This unusual new Holland America itinerary is one you can’t miss

Holland America fans, get ready for a once-in-a-lifetime cruise experience that will take you through parts of the western coast of Canada that cruise ships rarely visit. The Seattle-based line has announced a new “Great Bear Rainforest” itinerary that will be unlike any other cruise you’ve been on before. But here’s the catch – there will only be two departures of this unique routing: one in 2025 and one in 2026. So if you want to be a part of this rare experience, you better book your tickets before they fill up.

The seven-night sailings will begin and end in Seattle and will be an alternative to the classic Alaska cruise. Instead of the usual route that takes you through Alaskan ports like Juneau and Skagway, the ship, the 1,972-passenger Noordam, will head south into the narrow channels of British Columbia. These waterways were once the heart of the Inside Passage to Alaska but have been mostly bypassed by cruise ships for decades.

Paul Grigsby, Holland America’s vice president for revenue planning and analytics, described the new sailing as a return to the old Inside Passage. The route is incredibly narrow, with the ship passing through super-narrow channels like the Grenville Channel, Johnstone Strait, and Seymour Narrows. These channels were once the safe route to Alaska during the gold rush days of the 1800s, but fell out of favor as ships became bigger and faster.

After a day in Ketchikan, the ship will overnight in Prince Rupert, British Columbia before cruising through the scenic Grenville Channel and other narrow waterways. The itinerary will also include a maiden call at Nanaimo on Vancouver Island and a visit to Victoria, British Columbia. Grigsby noted that the Great Bear Rainforest is home to a variety of wildlife, including whales, eagles, and the rare Kermode bear, also known as the spirit bear.

The region is one of the largest temperate rainforests on the planet, and Holland America expects passengers to have plenty of opportunities for wildlife sightings. The line may also bring interpreters on board from the First Nations people who live in the region. The full-day call at Victoria will allow passengers to explore the city in depth, unlike the typical short visits on Alaska cruises.

For now, there are only two departures of the Great Bear Rainforest itinerary scheduled for 2025 and 2026. Fares for the voyages start at $679 per person, based on double occupancy and excluding taxes, fees, and port charges. If the trips are successful, there may be more departures in the future.

Overall, the Great Bear Rainforest itinerary promises to be a unique and unforgettable cruise experience for Holland America fans. Don’t miss out on this rare opportunity to explore the hidden gems of the western coast of Canada. Book your tickets now before they sell out!

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