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Old 09-09-2006, 05:57 AM
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Can anyone compare NCL to Holland for going to Alaska?
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Old 09-09-2006, 05:57 AM
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Can anyone compare NCL to Holland for going to Alaska?
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Old 09-09-2006, 07:09 AM
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I would recommend Holland America. They have been in Alaska longer than any cruise line. They have smaller ships which means less people embarking/debarking in port. Holland also gets more permits to go into Glacier Bay, some cruise lines don't get any. If you plan on adding land to your cruise then HAL has a better program and lodges for going into Denali.
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Old 09-10-2006, 09:03 PM
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Some Cruises say Sawyer Glacier and others say Glacier Bay. What is the difference?
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Old 09-10-2006, 09:29 PM
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I've only been on NCL, not HAL. In answer to your last question -- Sawyer Glacier and Glacier Bay are two totally different areas. Sawyer Glaciers (which happened to be the ones we saw from our cruise) are at the top of Tracy Arm fjord. Absolutely beautiful scenery on the way to the twin North and South Glaciers.

However, lots of the cruise ships aren't fortunate enough to be able to see both of them. Due to ice in the fjord, caused by weather conditions, etc., and length of daylight (they have to be out before dusk), many cruisers head to Sawyer Glacier and don't even get to see it. We were lucky -- I hadn't realized going in that there was ever a problem. We took the NCL catamaran excursion that takes you "up close and personal" with the glaciers, and we did see both of them. The passengers who stayed on the NCL Sun saw North Sawyer, but not South Sawyer.

Since I haven't been to Glacier Bay, I'll leave that response for someone who has. Our next Alaska cruise will be planned to include that in the itinerary.

Having said that, we had a perfectly wonderful cruise. I happen to love NCL and their freestyle cruising, but it's not for everyone. Basically, you can dine when and where you want -- no assigned seating. The dress code is more relaxed -- optional formal nights.
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Old 09-11-2006, 05:07 PM
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At Sawyer Glacier you'll see just two glaciers up Tracy Arm. Some cruise ships (none with NCL) sail to Hubbard Glacier, again you'll see just one glacier. But at Glacier Bay National Park, you'll be able to see over a dozen glaciers.
Since Glacier Bay is a National Park, there's a limit on the number of cruise ships that can enter, otherwise all the cruise ships will sail there.
The ships that sail to Glacier Bay spend most of a day there, sailing from one glacier to another, while those sailing to other glaciers spend an hour at most near a glacier.
So, what's best really depends on what you wish to do. Do you wish to spend an entire day cruising around glaciers, or just a few hours with more shore time at the ports for doing other activities.
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Old 09-11-2006, 05:52 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Clark:
At Sawyer Glacier you'll see just two glaciers up Tracy Arm. Some cruise ships (none with NCL) sail to Hubbard Glacier, again you'll see just one glacier. But at Glacier Bay National Park, you'll be able to see over a dozen glaciers.
Since Glacier Bay is a National Park, there's a limit on the number of cruise ships that can enter, otherwise all the cruise ships will sail there.
The ships that sail to Glacier Bay spend most of a day there, sailing from one glacier to another, while those sailing to other glaciers spend an hour at most near a glacier.
So, what's best really depends on what you wish to do. Do you wish to spend an entire day cruising around glaciers, or just a few hours with more shore time at the ports for doing other activities.


Very interesting atatement Ron. Lets take a look at the Norwegian Pearl and Zuiderdam
NCL Pearl- Juneau 2PM-10PM=8hrs
Skagway 7AM-8PM =13HRS
Ketchikan 6AM-1:30PM-7 1/2HRS
Total time in three ports = 28 1/2HRS

Zuiderdam- Juneau 2:30pm-10:30pm=8HRS
Skagway 7AM-9PM=14HRS
Ketchikan 2PM-8PM=6HRS
Total time in three ports=28HRS
I would not call 1/2 hour at 6AM in the morning when nothing is open a significant difference in port time.

WayIgosailing- Please go to a cruise oriented Travel Agent that can go over all the differences between cruise lines and itineraries and match you with the right cruise line and ship. Alaska is a once in a lifetime trip for most people and it is important to do it right. Don't try figuring this out on your own. By the way, Glacier Bay is also known for having the most calving.
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Old 09-13-2006, 05:29 PM
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Thanks for your input everyone. I have been in touch with a couple of travel agents with cruise experience, but likely not as much as you. Manitoba is kinda long way from Alaska.
 
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