Escape the Summer Heat on a Coolcation

View of Holland America Line cruise ship in Alaska, surrounded by snowcapped mountains and beautiful glaciers.

Are you ready to trade in flip flops for cooler-weather attire this summer? If so, you’re not alone. While sandy beaches and sun-kissed skies are still popular for summer travelers, others are opting to escape the heat for cooler-weather destinations, especially as temperatures continue to climb. Cue the latest travel trend of 2024: The Coolcation.

Coolcation Cruise Bookings on the Rise

There’s no denying tides are turning in favor of cooler climates as far north as the Arctic. Our bookings for itineraries with lower temperatures during the summer season have increased by 108% in 2022 and 197% in 2023 overall in comparison to 2019 travel, with Alaska being the most sought-after destination.

Fascinated by this cool new travel trend, we surveyed some of our guests to learn more about the desire to sail farther north during the summer months, and escaping the heat isn’t their only incentive. Spectacular landscapes with serene atmospheres, fewer crowds and the opportunity to experience places off the beaten path were just as appealing, especially in places like Norway, Iceland and the British Isles.

Here’s a look at some of the summer sights you could soak up on your coolcation with Holland America Line.

Cool Down in these Breathtaking Destinations

Snow-capped mountain peaks along the shore of Glacier Bay in Alaska.


What makes Alaska a thrilling coolcation? For starters, there’s nothing quite like the Great Land’s icy-blue glaciers, including those in Glacier Bay. It’s like a journey through natural and human history, back to the Little Ice Age. Enjoy the remarkable silence of a place without traffic, pedestrians and human infrastructure. You’ll even have Park Rangers guide the experience, sharing the history of iconic glaciers while helping you spot playful wildlife along the way. Better yet, you’ll have a chance to see more Alaska glaciers with us than with any other cruise line. Learn more about the history of Alaska’s most famous glaciers as well as the perks of our Glacier Guarantee™.

Northern Europe

Why cool down in Northern Europe? If you’re a fan of fairytales or scenic coastlines, a cruise to Northern Europe can work wonders for those with wanderlust, especially in Norway, Iceland and the British Isles.

Snow-capped mountains and glaciers in Norway.


There’s no denying the irresistible beauty of Norway as you cruise along its captivating coasts. From lush green forests and snow-capped mountains to breathtaking fjords and charming villages, there’s a lot to soak up on a Norway cruise. The country’s fjords are especially captivating, including Geirangerfjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Claimed to be the world’s most beautiful fjord, it has a depth of nearly 1,640 feet (500 meters) below the surface. Above the water, the fjord’s walls shoot up three times as much! Learn more about the spectacular sights with our Guide to Sailing Norway’s Fjords.

Hot spring surrounded by snow-covered land in Iceland.


Explore a dazzling array of natural wonders on a cruise to Iceland. At Thingvellir National Park, walk between tectonic plates and see Europe’s oldest national assembly. Stop at the majestic Gullfoss—a two-tiered waterfall—to watch rainbows dance above the cascading water. A visit to the geysers is also on the list. Strokkur, the most entertaining of the geysers, shoots a spray up to 131 feet (40 meters) into the air. If you’re feeling chilly, relax in Iceland’s hot springs and sip on a warm beverage while you take in the wonder of towering fjords and glaciers. You can explore Iceland’s natural wonders on these incredible tours.

Sunset views along a rocky shore in Ireland.

British Isles

Dreaming of castles? Enjoy the beauty of the British Isles, exploring the land of both Shakespeare and the Beatles. Where else can you retrace the steps of royals in London, bask in the beauty of picture-perfect villages, celebrate the solstice at Stonehenge and quench your thirst at a Belfast pub? Explore the rich history of the region by immersing yourself in tours around incredible landmarks and magnificent museums. Be the author of your own fantastic tale on a cruise to the British Isles.

View of lighthouse overlooking the rocky coast of New England.

Canada & New England

If the Arctic is too far north for you, consider visiting historic sites and coastal delights on a Canada and New England cruise. Enjoy the coastal breeze as you set your sights on lighthouses in Maine and Prince Edward Island. Take a self-guided scavenger hunt through Charlottetown, known as the “Birthplace of the Confederation.” Pull in a lobster trap from the waters of Passamaquoddy Bay under the watchful eye of a lobsterman or uncover the secrets of maple tapping at a New Brunswick maple sugar farm. On a cruise to Canada and New England, you’ll experience unique destinations where the past meets the present.

Ready to cool down? If you want to escape the summer heat, take a coolcation to experience the wonders of the world that await you up north.


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