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Holland America

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Affectionately known as HAL in the cruise industry, Holland America is one of the oldest cruise lines still sailing. It is considered a luxury brand, and that is reflected everywhere on its ships, from the décor to the food.

HAL offers itineraries all over the world, specializing in longer itineraries over two weeks and up to several months for its around-the-world cruises. HAL is also well-known for its Alaska itineraries. The cruise line has partnered with Oprah Winfrey and America’s Test Kitchen for onboard experiences, and the food is truly outstanding.

The demographic is considerably older, with the average age between sixty and seventy. The atmosphere on many of its ships, as such, is very mellow with low-key programming on days at sea and in the evenings. People tend to dress more elegantly for dinners and the buffet closes at 8:30 PM on some ships. Because of the older demographic, accessibility tends to be outstanding. Holland America does offer accessible shore excursions at some ports of call. (I have personally sailed with Holland America.)