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Cruise Diary: Sailing to Alaska on Zaandam

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.

With help from Christine B. of Group Special Services Dept., my chums and I enjoyed the personal touches given by the friendliest staff and officers I have met in all my HAL cruising. Usually I enjoy meeting other passengers, but this was a bit birthday, retirement party and just getting together friends who were blasts from the past who hadn’t met one other.

Starting with the Sail Away Party under the Lion’s Gate Bridge in Vancouver, to the welcome luncheon catered by the Pinnacle Grill, to partying the night away, it was a terrific time.



I didn’t have to play den mother – HAL assisted with the cocktail parties, luncheon souvenirs and pre-booked flowers and canapés. One tip is to arrange for group tables together so that you can mix and match seating to keep the “something new” feeling in the air. Later the Excursion Desk arranged a group seating on the Whitehorse/Yukon railway trip and basically kept all these first-time travelers in a state of bliss by anticipating their needs. Easy because HAL has served up Alaska so well for so long. (Love that traditional Dutch pea soup on the bow while glacier viewing with the icy breeze in our faces!)


Please enjoy the next blogs focusing on the Special Collection HAL tours which were my primary interests. Meanwhile, among my friends, others were enjoying the Dancing with the Stars: at Sea excitement and absorbing the tastes, sights, sounds and cultural offerings aboard with On Location in Alaska before ever reaching the next port of call. Believe me, tasting salmon prepared 12 ways was an added dimension to our voyage.

1 Comment
  • Peter Ward

    Lots of great memories. Thanks to to the great Captain PJ, Officers and Staff of the Zaandam and our fun group. All of you made this extra special for Charlotte. Alaska is truly a destination like no other that needs to be experienced in person. Even the best photography cannot fully capture its majesty. We were so fortunate to experience all we did with HAL. Cheers!

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