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Holland America President Orlando Ashford & Fans Share Holiday Wish-List Cruises

The holiday season is in full swing, and it’s time to get creative with gift giving. Wouldn’t it be great to surprise your favorite traveler with the gift of a cruise?! We asked Holland America Line’s Facebook fans what their dream cruise would be to receive this year. The answers are as varied as our itineraries! Is your top wish-list cruise destination the same as our fans?

Our biggest fan is, of course, Holland America Line’s President Orlando Ashford. He got into the spirit of the season by revealing the cruise he’d love to receive this holiday.

Orlando“This holiday season, I’m wishing for a special Holland America Line adventure – the Alaska Land+Sea Journey! It would have to be the Triple Denali trip with three incredible days at Denali National Park, plus a journey through the Yukon where pioneers once trekked, often in peril, to find their fortune in the Gold Rush. In my first year with Holland America Line I’ve learned that we were the first cruise line to really explore Alaska — and no one offers a cruise and overland experience quite like HAL. I’d love to see all the Great Land has to offer from the comfort of our ships, including the massive glaciers that meet the sea, then take a ride in a domed train car to Denali Base Camp, where my family and I could enjoy a great salmon dinner and have fun around the campfire. That would be a trip to remember.” — Orlando Ashford


Holland America Line fans agree with Orlando that Alaska is the place to visit in 2016. Not only is it one of the most gorgeous areas on earth, it offers so much more than scenic beauty – although that is the major draw. Alaska and the Yukon have an interesting past that is artfully told through local adventures, and nature is at its finest in the Great Land with tours often featuring the opportunity to see wildlife in their natural habitat. Will you be cruising with us to Alaska in 2016?

I have wanted to go on an Alaskan cruise and take my grandson with me. We get pamphlets from Holland America quite often and go through them wishing we could take one of the Alaskan trips. — Donna Swinehart

I would repeat the Alaskan cruise ~ Magnificent! Terrific! Awesome! — Liz Galley

It would have to be Alaska. We have been there 3 times and going again in 2016 … can’t wait. — Kathi Galloway

I would go back to Alaska in a minute! — Connie Martin

Holland America Line fans, including Lynne Legal-Lowe, bottom, and Connie Martin, agree Alaska is number-one on their cruise wish-list.

Holland America Line fans, including Connie Martin, top, and Lynne Legal-Lowe agree Alaska is number-one on their cruise wish-list.

While there a few places I’d love to cruise, I’d have to say an Alaskan cruise. I would love to see that breathtakingly beautiful state. I have also always wanted to see the Northern Lights. — Christine Walker

I’d love to do Alaska again but this time for 14 days. I LOVED all of it, the ship, the scenery, the sights… — Catherine Sutherland

Alaska inside passage cruise. Been on my bucket list for eva! — Debbie Gordine

I would ask to go on your Alaskan Cruise!! Why? So “many good” reasons. Our Alaska cruise we took with you in 2013 was a dream come true. You treated us so wonderful like we really mattered!!! Everything we did on the ship and off was prefect!!! Thank you once again for all you did for us and giving us a vacation of a lifetime!!! — Loma McEwen Gunderson

We were on the Alaskan Cruise in late August. Holland America was amazing. Best staff ever… — Lynne Legal-Lowe

The cruise to Anchorage. Alaska is so beautiful and it really seems like a childhood Christmas with the snow!! Holland America has the best cruise ships in the world. Excellent service and the food is outstanding. — Jan Smith


Alaska was the best vacation with Holland America that we have ever had. We have been there 4 times. Salmon fishing, fine dining, ice climbing on The Mendenhal Glacier, Glacier Bay, kayaking, everything that makes your dreams come true. — Cary J. Himes Woody

I would retake the Alaska cruise! I am a 4 Star Mariner, 90 years young and have stopped cruising, but really enjoyed all of my cruises when I was still able to travel. Miss it now too!! — Bettie Fleming

I would go back to Alaska. We had such an amazing time there. Holland America is a great cruise line. Everyone was so friendly and helpful. Would highly recommend it. — Dori Vinet


Not far behind Alaska is the Caribbean. And it’s no surprise why! From azure skies to crystalline waters, the Caribbean is a sun-kissed paradise on earth. Half Moon Cay, our own private island in the Bahamas, makes a cruise to this region even more memorable.

I’d ask HAL to stay at Half Moon Cay for a week! Just open up the bars I’ll take a tender back to the ship for food! — Katie Kenner-Bohl

The Caribbean…because Montana gets cold in the winter! — Kevin Hudson

It would be the Caribbean. Had such a great time with the best bartenders. — Dick Hogue

Southern Caribbean for sure. The waters are warm, tranquil, and the ports of call are amazing! Cruising over the Holidays + Southern Caribbean + HAL = 2 VERY relaxed and happy people!! — Heather Hall

Sun-kissed skies and powdery beaches make the Caribbean a hot spot for cruising.

Sun-kissed skies and powdery beaches make the Caribbean a hot spot for cruising.

Any place in the Caribbean with warm, blue water and a white sand beach (we’re from NW Ohio) and our kids and grandkids with us! — Diane Herman

Back to the Caribbean on an Olivia HAL chartered cruise. It remains to this day our dream favorite!! We had a dreamy time. It was our first HAL cruise. We have had four more since and we have loved them all but that was our first HAL experience and is the reason we ONLY cruise with HAL and Olivia. It was perfect. — Rowan Smith

Just got back from 10 day Caribbean cruise 5 islands A B C would luv to continue to see more! Was wonderful! — Linda Vargas

Just got back from eastern and southern Caribbean… Want to go West now… — Jon Heimsness


With dozens of diverse cultures, amazing cuisine, a storied history, impressive architecture and gorgeous landscapes, a cruise to Europe or the Mediterranean also came in a close second with the Caribbean.

Norway. Best trip ever. — Dana Lee Jaggers Walker

Dana is ready to go back to Norway!

Dana is ready to go back to Norway!

Voyage of the Vikings! It goes to a lot of the places I’d like to visit. — Jim Parshall

Someday, the Mediterranean, and North Sea. Why? Because they are on the opposite side of the world from where I live; and……why not? — Melva Warren Evans

Just returned from a 7 day Caribbean cruise on the elegant Westerdam. Would love to cruise the Greek isles on the new upcoming Koningsdam. — Michael Erlick

I have been on Holland America twice and both cruises were great. I would love to do an Eastern Mediterranean cruise with them in the summer time. — Barbara Jean Williams

My checkmark on bucket list for a cruise to Europe would be awesome. — Stacy Clements

I would choose your April, 2017 round trip from Civitavecchia to Istanbul that includes a port stop on Crete where we hope to see the Linear B tablets that were the subject of the book “The Laberinth,” a tribute to the triumph of intellect of the woman who translated them. — Alan Nestlinger

Europe and the Med are high on the list of our cruise fans.

Europe and the Med are high on the list of our cruise fans.

I would love the Baltic Jewels because I’ve never been to Northern Europe. — Chris Rechner


South America and Antarctica are on the bucket list of many of our cruisers. South America’s vibrant cultures make it a fan favorite, and Antarctica’s remote locale and breathtaking beauty make it a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

If someone else is giving it to me as a Christmas present, there is a 21-Day South America and Antarctica Holiday that would be the cat’s meow. — John Fleming

The Amazon, Rio's Corcovado and the Panama Canal (with guest Cris Senseman) are a few highlights on some South America cruises.

The Amazon, Rio’s Corcovado and the Panama Canal (with guest Cris Senseman) are a few highlights on some South America cruises.

Cruise to South America to celebrate my fourth year cancer free!! — Kay Allman McGhee

Would love to go to Manaus, to see where the macaws really come from. — AnneMai Berchtold

To go back to Antarctica, we were blessed with fine weather, so it made it even more wonderful. The blue of the sky and the ice showing every blue between black and white… — Bob Holder

Bob Holder is ready to cruise to Antarctica.

Bob Holder is ready to cruise to Antarctica.

14-day South America! Next on our wish list! — Linda Domeier


Our cruise fans long to hear “G’day” from the locals on a cruise to Australia and New Zealand. Koalas and kangaroos await Down Under, where emerald landscapes and lush gardens abound. Sydney’s famed Opera House and Harbour Bridge are just two of the iconic sites in the continent’s favorite city. But the entire region is teaming with adventure, including the must-see Great Barrier Reef.

I want an Australian/New Zealand cruise, I want to see that part of the world. — Holly Blanco

Australia would be my wish. Have a daughter and family would love to visit and take a cruise with them. — Edie Hedderick


I loved my Baltic cruise, but I think my next cruise will be to New Zealand. As long as it’s HAL. — Corrine Kenway

I have done a NZ cruise and Sydney to Singapore both on Volendam and would love the circumnavigation of Australia cruise with HAL anytime! – hopefully one day. — Corrine Kenway


It’s one of the world’s modern marvels, and Holland America Line fans are ready to transit the Panama Canal in 2016.

Panama Canal for the second time. Loved it! Best cruise ever! — Debbie Nalley Farrell


Panama Canal. I would like to go after the new locks are open. — Nancy Wills-Wilson

I’d love to cruise down the east coast of USA and through the Panama Canal…one day perhaps. — Robyn Tataurangi

Would love a wonderful Caribbean cruise to the Panama Canal for my wife and my parents. We’ve done a couple of HAL cruises with you and look forward to our next one with you. We really enjoyed the more intimate setting of the smaller ship, Ryndam and look for that size back in the Caribbean routes! — Paul Erickson


With cruises around the world, our fans have choose their dream cruise from itineraries that span the globe. They include our Grand World Voyage, Asia, Hawaii, Canada/New England and more! Here are some more of our fans’ wish-list cruises!

I want a repositioning cruise trans-Panama Canal crossing east to west and up to Alaska. Why? Because it would be long, luxurious, and so darn interesting with the mix in locales and cultures. Bring it on, #HAL. I need it in my stocking for Christmas. — Jeff M Omaha

I want the 53-day South Pacific return from San Diego, please Santa. I’ve been a really good girl! — Kathe Deheer

Would like to cruise across the Pacific to Hawaii, or cruise Alaska, or more of the Med. Not fussy. Happy cruising with HAL anywhere they like to take me! — Janet Evans

From Hawaii to Singapore, and transocean, too ... many fans are just happy to cruise anywhere!

From Hawaii to Singapore, and transocean, too … many fans are just happy to cruise anywhere!

I’m not picky, I’d take ANY cruise! However, this is definitely one of my very favorite places….Grand Turk was beautiful. — Kim Sonnenberg-Englehart

The trip around the world. If I had the money I would live aboard! — DebbieandMike Praught

Would love to cruise from Singapore to Japan again, so much to see, I just couldn’t take it all in. — Maggie Morris

Around the world. If I have to choose just one, shouldn’t it encompass almost all the others? My second choice would be B2B Norwegian fjords and Baltic. Because it’s not in the around the world… — Deborah Sampson

My sister and I did the Panama Canal over Thanksgiving for 14 days and absolutely loved your beautiful ship, food, servers, shows…..My sister would love to go to Tahiti. And I would love to go to Italy. We would just love to travel this amazing world. She also has a cruise around the world. Luckily my big sister and i travel well together! Thank you Holland America Line. — Maggie Meme Long

Beautiful New England because in South Texas where I live we don’t have tall trees let alone trees that change colors in the fall. Seeing a New England fall has been on my bucket list for years! — Laurie Ramos Castillo

Around the world…..or just anywhere. LoveHAL. — Carole McNamee

If it’s not HAL it’s not a holiday, loved what we did and it doesn’t matter what cruise we pick it would be great. — Oswald Zonneveld

Oswald is ready to go anywhere on a Holland America Line cruise!

Oswald is ready to go anywhere on a Holland America Line cruise!

Transatlantic — just 17 days of pure relaxation. — Linda Wright

A world cruise. The longer on a ship, the better. — Annemarie Dragt

I just want to be on the rear deck watching the dock disappear. With cola in my 72-year-old hand. — David Roper

Oh to be able to do nothing but cruise would be a dream come true!! At 81 I am tired of housework and cooking. One is made to feel so regal on a cruise!! Hope to do Alaska in 2016. — Patricia Childs

Scandanavia for 21 days in 2014 was a highlight of my cruising life so far. Canada and New England this year was like a comfy pair of slippers. Next year? Yet to be decided….. — Patricia Odgers


If you really want to surprise someone this holiday season — or if you want to treat yourself — check out our 2016 cruises. It’s not too late to pick your dream cruise and put a bow on it! With our new View & Verandah promotion, now is the perfect time to book. We’re offering stateroom upgrades, up to 10 percent off shore excursions and up to 25 percent off Collectors’ Voyages on 2016-2017 sailings when booked by Feb. 29, 2016!

1 Comment
  • Karen Bryant

    I’m dreaming of a “Voyage of the Vikings” round trip cruise out of Boston. So many cruisers I’ve met also have this cruise on their wish list!

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