Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Holland America Line & National Park Service to Produce Glacier Bay Podcasts

You may remember in Cruise Diva's description of the art tour aboard Nieuw Amsterdam earlier this year that it was made all the more enjoyable because the narrative is loaded on an iPod® that can be borrowed from the librarian in the Explorations Cafe. The art tours have come a long way from when they were printed out on paper for passengers to read as they viewed the artworks. Stepping up the evolution of their onboard specialty tours, Holland America Line has joined forces with the U.S. National Park Service to produce a "Glacier Bay Ranger Podcast Anthology" that gives guests a unique glimpse into one of the largest protected wilderness areas in North America during their Alaska cruises. Narrators Paul Lasley and Elizabeth Harryman, radio personalities and hosts of Holland America Line's iPod® Art Tours, present a rare insider's view into this land of scenic and natural wonders. Each podcast includes in-depth interviews with Glacier Bay scientists, rangers, administrators and even an elder from the native Huna tribe.

"Holland America Line's enrichment program is one of the most important elements of our cruise experience, and this project enables us to offer our guests unprecedented access to the experts who know this region better than anyone," said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs, of Holland America Line. "We have been exploring the pristine waters of Glacier Bay for many years even before it was a national park, and with these in-depth podcasts our guests will develop a deeper appreciation of this beautiful area."

The one-of-a-kind auditory adventures offer inspiring insights about the early exploration of Glacier Bay, the spectacular glacial fjords, snow-capped mountain ranges and the region's marine and terrestrial wildlife. The 16 podcasts begin with a welcome message from Cherry Payne, former superintendent of Glacier Bay National Park, and Randy Thomas, a ranger naturalist, who guide listeners on how to get the most out of their Holland America Line Alaska Glacier Bay cruise experience.

"Through these podcasts, our ranger naturalists and experts will take Holland America Line guests on a journey to the last ice age, where they can discover a breathtaking land that continues to attract thousands of visitors each year," said Tom VandenBerg, supervisory park ranger and the podcast project coordinator from Glacier Bay National Park. "This diverse area is so impressive and extensive that listeners will learn something new in every podcast."

The "Glacier Bay Ranger Podcast Anthology" joins Holland America Line's exclusive iPod® Art Tours, a self-guided walking tour of each ship's extensive art collection, that also are available for download. Listeners can download all 16 of the "Glacier Bay Ranger" podcasts, or only a specific audio file, onto a personal iPod®, MP3, or portable media player before embarking on a Holland America Line Alaska cruise to Glacier Bay. Preloaded podcasts on iPods® also are available on board for checkout. The "Glacier Bay Ranger Podcast Anthology" is available for download on the Holland America Line website.

While the entire anthology of sixteen episodes is four hours and twenty-one minutes long, it's worth the time to learn more about Alaska. Our good friends Paul and Elizabeth are so engaging that you'll be sorry when the podcasts come to an end. Who else but Elizabeth would describe the day in Glacier Bay like "sailing into a refrigerator"? don't have to be on a Holland America ship to listen to the recordings right on their website.

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