Holland America Line offers cruises to every corner of the globe, and with so many magical destinations guests can deeply connect with the people and places they are visiting. Finding the perfect shoreside experience can be a daunting task if you’re unfamiliar with the port, or if there are just so many enticing options. Our EXC Tours take the stress out of planning with hundreds of different excursions offering everything from active adventures and city tours to cultural immersions and foodie fiestas.
The below exclusive EXC Tours allow our guests to get a glimpse into some of the world’s most fascinating wonders. Whether an exhilarating experience or visit to an historic site, they’ll all leave a lasting impression and create lifelong memories.
DOG SLEDDING ADVENTURE BY HELICOPTER
Nothing says Alaska more than the Iditarod. Holland America guests will be able to create their own Iditarod experience with the Dog Sledding Adventure by Helicopter, which allows guests to have the rare opportunity to mush a dog sled team across a snow-covered glacier.
Guests will take a helicopter to an exclusive dog sled camp located on the picturesque middle branch of the Norris Glacier. On the way, guests will be amazed by a beautiful heli-flightseeing trip over the vast Juneau Icefield. Accessible only by air, this region is filled with lush forests, glassy alpine lakes, jagged mountain peaks and awe-inspiring glaciers. From here, it all goes to the dogs – guests will land at the dog-sledding base on the glacier and learn the tricks of the trade from seasoned veterans of the legendary Iditarod Race.
Then experience the thrill of zipping across a pristine glacier pulled by a team of friendly huskies. There is no better way to enjoy the fresh mountain air and scenic vistas.
PEARL HARBOR HISTORY & HONOLULU
A visit to the Hawaiian Islands is not complete without a step back into history with our EXC tour, Pearl Harbor History & Honolulu.
Visit the famous and infamous Pearl Harbor and the Arizona Memorial. At the Arizona Memorial Visitor Center, guests will view a 20-minute film depicting the events of the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack and the aftermath. Then, guests will board a Navy launch for the short ride across Pearl Harbor to the memorial itself. More than 1,000 servicemen still lie entombed in the sunken USS Arizona.
Guests will then embark on a tour of metropolitan Honolulu, taking in the downtown area and City Hall, as well as the authentic Chinatown district. Other stops include seeing Native Hawaiian sites such as the Iolani Palace (the only royal palace on American soil), Kawaiahao Church and the impressive statue of King Kamehameha.
Guests will also experience the serenity of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific as you drive through Punchbowl Crater and visit the famous Nuuanu Pali Lookout for a spectacular view of the windward coast of Oahu. The Pali is the site where King Kamehameha the Great vanquished his enemies and unified the Kingdom of Hawaii.
CAPE TOWN, APARTHEID & ROBBEN ISLAND
In order to fully appreciate present conditions in South Africa, thoughtful travelers interested in social matters can use the Cape Town, Apartheid & Robben Island EXC Tour to gain new insight into the complex injustices and struggles that constitute South Africa’s history.
Guests will visit Robben Island by ferry — the former leper colony that was a political prison during the Apartheid era. At the prison, guests will view Nelson Mandela’s prison cell and hear detailed commentary from former political prisoners, as well as see the quarry where prisoners faced back-breaking labor and where Mandela’s eyes were permanently damaged. Next, guests will get a glimpse of the ‘townships’ and Cape Flats that shows how sprawling satellite camps of seemingly endless shanties provide little more than a roof and some basic shelter, along with a visit to Langa — the oldest existing township (shanty town) in the Western Cape. Local community workers will host you for lunch at Lelapa Restaurant for traditional South African dishes.
The next stop is at the District Six Museum and then on to Bo-Kaap — a typical example of a Malay Quarter residence. Guests will experience the unique culture, lifestyle and personality of this Cape Muslim community and the place of the community in the melting pot of Cape Town and their role in the city’s development.
ULTIMATE MOROCCO: CASABLANCA & RABAT
Does the Moroccan coastline intrigue you? Our Ultimate Morocco: Casablanca & Rabat EXC tour is truly the “ultimate” Moroccan experience.
First up is the amazing and beautiful Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, the second-largest mosque in the Islamic world. You’ll stop for a photo opportunity to admire the immense and ornate architecture of this masterpiece of building. Next is a tour of The New Medina, or Habous Quarter, which is lined with souks and shops. Your city tour ends with a photo stop at Mohammed V Square, graced with many examples of Muslim architecture.
Guests will then transfer to Rabat for lunch at a local restaurant and a guided drive into the capital of Morocco. This enchanting city is home to many historic monuments and has some superbly preserved relics of its Moorish past. The must-see Mausoleum of Mohammed V was completed in 1971, and contains the tombs of the late Moroccan king and his two sons. Another stop in Rabat is the Kasbah Oudaya that offers a taste of what a traditional medina (Old Town) in Morocco is all about. Enjoy a Moroccan tea here before heading back to Casablanca.
BOROBUDUR BY TRAIN
For cruisers who are intrigued by wonders of Southeast Asia, our Borobudur by Train EXC tour is for you! Leave Semarang for a one-hour drive to the historical city of Ambarawa. Here you will visit the Antique Train Museum. After a brief introduction to the colonial-era locomotives, board an antique train for a ride past beautiful, tropical scenery, crossing the legendary swamp of Rawapening en route to Tuntang. After arriving, guests will board a motor coach for the ride to the temple of Borobudur.
The inspiring Borobudur is unique among Buddhist temples, and its creation is shrouded in mystery. It was built by the Buddhist kings of the Sailendra Dynasty, possibly to enhance the image of Buddhism as Hinduism began to gain momentum across the Indonesian archipelago. For more than 1,000 years, Borobudur was hidden behind the dense jungle vegetation of Central Java. Perhaps the finest examples of Buddhist reliefs in the world, each of the 10 terraces symbolizes the path to Nirvana. At the top is the Great Stupa, which towers above the other 72 stupas and statues.
After enjoying the magical views atop Borobudur, guests will savor a Javanese buffet lunch served next to the temple. Guests will then board the motor coach for the return journey that will include a brief stop at the traditional Javanese handicrafts center and a stop at the Eva Coffee Plantation for refreshments before returning to the port.
Interested in booking or ready to learn more about EXC Tours? Our helpful and user-friendly EXC Tours guide has all of the information to get you exploring!