Cruising Alaska: What Our Crew Loves Most

Holland America Line crew on bow of ship.

Holland America Line has loved Alaska for more than 75 years – so much so that we painted this declaration of love on our ships. We know firsthand how to help you uncover the very best of this beautiful state. Recently, we caught up with crew members aboard the Eurodam and asked what they love most about cruising Alaska. Here’s what they had to say:

View of Holland America Line Captain portrait.

Captain Mark Loves Alaska’s Wildlife & Landscapes
Captain Mark has sailed the seas with Holland America Line for 20 years, so he knows all the thrilling moments and jaw-dropping views you get on an Alaska cruise. He especially has a heart for Alaska wildlife.

“I think there’s something beautiful about the wildlife here in Alaska. You get up close and personal. Quite often we’ll be in Icy Strait Point, and there will be a whale popping up off the ship by about 50 meters, or 150 feet. When we’re going through the narrow waterways – through this place called Snow Passage – I’ve seen bubble-net feeding when whales use bubbles to corral fish so they can eat. These are breathtaking moments we see from our workplace, and while we’re focused on what we’re doing, we take a moment to think about how incredible it is. Even bald eagles flying around – they’re just majestic and beautiful, and when they swoop down for fish you realize the power and agility of these animals. So, number one for me is the wildlife, but the scenery is also breathtaking. A dormant volcano. The skyline of mountaintops. The glaciers. The views are spectacular from day to day.”

Ron Loves Alaska’s Fresh Seafood
Ron, our Food & Beverage Director, started sailing with Holland America Line more than 30 years ago. His father worked for the cruise line before that, so cruising has been part of his family for generations. Though he loves traveling all over the world, he has a heart for Alaska’s seafood.

Holland America Line Food & Beverage Director with dining room in background.

“I love fish, especially the fresh fish that we always have here in Alaska. Holland America Line received certification from Responsible Fisheries Management, and that means we have fresh and sustainable Alaska seafood on board. It’s caught in Alaska and eaten in Alaska. It’s so good.”

Ron’s passion for fish goes back to when he was 12 years old, helping his grandfather sell seafood in the local market back home in The Netherlands. It may be difficult for him to choose his favorite recipe on board because there are so many options, but nobody is surprised when he goes for a fresh catch.

Holland America Line Cruise & Travel Director with atrium in background.

Jordyn Loves Alaska’s Trails & Friendly Community
Though Jordyn, our Cruise & Travel Director, is very much a lover of warm temperatures and sandy beaches, it didn’t take long for Alaska to steal her heart.

“I’m very much a beach girl that loves the warmth on my face and the sand between my toes. I thought Alaska was this winter wonderland where I would be perpetually cold, but then I got here, and it’s incredible. The mountains we pass, the glaciers we see, the quaint towns we visit – it’s an intoxicating feeling when you see it the first time. What I love most though is the hiking in Alaska. I’m a big outdoors person, and there are so many great places to hike here. At any port, you can get out there and enjoy it. I did one hike in Skagway that led to Lower Dewey Lake, and you’re just immersed in the nature of it. You’re away from the town. You’re hearing eagles above you. It’s amazing.”

When Jordyn isn’t hiking, she’s exploring the towns and making new friends.

“I was recently in Sitka and went into a shop, and the owner remembered me from a year ago when I first visited. That’s what Alaska is. It’s a small tight community, and they really do welcome us back time and time again. They love seeing familiar faces, and a lot of our guests continue to come back because they know how incredible it is. The people of Alaska are very friendly, and I love that, too.”

Sasha Loves Alaska’s Glaciers and Wilderness
Sasha, our Entertainment Director, has been cruising with Holland America Line for over a year now. Though he loves traveling all over the world, he particularly enjoys sailing the northern seas. He has a heart for the weather and the many different shore excursions you can experience.

Holland America Line Entertainment Director with cruise ship auditorium in background.

“I enjoy the cold, so for me Alaska and Canada are places I enjoy a lot. I love it so much I actually proposed to my wife in Juneau next to a waterfall. That’s how much I love Alaska. It’s breathtaking. Every single port is unbelievable. Sometimes you feel like you go back into the early 1900s when you see all these buildings and streets. You see this history here. Plus, there are the shore excursions, including helicopter tours where you land on the glaciers, fishing and whale watching. Every shore excursion here is so memorable. I have so many pictures on my phone to show people all the things they can see in Alaska because describing it alone doesn’t do it justice.”

Are you ready to discover what you love most about an Alaska cruise? Learn how Holland America Line can help you experience Alaska Up Close™.

Also stay tuned for our upcoming Catch Up with the Crew series, where you’ll learn more about Captain Mark, Sasha, Jordyn, Ron and other members of the Holland America Line family who love sailing the seas.


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