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Holland America Cruise Tours  Frequently Asked Questions

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  • How do I book my Alaska vacation? Can I book it online?

    An Alaska cruise and/or CruiseTour vacation is a very complicated because of all of the choices in ships, routes, tour excursions, and attractions. It's more complicated than booking an airline ticket, hotel, rental car, or a short cruise to the Bahamas. An Alaska cruise vacation can truly be a vacation of a lifetime, and it can be a significant investment of both time and money. Therefore, we highly recommend you enlist the services of a professional Alaska Cruise Specialist at The Cruise Company to help you choose the right Alaska vacation for you.

    There are literally hundreds of different Alaska cruise and CruiseTour options to choose from and the best vacation for you depends on how you answer these questions:

    • When do you want to go? For how long?
    • What kind of Alaska Cruise Vacation do you want? Inside Passage Cruise? Glacier Discovery Cruise? Alaska CruiseTour?
    • What do you want to see? Which is more important to you? Glaciers? Wildlife? Wilderness? Mountains? History? Folklore? High Adventure? Sports?
    • What has your cruise experiences been? What has your other vacation experiences been? Which cruise line is best for you? What type of accommodations?
    • How are you getting to Alaska? Do you need transfers? Using frequent flyer miles?
    • Are you taking kids? How old are they? How many cabins do you need? Do you need cabins near one another? Do you want to sit together at dinner? Are you celebrating a big anniversary? Does everyone need the same type of cabin? Do you qualify for a group rate?
    • Do you have special needs? Crib? Wheelchair? Special diet?

    We take the time with you! Your best bet for booking your Alaska cruise vacation is to call us at 1-800-889-8133, and we'll help you get the process started. Even if you are not sure about visiting Alaska, we can help you decide if it's right for you and your family.

    Websites like Travelocity and Expedia may let you book a 7-Night Alaska cruise online, but you could be paying more than if you just picked up the phone and called The Cruise Company. Large Internet Travel Companies typically don't have the staff to manually research all the rate programs for which you qualify, or they don't have the resources of people available to answer any special Alaska questions you may have. Thus, you are not getting the personal service you deserve.

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  • When is the best time to book?

    The Alaska cruise season operates between the months of May and September. The number of cruise ships sailing to Alaska is restricted to minimize any possible impact on natural environment of Alaska.

    Generally, the best categories of staterooms sell extremely quickly and well before the sailing date, so it is always best to book well in advance to avoid disappointment. As a bonus, cruise lines often offer excellent early booking discounts or special amenities. Over 50% of the cruise lines Alaska capacity is sold by the end of the year, for next years sailings. We strongly suggest you book your vacation, as soon as possible, for best availability.

    The number of cruise ships sailing to Alaska is restricted to minimize the impact on the natural environment of Alaska and tend to fill quickly especially in June, July, and August. Even so, "early bird" discounts can be found; and we recommend taking advantage of these by booking as early as possible. Families wanting cabins close together or "quad" cabins (able to sleep 4) should also book as early as possible.

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  • With whom should I book my vacation?

    We've been there, and we take the time with you! Here at The Cruise Company, we specifically specialize in Alaska cruises and Cruise Tours. We've traveled to Alaska many times.

    As a member of the largest network of travel agencies, and as one of 100 Centurion agencies in North America, Ensemble Travel, in North America, we possess the knowledge and expertise to answer any questions and to ensure that your Alaska cruise experience is one to which you will most definitely want to return. As one of the highest volume producers in North America for Holland America Cruise Line, we can pass along special discounts and amenities to you.

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  • When is a good time to cruise Alaska?

    Alaska is ever-changing throughout its cruise season. The Alaska cruise season runs between the months of mid-May and mid-September, but guests can often expect cruise prices to be more favorable in early May and September. A more popular time of travel is during the summer months of June, July, and August, a period when sunnier weather and warmer temperatures are generally expected.

    Late May and early June usually offer more wildlife viewing, because their young were just born. Also, they are migrating to better feeding areas for the summer. The wildflowers abound in August and with the salmon spawning during late July and August, this can be a good choice of months to visit Alaska.

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  • Is a stateroom with a balcony really worth it?

    A cruise to Alaska is about enjoying the unspoiled natural wonders of America's last, great frontier. What better way of enjoying it than from the privacy of your own private balcony stateroom.

    When you're sailing along the Inside Passage or College Fjord, you have an almost constant view of mountains, wilderness, glaciers, or quaint waterfront communities. You never know when you may see humpback whale or a pod of Orca whales. And with the longer, daylight hours in Alaska, you may see wildlife at almost any time of day.

    With a balcony, it's almost as though you have floor to ceiling window to the most magnificent views in the world. If money is not a problem, then a balcony is very nice; but if you're on a budget, you may want to consider an ocean view cabin and spend more days on land, and increase the length of your vacation. This way you will see more this wonderful state called "The Great Land".

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  • Which side of the ship is best for viewing glaciers?

    This is one of the most common questions ask of our agents. While we can understand that one may think that the right side of the ship (starboard side) is better for scenery on a Northbound cruise and the left side (port side) better on a Southbound cruise, this isn't true. When you cruise the Inside Passage, there is scenery on both sides of the ship; and when you are entering the fjords in Alaska, the viewing will be equally good from both sides of the ship over the duration of your cruise vacation. In other words, during your cruise, you'll see scenery from both sides of the ship.

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  • How do I arrange airfare?

    It's best to arrange the airfare with The Cruise Company. That way everything is taken care of in one package.

    This includes:

    • Seat Assignments
    • One point of contact
      When you book with the cruise line, you only need to have one phone number to handle all aspects of your vacation.
    • Transfers and Taxes Included
      Cruise line airfare typically includes the cost of getting from the airport to the ship and from the ship back to the airport after the cruise.
    • One deposit
      Unlike buying an airline ticket online, when you book your airfare with the cruise line you do not have to pay for your airfare in full at the time of your booking, unless you are booking your cruise and airfare during the final payment period of the cruise.
    • Airfare may be refundable
      If you have to cancel your cruise outside of cruise line cancellation penalties, then you are not stuck with unused airline tickets. If you must cancel your cruise, your air is canceled with it.
    • Cruise Line Responsibility
      If you miss your ship's departure due to a flight delay, the cruise line has responsibility to get you to the next port of call. If you book your airfare on your own, you are on your own to catch the ship at the next port.

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  • Should I purchase travel insurance?

    We highly recommend purchasing trip cancellation coverage. In the event that your trip is cancelled due to a medical emergency in your immediate family, you will recover the non-refundable portion of the cruise price. This coverage includes any pre-existing medical conditions as long as it's purchased within 14 days of placing your initial deposit. Additional coverage is also available for baggage protection, emergency evacuation, and medical coverage on your trip.

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