Holland America Expands Denali Experience

A look at Holland America's Denali Property

Holland America Line has announced an expansion of the guest experience on its Alaska Land+Sea Journeys with the addition of new guest accommodations at its Denali operation. The 99-room addition will feature the first-ever junior suites at the resort and is expected to be open for the 2019 summer Alaska cruise season. The 55 new junior suites will showcase balconies, larger living areas and greater amenities for guests.

The company said that the new rooms are an extension of its overland Alaska experience to Denali, which includes the McKinley Chalet Resort hotel and Denali Square, a gathering area to relax, shop, dine and for music and entertainment. The addition will be located just west of Denali Square with views of Mt. Healy and Denali National Park.

“Following the opening of Denali Square, we’re excited to continue the expansion and elevate the overall Denali experience once again by adding junior suites to our Denali property,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America’s president. “Our Land+Sea Journeys are the only way to go deep into the heart of Denali and enjoy a cruise in one seamless vacation. This will enable us to bring more guests on overland tours so they can witness the magnificence of Alaska.”

According to a prepared statement, the three-story project will feature junior suites and standard rooms with “rustic-chic” décor. All junior suites have balconies offering views of the surrounding Alaska wilderness. Each floor will have a central, open-air lobby. The third floor has open public deck space with tables and loungers.

The new building will become a fundamental feature of the McKinley Chalet Resort, Holland America’s 68-acre hotel property on the Nenana River. The hotel -- featuring a reception hall, dining facilities and guest rooms --serves as base camp for all adventures at Denali National Park such as flightseeing, ATV adventures, hiking trails, river rafting and more.

Alaska-based companies heading up the project include general contractor Ghemm Company, Inc., based in Fairbanks. Lead architect Heliotrope is based in Seattle, Washington, and also developed Karstens Public House at Denali Square. Heliotrope is working with the Fairbanks office of Alaskan architectural firm Bettisworth North. Costigan Integrated of Seattle is serving as project manager.

At the center of Denali Square is an amphitheater with a covered performance stage and bench seating for local shows and ranger talks. There is also the Gold Nugget Saloon, home to the Music of Denali Dinner Theater, that becomes a bar and music venue after the show.

Denali Square also features fire pits, outdoor seating, retail shops, and an artist-in-residence cabin where Alaska native and local artists display and discuss their works.

Holland America’s Land+Sea Journeys combine a three-, four- or seven-day Inside Passage or Glacier Discovery cruise with overland tours to the Yukon and Alaska’s interior.

According to Holland America, it is the only cruise brand to weave must-see sites such as Denali National Park with seldom-seen sites such as Dawson City, in the heart of the Klondike Gold Rush Country. Offering up to three days at Denali National Park for wildlife viewing and scenery, Land+Sea Journeys are designed to highlight the best of Alaska’s wilderness, wildlife, native culture and history.

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