Alaska with Holland America is a magical experience full of awe-inspiring sights, landscapes, and wildlife. With many different itineraries to choose from, Holland America offers the unique experience of sailing through Glacier Bay National Park. Few places can match the natural beauty and jaw-dropping wonders of the glaciers in this area of Alaska. Here are some tips to make the most out of your experience cruising Glacier Bay with Holland America.
#1 Get A Good Spot
Glacier Bay National Park sits on 3.3 million acres of land that is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the bay itself is a deep fjord at 1500 feet. It is one of the best places in the world for glacier-viewing because it has over 1000 glaciers and also the most active tidewater glaciers than anywhere else.
When cruising Glacier Bay with Holland America, the top decks offer some the best panoramic views with nothing between you and the sights of the glaciers. Alternatively, there is a covered promenade deck just in case of inclement weather. If you prefer a little more privacy, you can also book a stateroom with a balcony and sit in comfort, wrapped in a blanket while sipping hot chocolate.
#2 Check The Itinerary
There are 7 active tidewater glaciers in this region, which means that giant icebergs break off into the water with a loud boom. This breakage is called calving and it is a must-see on any Glacier Bay cruise.
Typically, Holland America maneuvers their ships to sit in front of these actively calving glaciers for an hour. With a little planning ahead of time you can find out what time your ship will be in place for viewing this phenomenon. You don’t want to miss out because you slept in or got caught up at the buffet.
#3 Bring Binoculars
Since there is no cruise ship port to dock, park rangers come to the ship and create a mobile visitor’s center. They will be available to answer questions and point out interesting wildlife or sights while on deck. Make sure to bring your binoculars so you can see interesting wildlife like bald eagles, moose, humpback whales, and brown bears, as well as the landscape.
#4 Wear Rain Gear & Dress In Layers
Alaska cruise season with Holland America goes from early May to September. With the summer months also comes unpredictable weather, which means lots of rain, especially in Glacier Bay. Not only that, but when up on the top decks snapping pictures of glaciers, it can be cold and windy on the water and average temperatures hover around 55˚ Fahrenheit. So wear your rain gear along with warm layers like a hat, gloves, fleece material and maybe a warm coat for the day of cruising in Glacier Bay with Holland America.
On the day that you cruise through Glacier Bay, scout out a good spot for pictures, find out when to see the interesting sites, talk to one of the park rangers, bring your binoculars, and dress warmly for cold temperatures and rain. Armed with these tips for cruising Glacier Bay with Holland America, you are set for the experience of a lifetime.