Holland America Line has reached out to guests booked aboard one of this spring’s 14-night Alaskan itineraries aboard Nieuw Amsterdam to notify them of an itinerary change.
One port of call is being swapped for another and three other port visits are changing days, but the cruise line is adjusting shore excursions as necessary to accommodate the changes.
14-Night Alaskan Itinerary Changed
The May 7, 2023 sailing of Nieuw Amsterdam will not be the same itinerary as advertised when guests initially booked their cruise aboard the Signature-class ship. The cruise line reached out today to notify guests that there are several changes to the cruise, including one complete port of call change and several port visits being moved to different days.
The impacted voyage is a 14-night sailing, roundtrip from Vancouver, Canada, with several amazing Alaskan ports of call and cruising through the majestic Glacier Bay, one of the top must-visit sites in the Last Frontier.
“Please be advised that due to operational reasons, Nieuw Amsterdam will no longer call to Skagway, Alaska,” the email explained. “[We] will instead call to Victoria, British Columbia.”
The visit to Skagway was to have been on Tuesday, May 16, while the new port visit to Victoria will be on Saturday, May 20. To accommodate this change, the ship’s visits to Sitka, Ketchikan, and Prince Rupert will all be moved up by one day in the itinerary, and May 19 will now be a day at sea.
Ports of call earlier in the itinerary – Kodiak Island, Anchorage, Valdez, and Glacier Bay – are not impacted by the change. Likewise, the ship’s return to Vancouver is the same as originally planned.
Holland America Line is automatically refunding shore excursions for Skagway that have been booked through the cruise line, and those refunds will be processed back to the original form of payment.
Updated information for the remaining ports of call, as well as tours for the new visit to Victoria, British Columbia, will be available on the cruise line’s website within two weeks.
What Operational Reasons Caused the Port Change?
No details have been provided about the “operational reasons” that make removing Skagway from the itinerary necessary, but it is possible the change is due to ongoing difficulties with rockslides along the dock at that popular port.
During the 2022 sailing season, several dangerous rockslides caused damage to one of the main cruise ship docks, and the dock was closed for several weeks as emergency repairs were made. While additional repairs have been planned, if those repairs are not complete, it may mean more cancellations or port changes for other cruise ships.
This could be especially true during the height of the summer season, when multiple ships each day may be scheduled to visit Skagway. On May 16, five ships were scheduled for the port.
Along with Nieuw Amsterdam, Princess Cruises’ Royal Princess and Grand Princess, Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Solstice, and Holland America Line’s Koningsdam are all planned for Skagway that day.
In all of May 2023, there is only one other day when five ships are scheduled in Skagway – Thursday, May 25, when ships from Viking Cruises, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Holland America Line, and Disney Cruises are all scheduled.
Travelers planning an Alaskan cruise this year should stay in touch with their cruise line if Skagway is on the itinerary, just in case additional adjustments are necessary.