When Canada banned cruise ships through 2022, cruise lines with Alaska itineraries on their schedule were forced to adjust their plans. For Princess Cruises and Holland America Line, that meant heading from the sea to the land.
This summer, travelers looking for a remote vacation filled with adventure, breathtaking glaciers, expansive national parks, and incredible wildlife can sign up for an escorted tour through The Last Frontier with the cruise lines, the companies shared with Travel + Leisure.
"We love Alaska, and we love that we get to share it with visitors from all over the world. We're committed to helping locals and visitors alike experience all the best parts of Alaska in a safe way," vice president of tour operations, Dave McGlothlin, told T+L in a statement on Friday. "For the last year, many people stayed close to home, so this summer, as we're able to reopen some of these land offerings, we are more ready than ever to welcome visitors back through our doors."
Travelers who sign up for a trip with Princess Cruises and Holland America (which are both part of the Carnival Corporation) could spend eight hours touring Denali National Park, keeping their eyes peeled for grizzly bears, wolves, moose, and caribou; or settle in for a glacier cruise to see the face of the Portage Glacier.
Those looking to take in the scenery in comfort can board a train in Denali — camera in hand, of course — and catch the gorgeous views from the window. Or spend the night at Holland America's McKinley Chalet Resort where guests can roast marshmallows on a campfire and visit the artists-in-residence cabin.
While Alaska remains open to visitors — and even waived its requirement that travelers show a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival — its 2021 cruise season was severely impacted when Canada banned cruise ships until at least next year due to a 100-year-old law that requires large foreign-flagged ships to stop in Canada before heading north to the state.
Cruise lines were then forced to cancel their Alaska summer sailings with some shifting to land-based journeys to take advantage of the season.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.
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