Silver Travel Explorers Club: Glacier Bay, Alaska with Holland America Line

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Win a copy of the Lonely Planet Alaska Travel Guide

Our new Explorers Club spotlights a port of call from favourite cruising areas each month. The world was first explored by water and in many cases, it remains the best way to discover it, from the Mediterranean to Mexico, from Alaska to Australia, from Scandinavia to South America.

This month, we focus on Glacier Bay, Alaska, a stand-out port of call for Holland America Line.

Just add a comment at the end of the feature to be in with a chance of winning the Lonely Planet Guide to Alaska!

Why go to Glacier Bay?

The spectacular scenery and wildlife of Glacier Bay National Park  a UNESCO World Heritage Site make sailing into this 65-mile-long, glacier-bound bay a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Glacier Bay, AlaskaGlacier Bay is best seen by ship – there are virtually no roads and sailing into the Bay creates such a powerful atmosphere on board that people are often stunned into silence. 

Jagged glaciers, giant ice flows and dramatic ice cliffs make an awe-inspiring backdrop to a full day of slow cruising. Nothing prepares you for the stark beauty of this inhospitable corner of the world. 

Aboard ship, you’ll have a front view of the spires, pinnacles and pillars of ice, surrounded by an immense quiet, broken only by the muffled thunder of icebergs being born. In between, National Park Service Rangers and onboard naturalists will provide a commentary on the bay’s glaciology, marine ecology and wildlife, which abounds here. You never know when you might see the fluke of a humpback rise out of the water or spot a lone bear wandering a wind-swept beach. 

What is good to do there?

The best thing to do is simply to watch as the Bay’s scenic tableaux unfolds before your eyes.

Glacier Bay, AlaskaHolland America Line ships feature lounges with picture windows and wrap-around teak decks with ample viewing space for all guests. Keep your binoculars and camera on hand as you cruise through the Bay to the mile-wide Margerie Glacier, where you may witness ice ‘calving’, cracking off into the sea in an explosion of foam to form ‘bergy bits’, sometimes on a massive scale. 

Gulls, puffins, bald eagles and many other birds gather here to raise their young; mountain goats inhabit the high rocky slopes and black wolves shadow moose through the brush. Nearer the waterline, giant sea otters, harbour seals and sea lions are regularly seen relaxing on icebergs. 

Little known facts about Glacier Bay

Holland America Line has more permits to sail in Glacier Bay than any other cruise lines.

Glacier Bay National Park covers over 3 million acres and is the world’s largest protected marine sanctuary.   

Whale breachingThe Park is named after its seven tidewater and over 1,000 terrestrial glaciers.

The glaciers in Glacier Bay National Park are retreating faster than anywhere in the world. 

Ice that breaks off or ‘calves’ from the tidewater glaciers in Glacier Bay is about 200 years old.

Glacial ice acts like a prism to light. The further the light travels into the ice, the more blue the ice will seem.

In 1925 the whole area was set aside as a National Monument and in 1980, Glacier Bay was made into a National Park and Preserve.

How to get there

AlaskaThe five-star Holland America Line is the absolute expert in Alaska, and the company will celebrate 75 years of Alaska touring in 2022. 7-night Alaska Inside Passage cruises aboard your choice of six mid-sized ships operate from May until September, featuring fascinating Alaskan ports, breathtaking views and thrilling wildlife sightings. Most voyages cruise roundtrip from Vancouver or Seattle and include a full day’s sailing in Glacier Bay National Park, when attentive staff will offer hot pea soup and cocoa as well as tartan rugs to keep you warm as the extraordinary scenery unfolds. 

What's included in your fare

Cruise fares start at £999pp for a 7-night Alaskan Inside Passage cruise on 7 May 2022, sailing from and back to Vancouver aboard Holland America Line’s elegant 2,650-passenger ship, Koningsdam. Fares include full board, accommodation in a twin stateroom, all drinks, one complimentary excursion and free WiFi. Queen's Lounge, Koningsdam, Holland America LinePrices for flights from the UK and hotel stays are available on request.  

With Holland America Line, you can also extend your cruise with a fascinating land tour which features up to 3 nights at Alaska’s spectacular Denali National Park for the ultimate wildlife viewing opportunities, with an escorted Tundra Wilderness tour included. Many tour operators will also combine a week-long Holland America Line Alaska cruise with a thrilling Rocky Mountaineer rail trip through scenic British Columbia and the spectacular Canadian Rockies.

Call 0344 338 8605 or visit for further details.

Lonely Planet Alaska Travel GuideWin a copy of the Lonely Planet Alaska Travel Guide

Simply add a comment below as to why you would love to visit Glacier Bay in Alaska.

The best entry made in the month of July will win a copy of the Lonely Planet Alaska Travel Guide, which will be sent to the winner in August 2021.


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Other Members' Thoughts - 13 Comment(s)

  • shellee1
    3 months ago
    Alaska has always been top of my wishlist, this book would be amazing to help me plan a trip of a lifetime!
  • you
    3 months ago
    I love to read the Lonely Planet Guides.
  • Kay9
    3 months ago
    My aunt's family were based in Alaska but we never had the opportunity to visit. The wildlife and scenery for me would be exceptional and a chance to see what we missed.
  • Ken-Baines
    3 months ago
    Don't fancy most of the USA but Alaska would be a definite exception!
  • ESW
    3 months ago
    Having been up the coast of Norway, Greenland and Chile, there is only Alaska still to do... I’d love to visit there with its wilderness, and chance to see bears... Top of the list would be a trip on the White Pass and Yukon railway.
  • ChristineT
    3 months ago
    Originally planned to visit Alaska in August 2020, then August 2021, now it's August 2022 fingers crossed! Have wanted to visit this beautiful part of the world for many a travel guide book would be very welcome, thankyou
  • GypsyWanderer
    3 months ago
    Having been to Antarctica I want more of the pristine white snow, the deep blue sea and those amazing icebergs. On our way down we sailed through glacier ally, an incredible sight. Now I want to experience it all again but nearer to home. Alaska would be wonderful, Glacier Bay magical..
  • clairew137
    3 months ago
    I'd like to see the scenery. It looks amazing, not like anywhere I've been before.
  • cathisherwood
    3 months ago
    This is something future generations may never get the chance to experience - beautiful creatures in a fragile environment. Th speed at which these glaciers are retreating is frightening. Wake up world!
  • you
    3 months ago
    I would like to learn more about this area and what better way than to win a Lonely Planet Guide .
  • 251lrb
    3 months ago
    Alaska is on my bucket list & has moved up due to COVID. This trip sounds awesome!
  • greatgran8
    3 months ago
    This sounds to be a spectacular destination.
  • Lynda-Irving
    3 months ago
    We would love to see and experience such a stunningly magnificent wilderness and it’s wildlife.