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HAL Alaska Land+Sea tours blend 'musts' with lesser-known spots

HAL Alaska Land+Sea tours blend 'musts' with lesser-known spots
Holland America Line’s Land+Sea Journeys combine an Alaska cruise with an overland exploration and weave must-see sights like Denali National Park with the seldom-seen sights like Dawson City in the heart of Klondike Gold Rush country.

The 13 options for 2015 range from 10 to 20 days and are in two series with cruise-first or land-first choices. Each combines a three- to seven-night cruise with a one-, two- or three-night stay at Denali National Park. New for 2015, travelers can get a competitively priced option if they have limited time: a 10-day Denali Land+Sea Journey that combines one night at Denali and a seven-night cruise.

Each Land+Sea Journey showcases places such as Dawson City, Yukon, in the heart of Gold Rush country; Seward and Skagway, Alaska; the five-star Alyeska Resort; Tombstone Territorial Park and the historic narrow gauge White Pass and Yukon Route railroad.

Last year HAL enhanced the program to include a one-hour flight between Fairbanks and Dawson City, bringing Alaska and the Yukon closer. The company also acquired McKinley Chalet, a 68-acre hotel property on the Nenana River. This means Land+Sea Journey travelers have their own wilderness retreat serving sustainable Alaskan cuisine. The hotel provides a base camp for adventures at Denali National Park such as flightseeing, ATVs, hiking and river rafting.

Accommodations were updated, and a hotel enhancement program completed updates and upgrades to soft goods and décor at properties in Skagway, Fairbanks and Whitehorse.

The five Land+Sea Journeys that include Yukon and Denali range from 10 to 20 days and travel round-trip Vancouver, BC, or between Vancouver and Anchorage. Included are scenic cruising along the Inside Passage and/or Glacier Bay before calling at Ketchikan, Juneau, Haines or Skagway. In addition to Denali National Park, the overland portion includes Fairbanks, Whitehorse and Dawson City.

The eight Denali Land+Sea Journeys range from 10 to 14 days and travel between Vancouver and Fairbanks or Anchorage. Eight hours of Glacier Bay scenic cruising is included as a park ranger narrates. Ports are Haines or Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, while the land portion features Denali and Fairbanks.

On double- and triple-night Yukon and Denali and Denali Journeys, the comprehensive six- to eight-hour Tundra Wilderness tour is included to see Denali with its abundance of wildlife and Mount McKinley, North America's highest peak. There are optional opportunities for hiking, rafting, flightseeing and fishing.

Land+Sea Journeys feature glass-domed McKinley Explorer railcars with expert guides between Denali and Anchorage. In addition, HAL's roomy Explorer Coaches travel the highway between Skagway and Dawson City. Optional meal plans have been expanded to include all Land + Sea Journeys and meals on days in Denali and Anchorage.

Land+Sea Journeys are priced starting at $899 per person, double occupancy.