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In a few short weeks, another extensive Live Voyage Report will commence here on From the Deck Chair, and it promises to be an exciting adventure aboard a line I’ve loved and admired for a long time.
Beginning Saturday, August 11, we’ll have a week of live coverage from onboard Holland America Line’s Zuiderdam as she sails the classic Inside Passage route from Vancouver, British Columbia, bound for Alaska.
Along the way, we’ll call on the spectacular fjords of Tracy Arm; the state capital of Juneau; the Gold Rush town of Skagway; stunning Glacier Bay National Park; and the salmon (and sometimes rain) capital of Ketchikan. All of this is bookended with two glorious days spent sailing the Inside Passage, arguably one of the most scenic cruising destinations in the word.
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|
Of course, a week gives us plenty of time to bask in all the classy, 2002-built Zuiderdam has to offer. The first of the “Vista Class” ships, Zuiderdam was Holland America’s largest ship ever at the time of its launch nearly a decade ago, and one of its biggest gambles. It was a bet that paid off handsomely: the success of this modern, forward-thinking ship resulted in three direct sister-ships, two near-sisters, and even paved the way for similarly-designed ships like Cunard’s Queen Victoria and P&O’s Arcadia.
I last sailed aboard Zuiderdam six years ago, also bound for Alaska, and I remember the experience well: few things compare to sitting in one of the line’s classic, steamer-style deckchairs with a wool blanket over top of you, sipping hot chocolate next to Margerie Glacier in Glacier Bay National Park.
Since then, though, Holland America has steadily added new features to an already-great ship, like the relocation of the former Library and Internet Centre into its new incarnation as the Exploration’s Café, adjacent to the Crow’s Nest. Part of the line’s “Signature of Excellence” enhancements have included the addition of a dedicated cinema, new luxury shopping areas, better aft deck space coverage, and a new Pinnacle Grill Bar adjacent to the specialty restaurant of the same name.
One of the newest additions I’m most excited to experience is An Evening at Le Cirque in the Pinnacle Grill.
Designed to re-create the illustrious Le Cirque restaurant experience at sea, Holland America has partnered with Le Cirque to transform the Pinnacle Grill on one night per voyage into an all-out culinary feast that promises to be as delicious as it is visually impressive.
Of course, there are still plenty of other amenities and attractions to enjoy on this comfortable, 936-foot long ship that holds just 1,916 guests. There’s the Greenhouse Spa & Salon, with its spacious hydrotherapy pool area and heated thermal suite loungers, or the Vista Lounge Showroom, where nightly entertainment reigns supreme. But the thing that keeps guests coming back time and time again is arguably the considerate, dedicated service on each Holland America Line ship.
So follow along with us as we sail to Alaska aboard Holland America’s Zuiderdam for a week of fun in the 49th State!
Live Coverage from onboard Holland America Line’s Zuiderdam will begin on Saturday, August 11, 2012! More information on the Zuiderdam and Holland America’s Alaskan itineraries can be found by paying a visit to their website.
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