Holland America sails into Glacier Bay Posted on January 28, 2009 by Richard Irwin Holland America Line’s fleet of eight cruise ships sailing in Alaska will offer more trips into Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. The National Park Service has allocated the company 65 use days each year during prime summer season for a 10-year period beginning in 2010. “Holland America Line has a long history of sailing in Glacier Bay, and we look forward to welcoming their ships each year,” says Glacier Bay National Park superintendent, Cherry Payne. “They have created a comprehensive educational program focusing on the park and have supported the Park Service’s goal to reduce the environmental impacts to Glacier Bay.” The National Park Service regulates the number of cruise ships entering the bay from June through August and allows no more than two per day in order to protect the fragile marine environment. Glacier Bay is a 65-mile long fjord with spectacular tidewater glaciers. “Glacier Bay is often singled out by our guests as a “must see” on their trip to Alaska,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “We are honored to show this magnificent place to our guests, and we remain committed to conserving it for future generations.” Glacier Bay is visited on four different itineraries including roundtrip Seattle, roundtrip Vancouver and Vancouver to Seward (gateway to Anchorage) and reverse. A visit to Glacier Bay includes a full day of sightseeing in the park with the opportunity to view multiple tidewater glaciers. The National Park Service focused on applicants’ commitment to meeting certain requirements such as minimizing air and water pollution and on board enrichment to educate guests about the area. Holland America Line exceeded requirements with its environmental management systems program and has a full enrichment program in place for guests. Holland America Line’s Environmental Management System is certified to conform to the ISO 14001 standard, and particular to operating in Glacier Bay, the company has committed to zero discharge and reduced air emissions. In Glacier Bay, a National Park Service ranger boards the ship for the day for narration and presentations. A Tlingit cultural interpreter from Hoonah will board ships in Glacier Bay to provide a native perspective on the area and its history. During the weeklong cruise, Alaska Travel Guides are on board and give presentations such as “Feathers, Fins and Fur: Alaska Wildlife” and “Alaskan Gold Rush Dreams.” The National Park Service Junior Ranger program offered through the line’s youth program, Club HAL, engages kids ages 6 to 12 in shipboard activities. A Junior Ranger Activity Book encourages interaction with the park ranger and group activities are planned to learn about the park’s history, wildlife and unique ecosystem. Upon completion of a set number of activities, the child is awarded a special Junior Ranger badge. Club HAL also offers other activities separate from the Junior Ranger program such as a “Match the Mammal” game, Monty the Moose video, Measure the Whale, Dream Catchers craft and others. Holland America Line has been leading tours in Alaska for more than 60 years and has eight premium ships offering a total of 156 cruises and 29 CruiseTours ranging from 10 to 20 days in length. For more information about booking, contact a travel agent or call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit www.hollandamerica.com.