The company cited pent-up demand and the Fourth of July travel rush.
Six ships in Alaska
HAL is deployng six ships in Alaska through October with departures from Seattle and Vancouver, BC.
‘People are excited to travel again while reconnecting with family and friends in a meaningful way,’ said Beth Bodensteiner, SVP and chief commercial officer, HAL.
As a bucket-list destination for many travelers, Alaska offers the chance to see stunning scenery and wildlife, delve into history and culture and visit marvels like Glacier Bay that are best reached from the water. North Americans can experience it all without overseas air travel.
According to AAA Washington, Seattle is the No. 1 summer domestic destination in the US for Washington residents and the second most popular nationwide, due in large part to the area’s bustling cruise industry. During the upcoming July 4 holiday weekend, AAA Washington anticipates the number of people traveling by train, bus and cruise ship to triple from 2021, when there was just a very abbreviated cruise season starting in early July.
‘Our summer travel inquiries and bookings show people are feeling safe to explore again,’ said Michelle Glass, VP travel, AAA Washington, whose preferred partners include Holland America. Two HAL ships sail from Seattle to Alaska.
Strength in close-to-home cruises
Overall, the line sees strong interest in cruises that are a short flight or drive from travelers’ homes. Holland America visits 225 ports in 91 countries on sailings round-trip from the US, and claims to serve more international destinations on sailings from a US homeport than any other brand. Besides Seattle, its US departure points include San Diego, Boston and Port Everglades. The line also offers more Alaska cruises from Vancouver than any other operator.
Air travel challenges
‘With the cost and recent challenges with air travel, we are seeing excitement and traction from guests within driving distance of our cruise homeports such as Seattle and Vancouver,’ said Kacy Cole, VP marketing and e-commerce, HAL. ‘We recently invested in local marketing near our homeports and we’re already seeing that pay off.’