Holland America Line, ms Oosterdam – Sailing Alaska’s Inside Passage
A colleague and I enjoyed viewing Alaska’s breathtaking countryside from our well-appointed veranda stateroom on board Holland America Line’s ms Oosterdam.
We embarked the majestic Oosterdam in Washington’s cosmopolitan yet casual Seattle. After watching the gorgeous skyline fade and attending the mandatory lifeboat drill, we were able to sip a hot beverage and watch the sea life. Later that night, we headed to the main dining room for the first of many amazing meals. We were pleased to find that our table mates were fellow San Diegans!
After dinner, the main stage’s magical entertainer Jessica Jane, amazed the audience. Other guests played Bingo, gambled in the casino, sang along in the piano bar and danced the night away in the BB King Night Club.
A sea day highlight was the massive Hubbard Glacier, the longest tidewater glacier at 76-mile long, it towers 350ft above sea level and 250ft below sea level. Hot soup and beverages served on the bow of the ship made for a warming treat for guests. As the weather chilled, we decided the best place to view the glaciers was from the comfort of our own cozy, private veranda–complete with warm socks and blankets. Some guests watched the scenery from the forward indoor observation deck.
We spent our port days in Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan and Victoria. The optional excursions are worth every penny. I spent one day whale watching and another learning about Raptors, followed by a beautiful nature walk. I found the port towns to be very small with not much else to do than shop for jewelry and souvenirs. The excursion options offered by Holland America Line at every port were much more engaging and educational.
Most meals were enjoyed in the Vista dining room. On our formal night we decided to try the ship’s premier specialty steakhouse, The Pinnacle Grill ($10 lunch, $25 dinner.) This luxurious and refined experience provides elegant china, stemware and linens for an ultimate meal you won’t soon forget. Dinner at the Pinnacle Grill is table side food theater at its finest. Servers lace lobster bisque with aged cognac, and present Alaskan fresh entrees and desserts such as Baked Alaska with flair.
Built in 2003, the Oosterdam caters to a wide range of interests. To work off calories, the fitness center offered yoga and pilates daily.
On board enrichment include digital computer or cooking classes. Guests may also attend art auctions, play trivia or cards, visit the spa, take afternoon tea and socialize in lounges. Our favorites include the cooking and mixology classes.
As expected, outdoor temperatures in Alaska were cool in mid-September—ranging from the high 40s to low 60s. Dressing in layers, and packing my UGGs and gloves definitely proved to be a wise decision. It was a nice change from San Diego’s 90-degree September non-sweater weather.
We ended our trip with an extra day in Seattle. With early check in at the hotel, I was able to check-in to my suite, drop my bags off and grab a bite to eat before exploring the city.
I found my way to Pikes Place Market and soon realized breakfast was not needed. The Market had so many different food options and samples and everything was a must try. This was also a great place to get those unique gifts to bring back home.
Contact me if you’d like to learn more about sailing in Alaska!
11885 Carmel Mt Rd., Ste. 906
San Diego, CA 92128 | Directions
Direct Line: 8585927552
Tags: Alaska, All-inclusive, Cruise, Food and wine, Holland America Line, Seattle, Wildlife
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