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Cruise Diary: Glacier Bay On Location

Adventure traveler and Dutch TV personality Charlotte Van Hoorn was on board Zaandam for an Alaska cruise and will be sharing her adventure with us.

Well, we’re here, but fogged in. Here’s where HAL’s On Location programming really saves the day’s expectations. The enrichment activities covered the 5 senses, starting with the National Park Rangers coming aboard with lots of show and tell. After listening to the Ranger’s descriptions as we cruised back in time toward the receding glaciers at the head of the bay with some traditional Dutch pea soup served on the bow, I went inside looking for the specialized ON LOCATION branded features available.


Too early for a Glacier Blue Martini, so off to the Ranger’s lecture and Tlingit native’s lecture presentations – fascinating stories about the Little Ice Age and native culture. All that talk about the importance of salmon made me hungry, so off to the Great Salmon Bake at the Lido Pool. Throw in an Alaskan Beer sampling and we are just getting started.

Back outside now at the glacier’s face to be awed by the stillness, as everyone on deck waited for a calving. The skylight changed constantly as the clouds formed above and moved on swiftly on the wind, but we couldn’t catch a break for clear sky overhead. Well, in the words of a Collectors’ Voyage traveler on a back-to-back itineraries, “next week”…



Inside, again, for locally caught salmon tidbit plates at the Culinary Center, leaving with the recipe for Salmon Popsicles. After choosing from HAL’s dozen ways to prepare salmon at dinner time, it was off to the movies for White Fang, a story of the Skagway/Yukon Gold Rush … how perfect … On Location means total immersion in the locale. After a chilly day, how can you fail to think about ukulele lessons and hula dancers boarding with you in San Diego bound for Hawaii for your next cruise?


Experiences such as the Tlingit native’s lecture presentations are part of Holland America Line’s new On Location program. The itinerary sets the theme for guests to indulge in localized experiences that make time on board as enriching as visiting the ports of call through lectures, demonstrations and performances.

1 Comment
  • Peter Ward

    Great photos and descriptions. I agree, the HAL On Location programs really add to the enrichment of the cruise experience.

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