Four Reasons To Plan Your Family Cruise With Holland America | My Family Travels

Have you ever thought about taking the family on an Alaska cruise and worried the kids would be bored? 

Holland America Line (HAL) designs cruises that can please every member of the family regardless of age or interest. Their stylish, comfortable staterooms, shore excursions, friendly staff and amenities are especially popular with multigenerational families and international travelers seeking an upscale experience on mid-sized ships.

Holland America's Oosterdam in Alaska
Holland America’s Oosterdam is sailing in Alaska throughout 2020, taking families to Glacier Bay. Photo c. Holland America Line

1. Scratch Alaska Off the Bucket List

So, go ahead and plan that bucket list family reunion sailing to Alaska, knowing that HAL ships are the best.

The 2019 Cruise Critics Cruisers’ Destination Awards named Holland America Line #1 in Alaska. Their deep knowledge of Alaskan culture and wildlife was acquired over 70 years of touring the region. That’s why they offer especially immersive on board and shore activities and the chance to also visit the Yukon as well as Denali National Park.

The Oosterdam now sails to Mexico in winter and Alaska in summer and sister ship Nieuw Amsterdam splits her year between the Caribbean and Alaska. In total, eight ships will sail to Alaska from Seattle and Vancouver next year, including the Koningsdam, one of the line’s newest ships.

2. HAL Ships are Built for Comfort and Class

M.S. Maasdam crossing the Panama Canal.
Study the workings of the Panama Canal from the comfort of the M.S. Maasdam. Photo c. Holland America Lines

New cruisers will love the size of HAL ships, ranging from fewer than 1,300 to about double that number of guests, still considerably smaller than many megaships. Families will love the family staterooms on the Nieuw Statendam and Koningsdam with beds for five guests, extra closet space and two bathrooms.

Holland America is also known for the fine dining and immersive activities designed to help guests better connect with where they are visiting. Menus are crafted by HAL’s Culinary Council—eight famous chefs Including recent addition and Top Chef winner Kristen Kish. Young foodies can try everything by ordering half portions and eat for half price at the specialty restaurants.

Pickier young eaters will love that they can always get favorites like pizza, mac and cheese and fresh fruit from the kids’ menu. And, of course, all-you-can-eat (or that parents allow) ice cream! 

3. Holland America Knows How to Keep All Ages Busy

Holland America's Eurodam at sea
Holland America’s Eurodam sails to tropical ports. Photo c. Holland America Line

There’s plenty of entertainment from music and dance performances (chamber music to classic rock!) to cooking demonstrations, BBC Earth concerts and films, yoga and spa programs, casinos, wine tasting and more.

Kids will love the new Kids Club, with designated programming for those as young as 3, for grade-schoolers, teens and tweens. Note that the staff has special training to assist youngsters with special challenges so your entire family can be included.

Parents will want to challenge their kids in the new High Score games room on the Oosterdam and Nieuw Amsterdam. Take your pick of skeeball, pinball, foosball and air hockey!

Grandparents who want the kids to learn something will love the Explorations Central program of on-board activities and shore excursions focused on the ports they are visiting.

4. Affordable HAL Cruise Deals: Ask Agents or Shop Online

The Koningsdam sails to northern Europe
The Koningsdam sails to northern Europe and the beautiful fjords of “Frozen” country in Norway. Photo c. Holland America Line

Yes, it’s affordable! You won’t bust your budget as HAL cruises can be had starting at $90 per person per day, with plenty of extras and upgrades if you book during December’s WAVE season (beginning Dec. 5, 2019) including on board credits, free and reduced prices for kids, discounts on shore excursions and half off deposits.

During the Cyber Sale (November 27 to December 3, 2019), you can hold a booking with just a $25 deposit, get gratuities comped with any Verandah or Suite booking and travel through the 2020-2021 seasons.

Sail to the Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale or Tampa; to Mexico from San Diego this winter; Alaska or the Mediterranean next summer. Take young “Frozen” lovers to see the fjords of Norway and northern Europe. Visit the Panama Canal. Nearly all Caribbean itineraries include a stop at cruisers’ favorite private island, Half Moon Cay. 

Holland America sails more than 500 cruises to more than 400 ports in 98 countries. After Alaska, what’s going to be your pick?

Eileen Ogintz, nationally syndicated columnist and creator of “Taking the Kids,” contributed this blog post on behalf of sponsor, Holland America Line.

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