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Cruise Guide: Alaska, celebrities top cruise travel agenda

Holland America’s Oosterdam navigates the icy waters near Hubbard Glacier, Alaska.

Holland America’s Oosterdam navigates the icy waters near Hubbard Glacier, Alaska.

cruiseguideheadersmallBy Michael Coleman

Holland America Line is offering 50 percent off on a host of Alaska itineraries while ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises has added a pair of guest speakers – celebrated broadcast journalist Ted Koppel and award-winning actor John Lithgow – to highlight future voyages.

Look for Holland America to offer 29 different itineraries varying in length from 10-to 20-days plus tours which include a scenic cruise of the Inside Passage and a land tour to a wide range of places throughout Alaska and the Yukon. Tours go to major cities of Anchorage and Fairbanks, wilderness areas in the Yukon, Denali National Park, the Kenai Peninsula, Alyeska, the Arctic and Homer.

Plus, in honor of Alaska’s 50th anniversary of statehood, over the course of a seven-day cruise look for Alaskan salmon to be available for lunch and dinner. Some 50 salmon recipes will be featured.

Meanwhile, at Silversea, icons Koppel and Lithgow will highlight the entertainment options aboard upcoming voyages.

Koppel spent 43 years working at ABC News, 26 of them as anchor and managing editor of Nightline. He has won every major industry award, including 42 Emmy Awards, eleven duPont-Columbia Awards, 10 Overseas Press Club Awards and eight George Foster Peabody Awards. From Vietnam in the sixties to Iraq in 2003, he has covered more than 10 wars. His career as a political reporter spans from the Johnson and Goldwater presidential campaigns of 1964 to the recent Obama-McCain contest. Currently, he is a senior news analyst for National Public Radio and a contributing analyst for the BBC.

On Silver Whisper’s April 5 Tokyo to Singapore voyage, he is scheduled to lecture on international affairs and host a screening of the final segment of The People’s Republic of Capitalism, a four-part program on China he produced with Discovery Channel.

Lithgow, a theater actor at heart, won the first of two Tony Awards three weeks after his Broadway debut in David Storey’s The Changing Room. He went on to make a major mark in films with Oscar nominations for his performances in The World According to Garp and Terms of Endearment. He has been nominated for 10 Emmy Awards for his work in television.  He won three Emmy Awards, one Golden Globe, two SAG Awards and an American Comedy Award for what is perhaps his most celebrated creation – the loopy character of the alien High Commander, Dick Solomon, on the hit NBC comedy series 3rd Rock from the Sun.

Aboard Silver Cloud’s Stockholm-to-Copenhagen cruise July 4, Lithgow will reprise a portion of his one-man show, Stories by Heart, the same presentation that proved popular with Silversea guests during his debut performance last year aboard Silver Whisper. Stories by Heart is a meditation on the art and essence of storytelling that played a successful limited engagement at Lincoln Center’s Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater in New York. Invoking memories of his grandmother and father before him, Lithgow traces his own history as an actor and storyteller, a history spanning three generations.

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