younger crowd plus there’s plenty things to do for the family groups and kids.

The Koningsdam does weekly 7 night itineraries. A typical example is on July 08, 2023, where you get a balcony, 7-night cruise, 1 night hotel, $50pp US onboard credit and taxes for  $2749 CAD per person. The itinerary, which is common for most of these sailings, include Juneau, Skagway (take the train ride!), your cruising day in Glacier Bay and Ketchikan.  I love the last day as we sail between Vancouver Island and the mainland through Johnstone Strait. Keep your eyes out for orcas as you pass by the Robson Bight area.

If you want even better value, the refurbished Volendam, which runs on Wednesdays all season, has a capacity of around 1400. This ship is a bit more traditional, is a little quieter and has more ocean view staterooms than balconies – which is the opposite of pretty much all the new builds. One departure to consider is on June 28, 2023 and an oceanview stateroom is $1599 CAD per person and that includes 7 night cruise,  1 night hotel in Vancouver, $25pp US onboard credit and taxes. If you’d like to spoil yourselves consider one of their fabulous and spacious neptune or vista suites - please ask us about these or any other category staterooms!

Besides these sailings the Noordam and the Nieuw Amsterdam have a few longer voyages if you like the convenience of going in and out of Vancouver.  However, if you have more time, both these ships do the Northbound and Southbound sailings further north.  Almost everyone who does will add an Alaska land tour package to extend the trip – as you will have to fly in or out of Anchorage to do them.  The train ride is so scenic and historic and be sure at the very least to double up on Denali so you can get deeper into the park.  We only stayed one night and struck out seeing Denali and we wished we had more time. There are a plethora of cruise/tour options to consider.

NEW! Exclusive Deal for Travel Planners

If you organize the bookings for even as few as 2 other rooms besides yours, you will save significantly on your host room on most Holland America cruises. Whether you are leading for friends and/or family, or are part of any common interest, membership or hobby group, you will like what we have to offer. Please contact us for details by email at or by calling our office asking for our group department.

Please have a look at other writings at Ask Dave along with plenty of travel tips!

Better Value

CruisePlus offer better value on any Holland America around the world – we’re Canada’s #1 partner with them.  No matter if you’re ready to explore now or are just in the dreaming stage, be sure and sign up for our weekly emails and/or join us on Facebook Page or Instagram.

Ask for me if you wish!  – when I am not abroad, feel free to ask our receptionist to arrange a time to chat personally- if you have questions about travel you are considering.  I’m not managing bookings but I certainly am happy to help you pick the right vacation.

Cheers for now,

Dave Frinton, Founder

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