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It’s North, to Alaska – Twice!
The next two months promise to be exciting ones here on From the Deck Chair, as we trade our long-haul flights for a destination that’s a little closer to home: Alaska. Even better, we’ve got two voyages to this great land lined up – and our first one begins this Saturday!
After spending an overnight stay in Anchorage, Alaska, we’ll travel to Seward in order to board a ship I’ve been carefully eyeing for years: Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Hanseatic. Carrying just 184 passengers, this nimble expedition ship normally caters to the German-speaking market but also operates several international voyages per year, one of which is Voyage 1213: Seward to Vancouver, a 14-day expedition through some past Alaskan favorites and an astonishing number of ports of call that are completely new to me.
Making it easier to come ashore are Hanseatic’s 14 Zodiac rafts, which can also be used for the purposes of scenic cruising. I had the privilege of experiencing Expedition cruising for the first time a few months ago aboard Silversea’s Silver Explorer, and I am looking forward to experiencing Alaska in Hapag-Lloyd’s world-renowned style. In fact, Hanseatic is one of the only ships to have been awarded a 5-star rating by Douglas Ward’s Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships.
So what’s exciting about this itinerary? Calls to Pelican and Petersburg Alaska are off the beaten-path, along with scenic cruising opportunities in Misty Fjord and Hecate Strait. The full itinerary:
|Sunday, July 15, 2012||Seward, Alaska||Embarkation||19.00|
|July 16||Cruising the Chenga Glacier|
|July 17||Cruising Hubbard Glacier|
|July 18 to July 25||Alaska's Inside Passage; Pelican; Cruising off Point Adolphus; Juneau; Skagway; Cruising Tracy Arm Fjord; Cruising Frederick Sound & Chatham Strait; Petersburg; Ketchikan; Cruising Misty Fjord||Times TBD|
|July 26 to July 27||Crusing British Columbia's Inside Passage|
|July 28||Victoria, British Columbia||Times TBD|
|July 29, 2012||Vancouver, British Columbia||06:00 AM||DISEMBARK|
Live coverage onboard Hapag-Lloyd’s Hanseatic runs from July 14 to July 28, 2012.
The Alaskan Adventure continues in August, as we trade our expedition ship for one of the most comfortable premium cruise ships around: Holland America Line’s 2002-built Zuiderdam.
Calling on Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and Glacier Bay, this is the “classic” Alaskan cruise, operating roundtrip from Vancouver and including two glorious days spent sailing the fabled Inside Passage.
Holland America has been a longtime operator out of Vancouver, and they’ve been continually tweaking and perfecting their Alaskan product with plenty of thoughtful touches, great berthing locations, and fantastic port times.
All of this comes with the line’s legendary service onboard the beautiful Zuiderdam, Holland America’s very first “Vista Class” vessel that would set the trend for newbuilds for the next decade. Refurbished and refitted with the line’s Signature of Excellence enhancements since her launch, this massive ship still carries just 1,916 passengers, making her remarkably spacious for her size.
Our full itinerary, both here and onboard:
|Saturday, August 11, 2012||Vancouver, BC||Embark||5:00 PM|
|Sunday, August 12||Cruising the Inside Passage|
|Monday, August 13||Tracy Arm, Alaska (Service Call); Juneau, Alaska||1:00 PM||10:30 PM|
|Tuesday, August 14||Skagway, Alaska||7:00 AM||9:00 PM|
|Wednesday, August 15||Glacier Bay Scenic Cruising|
|Thursday, August 16||Ketchikan, Alaska||10:00 AM||6:00 PM|
|Friday, August 17||Cruising the Inside Passage|
|Saturday, August 18, 2012||Vancouver, British Columbia||Disembark|
Personally, I’m extremely excited about the chance to sail with Holland America to Alaska again; the last time I did so was six years ago aboard this very ship, and it was a memorable experience indeed. In a phrase: I was hooked.
Of course, both voyage reports come with a bit of an asterisk: Alaskan cruising is famous for its internet dead-zones, so bear with us if there is a slight delay in posting daily events due to connectivity problems. Rest assured, updates will be posted as close to daily as possible!
Live Coverage from onboard Holland America’s Zuiderdam begins August 11 and runs until August 18, 2012.
Stay tuned – it’s going to be a fun couple of weeks here on From the Deck Chair!
Tune in on Saturday, July 14 as we begin our Live Voyage Report aboard Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Hanseatic as we journey to Anchorage, Alaska for an overnight stay!
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