How to Soak Up 22 Hours of Sunlight During Summer Solstice

Sunlit skies over Alaska glacier and snowcapped mountains.

If there’s ever a time to wish days were longer, it’s on an Alaska cruise. Between breathtaking landscapes and spectacular wildlife, there’s a lot to enjoy. That’s why cruising during the summer solstice makes it that much sweeter. Here are some of the ways you can soak up 22 hours of sun — yes, you read that right! — on an Alaska cruise.

View of whale tail above ocean waters.

Watch Wildlife

Enjoy incredible views of Alaska wildlife on board and on shore. Whether you’re in Sitka, Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan or beyond, there’s nothing like stepping outside to bask in Alaska’s beauty. And you won’t be alone.

You may see otters playing in the water, sea lions lounging on rocks, eagles soaring overhead and whales breaching and bubble-net feeding. These magical creatures may love the extra hours of sunshine as much as you’ll love having extra time to watch them.

Tour Glacier Bay

Speaking of views, there’s nothing like Glacier Bay National Park. Having the most sailings through this glistening paradise, National Park Service Rangers join us onboard while touring Glacier Bay to help you spot creatures and learn more about the place they call home.

View of Alaska glacier.

As part of a 24 million–acre UNESCO World Heritage site with more than 1,000 glaciers, Glacier Bay offers magnificent photo opportunities. It’s also a perfect place to enjoy our traditional Dutch Pea Soup.

View of Alaska glacier from hiking trail.

Explore the Shore

Connect to the places you visit with shore excursions. Have an adventure at sled dog musher camps. Go whale watching and enjoy the views. Reel in a catch on select fishing-focused shore excursions and savor every bite on board through our Savor My Catch program where Holland America Line’s chefs prepare and serve it in a true ocean-to-table experience. There are also plenty of trails to hike near Alaska cruise ports.

Play Pickleball

More than 48 million American adults have played pickleball at least once in the past year. If you haven’t yet joined in on the fun, you can do so on a Holland America Line cruise. Join our onboard sports director to learn the basics and receive expert coaching during group sessions.

View of pickleball paddle and ball on Holland America Line cruise deck.

If you’re already a pro, visit the courts, grab a paddle and serve up some fun. Just remember to stay out of the kitchen when playing! And if you want to mix it up, you can enjoy other sports activities, like basketball, shuffleboard and more.

View of pool and lounge chairs on Holland America Line cruise ship.

Go Swimming

Who says it’s too cold to swim in Alaska? Nobody if it’s in a heated pool! Enjoy soaking up some sunshine poolside, taking a dip in the hot tub or just relaxing with a good book in one hand and a tasty drink in the other.

Relax at the Greenhouse Spa & Salon®

Enjoy the thermal suite with ocean views, or get a massage after spending hours using your binoculars and camera to capture once-in-a-lifetime moments. The Greenhouse Spa & Salon® has plenty of relaxing treatments to choose from.

People lounging in spa with ocean views.
View of deck on cruise ship during sunrise.

Work Up a Sweat on Deck

Go for a walk or enjoy workouts at the Fitness Center. Whether you do your own thing or opt for guided classes, enjoy spectacular views along the way.

Start Your Day with Tai Chi

Greet the morning with our guided Tai Chi meditations on deck.

Delight in Ocean-View Dining
Enjoy a sweet and savory meal in our Dining Room or delight in casual but scrumptious dishes on the Lido Deck. You’ll enjoy beautiful views no matter where you go.

Indulge in Ice Cream
If the sun is still up, is it really too late for ice cream? Stop by the Lido Market for a tasty treat!

View of dining table on cruise ship.

Fun Facts About the Summer Solstice

  • The summer solstice has been celebrated around the world for thousands of years.
  • Civilizations have traditionally marked the longest day of the year with structural monuments and festive celebrations.
  • Alaska joined the fun in 1906 with the first Midnight Sun Baseball Game. With the first pitch thrown at 10:30 p.m., spectators have long enjoyed one of America’s favorite pastimes without the need for artificial lights.
  • Solstices happen when the Earth’s axis of rotation is tilted toward (or away) from the sun. When the Northern Hemisphere is tilted toward the sun, it triggers longer and warmer days. Away from the sun, and the chill sets in with shorter days during the fall and winter.
  • When those above the equator welcome the summer solstice, those below it mark the beginning of winter.

Ready to embark on your next adventure with Holland America Line? Contact a Personal Cruise Consultant today to begin planning a dream vacation.


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