Two cruise lines, Princess Cruises and Holland America Line, will offer land vacations to Alaska this year where you can see glaciers up close, spot bucket-list wildlife, explore national parks and see Denali, North America’s tallest mountain.
This summer, the two cruise lines offer many ways for travelers to experience Alaska through Gray Line Alaska, Princess Alaska Lodges and Holland America Line’s Westmark Hotels, giving travelers a combination of tours, lodging and sightseeing options on land.
This year’s tours highlight the best of Alaska’s interior with COVID-19 health and safety precautions top of mind, both for the well-being of employees and guests. For travelers who want to take the legwork out of planning their Alaska vacation, a tour is a great option. For travelers who want to go at their own pace and make their own itinerary, hotel and sightseeing options make for a custom experience.
Among the highlights for escorted tours will be the full eight-hour Tundra Wilderness Tour at Denali, where guests have opportunities to see the big five – grizzly bears, wolves, moose, caribou, and Dall sheep.
Other included tours are the Portage Glacier Cruise near Anchorage and Riverboat Discovery excursion in Fairbanks. In addition, optional tours such as flightseeing around the mountain, river rafting, and more will be available to book at each hotel property.
Options this summer include the following:
Escorted and Explorer tours
- Variations between Kenai, Anchorage, Denali and Fairbanks are available.
- Escorted tours include a tour director and range from six to seven nights.
- Explorer tours do not include a tour director, but helpful staff members are available along the way. Tours range from five to six nights.
- Rail travel on GoldStar service on Alaska Railroad rail cars.
- Most meals and some sightseeing included.
Denali Rail tours
- Trip variations range from one to six nights with up to four nights at Denali National Park.
- Options include travel by rail or a combination of rail and deluxe motor coach. Rail travel is hosted in Adventure Class on Alaska Railroad rail cars with the option to upgrade to GoldStar.
- Tour choices include round trip from Anchorage to Denali, Anchorage to Denali to Fairbanks, or Fairbanks to Denali to Anchorage.
- No meals or sightseeing included. Guests may customize their experience with optional tours.
Hotel only and sightseeing
- The Westmark Fairbanks Hotel & Conference Center is currently open. Additional properties will open for guests, May 28- September 6, including Holland America Line’s McKinley Chalet Resort at Denali National Park and Preserve and the Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge overlooking the world-famous Kenai River.
- Portage Glacier Cruises will operate, May 28-September 6. Portage Glacier Cruises will run five daily departures of its one-hour cruise to see the face of Portage Glacier, including one departure at 1:30 p.m. that includes round trip transportation from Anchorage with a stop at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.
Princess and Holland America Line are working to create new health and safety protocols to address COVID-19, to ensure the well-being of guests, team members and the greater community. Information and advisories about traveling to Alaska from the Lower 48 or an international destination is available at the State of Alaska Safe Travels website.
Anyone booking with Gray Line Alaska, Princess Alaska Lodges or Holland America Line’s Westmark Hotels is encouraged to review and follow the advisories put in place to help people travel responsibly.