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In Focus: F&B@Sea

Holland America Line expands ‘Alaska Up Close’ program

PHOTO: Holland America Line CRUISE_ALASKA_FOOD.jpg
Holland America Line embeds fresh fish and wildlife spotting into all Alaskan cruises
New cocktails with authentic glacier ice, fresh fish and wildlife spotting are highlights of Holland America Line’s enhanced ‘Alaska Up Close’ onboard programming.

Guests on Alaska cruises are deeply immersed in the local culture with informative onboard programming, sea-to-table dining and themed shore excursions.

New for the 2023 season guests will find new localized cuisine, cocktails featuring authentic glacier ice, an Alaska-themed brunch, Huna native presentation and wildlife experts to help guests spot the abundance of indigenous animals from the ship’s deck.

The program continues to deliver workshops and lectures, exploring the stories of real Alaskans and dining events featuring the culinary traditions of the region. 

Michael Smith, SVP guest experience and product development commented: ‘This season we’re growing the program to embed Alaskan fresh fish and wildlife spotting into the cruise on an even more expansive scale, from new localized cuisine and cocktails to exciting lectures and wildlife viewing. We want our guests to have experiences they can’t find anywhere else.’

Glacier drink experience

Four new cocktails feature authentic Alaska glacier ice harvested by state permit among floating glacier bergs in Prince William Sound and prepared to the highest standard under Alaskan authority.

The cocktails with the glacier ice include: Juneau Gin & Tonic” features Juneauper Gin that’s produced in Juneau, Alaska; Alaska’s Blue Ice has De Kuyper Blue Curaçao, X Rum, pineapple juice, Velvet Falernum and Dry Vermouth; Blue Iceberg: Juneauper Gin, apricot brandy, Blue Curaçao and lime juice and Black & Blue: a choice of Jonnie Walker Black or Jack Daniels Black Label served over glacier ice.

New hot cocktails served during scenic cruising in Glacier Bay, Tracy Arm and Hubbard Glacier feature: Glacier Bay Coffee: Baileys Irish Cream and Malibu Coconut Rum; Alaska Railroad Coffee: Jameson Irish Whiskey, Kahlua and Cream; Gold Rush Coffee: Grand Marnier, Coffee and Hot Chocolate and Northern Lights: Crème de Cacao, Kahlua and Brandy.

Alaska brunch

Offered once per cruise, all dishes on the new Alaska Brunch menu in the Dining Room have been created with the influence of fresh, local Alaskan and Pacific Northwest ingredients. The selections range from sweet to savory and include Alaskan Blueberry Pancakes, Salmon & Potato Chowder, Wild Forest Mushroom and Tarragon Crepes, Kodiak Steak and Egg Skillet, Crab and Hot Smoked Salmon Cakes, Biscuits with Gravy and Alaskan Reindeer Sausage, and Home Smoked Gulf of Alaska Cod Benny.

During Alaska cruises, the casual Lido Market features special dishes and theme nights. Guests can enjoy a Salmon Bake dinner and Seafood Boil pop-up dinner on all cruises, and a Gold Rush dinner on 14-plus day cruises

Sustainable seafood

In 2022, Holland America Line was awarded Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) certification by serving only fresh, certified sustainable and traceable wild Alaska seafood. On any Alaska cruise, the line serves more than 2,000 pounds of Alaska Salmon, 1,000 pounds of Alaska cod, 800 pounds of Alaska halibut, 500 pounds of Alaska rockfish and more.

Bringing Alaska to life

Holland America Line is bringing on a Huna native interpreter in traditional dress during the stay at Juneau to introduce guests to the history of the Tlingit people whilst a spotting guide is being introduced that points out the native animals found along the cruise route and includes a map with the best places to spot each species.

Holland America Line has six ships sailing Alaska in 2023 on seven- or 14-day cruises from Seattle, Washington; Vancouver, Canada; and Whittier/Anchorage, Alaska, along with Cruisetours up to 18 days, which combine an overland to Denali National Park and the Yukon plus a cruise.