Itineraries up to 25 days, diverse ports of call and a rare mid-size ship experience highlight Holland America Line’s 2013-14 Caribbean season that features eight of the line’s premium vessels sailing round-trip from either Fort Lauderdale or Tampa, Fla. All Fort Lauderdale itineraries feature a call at Half Moon Cay, the line’s award-winning private Bahamian island known for its pristine beaches, exciting shore excursions, exclusive beach cabanas and kid-friendly activities.
From October 2013 through April 2014, ms Eurodam, ms Maasdam, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Noordam, ms Ryndam, ms Veendam, ms Westerdam and ms Zuiderdam sail a total of 109 seven-, 10-, 11- and 14-day cruises that can be combined into longer Collectors’ Voyages ranging from 14 to 25 days. The itineraries span the Caribbean on eastern, western and southern routes, as well as a partial transit of the Panama Canal.
“With eight ships and a diverse range of itineraries, our Caribbean cruises are the ideal tropical vacation for guests looking to take a weeklong holiday or a longer, more comprehensive voyage,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “The Caribbean islands are warm, inviting and pristine, and our mid-sized ships offer an upscale, easy way to experience this beautiful region.”
New to the region, Veendam sails one roundtrip Fort Lauderdale seven-day eastern Caribbean cruise departing April 24, 2014, that calls at Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Half Moon Cay.
Eurodam returns to the Caribbean on alternating roundtrip Fort Lauderdale seven-day eastern and western itineraries, as well as one four-day cruise just before the holidays departing Dec. 18, 2013, that calls at Key West, Fla.; Nassau, Bahamas, and Half Moon Cay. The eastern Caribbean itinerary features Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay, while the western route calls at Half Moon Cay, Grand Cayman, Key West and Falmouth or Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
Offering seven-, 10-, 11- and 14-day roundtrip Fort Lauderdale itineraries, Maasdam features the most varied itineraries of the season. The seven-day eastern Caribbean cruise calls at Half Moon Cay, St. Thomas, San Juan and Grand Turk, and the 10-day eastern route visits San Juan, St. Thomas, Dominica, St. John’s, Tortola and Half Moon Cay. Guests looking to explore the southern Caribbean can take an 11-day cruise to St. Maarten, St. Kitts, St. Vincent, Barbados, Martinique, St. Croix and Half Moon Cay or a 14-day sailing that calls at St. Thomas, St. Bart’s, St. Lucia, Barbados, Grenada, Curacao, Bonaire and Half Moon Cay.
Also departing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Nieuw Amsterdam sails alternating eastern and western routes. The eastern route calls at Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay. The western itinerary calls at Cozumel, Mexico, as well as Half Moon Cay, Grand Cayman and Key West.
Featuring seven-, 10- and 11-day roundtrip Fort Lauderdale cruises, Noordam highlights several of the region’s ports. The seven-day eastern route calls at Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay; the 10-day southern cruise highlights the Dutch “ABC” islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, and also visits Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk and Santa Barbara de Samana, Dominican Republic, while the 11-day southern sailing calls at St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Barbados, Martinique, Dominica, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay.
The only ship sailing roundtrip Tampa, Ryndam offers seven-day western Caribbean cruises and two different 14-day southern Caribbean itineraries. The seven-day sailing calls at Key West; Mahogany Bay, Honduras; Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala, and Costa Maya, Mexico, while the 14-day itineraries call at Key West, San Juan, St. Thomas, St. John’s, St. Lucia, Aruba, Grand Cayman and Curacao or Bonaire.
Maintaining a weekly schedule, Westerdam sails a repeating roundtrip Fort Lauderdale seven-day eastern Caribbean itinerary that calls at Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Maarten and Half Moon Cay.
Rounding out the Caribbean offerings, Zuiderdam features 10- and 11-day Panama Canal Sunfarer itineraries that sail roundtrip Fort Lauderdale and explore the southern Caribbean with a partial transit of the canal. The 10-day route highlights the partial transit and calls at Half Moon Cay; Aruba; Curacao; Colon, Panama, and Puerto Limon, Costa Rica, while the 11-day cruise features Half Moon Cay; Aruba; Curacao; Cartagena, Colombia; a partial Panama Canal transit, Colon and Puerto Limon.
Guests seeking a longer Caribbean exploration can take one of Holland America Line’s extended Collectors’ Voyages that combines back-to-back cruises to form an in-depth Caribbean itinerary. Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam combine seven-day voyages to feature 14-day Collectors’ Voyages, and Ryndam, Maasdam and Noordam offer 21-day adventures. At 25 days, Maasdam also sails the longest Collectors’ Voyage of the season.
On each cruise, experiences such as the Island Magic Steel Drum Band, learning to weave and craft with palm leaves and the Reggae Movement Film Festival are part of Holland America Line’s new On Location program. The itinerary sets the scene for guests to indulge in localized experiences that make time on board as enriching as visiting the ports of call through lectures, demonstrations and performances.