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Cruise lines introduce land and sea updates for 2019

By: Renee Brincks, Travel Weekly

November 26, 2018

Holland America will introduce a 99-room addition at its McKinley Chalet Resort near Denali National Park.

Several major cruise companies are offering new Alaska options for 2019, introducing ships, enhancing resort properties, adding culinary venues and expanding itineraries.

Princess Cruises will bring seven ships to Alaska in 2019, as the company celebrates 50 years in the state. The 3,560-passenger Royal Princess will be its largest ship ever deployed to region.

Princess also is introducing culinary updates at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, a 663-room property located a mile from the Denali National Park entrance. Named for the local prospector, dog musher, cook and pioneer Fannie Quigley, the new Fannie Q’s Saloon and Fireside Patio will serve three meals a day at the center of the resort. Dishes range from bison sliders to braised pork shoulders to bear-lard pie, a dish inspired by Quigley herself. An open-air seating area features three firepits for evening toasts and marshmallow roasts.

After a refresh and rebranding, the resort’s Grizzly Burger restaurant will offer counter service and a fast-casual menu built around the ribeye burger developed by Chef Ernesto Uchimura.

Princess offers more than 20 land-sea tour options in Alaska, and 76% of its cruises visit Glacier Bay National Park.

Eight Holland America Line ships will visit Alaska next year, with 133 cruises and 15 land and water combinations available for guests.

The company’s new Ultimate Alaska & Pacific Northwest Adventurer EXC In-Depth Voyages will make three roundtrip departures from San Francisco in 2019. The 21-day tours, part of Holland America’s Explorations Central program, take place on the 1,000-passenger Maasdam.

Ultimate Alaska tours visit 12 ports in Alaska and Canada. Local experts and international scholars also spend time on the ships, sharing in-depth cultural, natural and historical information as guests travel.

Holland America will introduce a 99-room addition at its McKinley Chalet Resort near Denali National Park. The expansion includes standard rooms and 54 junior suites with living rooms, balconies and enhanced guest amenities. It’s located west of the property’s Denali Square entertainment and dining complex.

The 4,000-passenger Norwegian Bliss will return in May for its second year in Alaska.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s newly repositioned Norwegian Joy will sail in Alaska starting in April, following $50 million in updates.

The ship joins the 4,000-passenger Norwegian Bliss, which will return in May for its second year in the state, and the 2,376-person Norwegian Jewel, which will travel from Vancouver and Seward starting in May.

Built specifically for Alaska tours, the Bliss is outfitted with heated outdoor dining venue and an observation lounge that offers 180-degree views. Norwegian sources local ingredients from Alaskan distributors and pours Alaska-brewed beers aboard both the Bliss and the Joy.

Celebrity Cruises will also have three ships in Alaska next year, spotlighting destinations through seven-night itineraries on the Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Eclipse and Celebrity Millennium. The company also offers land tour additions in Alaska and the Canadian Rockies.

Categories: News