Holland America Line's Alaska land-only tours a hit

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McKinley Chalet Resort in Denali National Park and Preserve.
McKinley Chalet Resort in Denali National Park and Preserve. Photo Credit: Holland America Line

Holland America Line's Alaska land programs are selling so well that the company may add more inventory to meet demand. 

"It's been selling extremely well," said Holland America president Gus Antorcha in an interview with Travel Weekly, adding that the line has had a lot of "support from our trade partners." 

"[We] are looking at opening up more inventory because we're moving through it pretty quickly," Antorcha said. He said they are considering expanding capacity in the properties it already decided to open, the Westmark Fairbanks Hotel & Conference Center and McKinley Chalet Resort at Denali National Park and Preserve. 

Holland America and Carnival Corp. sister brand Princess in early March said they would offer land-only tours of the state using their network of lodging and tour assets -- the Princess Alaska Lodges, Holland America Line Westmark Hotels and Gray Line Alaska tours -- which are usually booked in combination with the lines' Alaska cruises. Princess' Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge is also open this year.

Both lines canceled all of their 2021 Alaska cruises from Vancouver and their Gulf of Alaska programs, which generally support their land programs. 

Antorcha said the company decided to open its lodges even without those sailings "to drive the economies in the cities and towns that really live off of tourism. So I was incredibly supportive of the idea, but then it was wonderful to hear how well-received it is and how it's booking so well because those parts of Alaska will receive some tourism this summer." 

He is still hoping that the line's Seattle cruises to Alaska, which have so far not been canceled, will be able to operate. 

"I'm very hopeful that the CDC will lay out a plan that allows us to start in July which is what they've communicated publicly," Antorcha said. "And if we're able to do that, we'd be sailing out of Seattle which I'd very much like to see."

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