Sailings offer most diverse ports and award-winning private island; Nieuw Statendam makes Caribbean debut
SEATTLE, Sept. 10, 2018 /CNW/ -- Travelers looking to cruise to the idyllic, sun-drenched beaches of the Caribbean will have more than 100 Holland America Line cruises to choose from between October 2018 and April 2019. Ranging from three to 21 days, guests will have their pick of eight of the line's premium, mid-sized ships including, the newest addition to the fleet, Nieuw Statendam.
Holland America Line'sCaribbean: Best. Nieuw. Most. More. Holland America Line's expansive variety of itineraries explore the eastern, western and southern regions of the Caribbean; some sail to Cuba and others spend a day discovering the Panama Canal. Seven ships will sail roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, while Rotterdamtakes over the roundtrip Tampa, Florida, departures.
Most Fort Lauderdale departures include a visit to what has been called the best private island in the cruise industry: Half Moon Cay, the line's award-winning private Bahamian island known for its pristine beaches, exciting shore excursions, exclusive beach cabanas and child-friendly activities. Caribbean itineraries this season also introduce Nieuw Statendam on its premier season with cruises from three to 17 days.
Guests aboard Holland America Line will enjoy a diverse blend of popular ports and dozens of less-visited gems while relaxing aboard spacious, mid-sized ships that offer premium amenities, engaging activities and contemporary culinary experiences.
"The Caribbean continues to be a highly popular destination for both first-time cruisers and repeaters because it offers everything: beautiful scenery, tropical weather, diverse activities, a laid-back atmosphere and welcoming locals who are eager to share their customs and culture," said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. "By offering more than 100 sailings across eight mid-sized ships, including Nieuw Statendam, we're giving our guests more opportunities to tailor a cruise to their desires."
From October 2018 through April 2019, Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Oosterdam, Rotterdam, Veendam and Zuiderdam sail more than 100 three- to 14-day cruises that can be combined into longer, back-to-back Collectors' Voyages ranging from 13 to 21 days.
Seven Ships Sail Roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale to Cuba and Beyond In October 2018, Veendam kicks off the Caribbean season with a series of Cuban Explorer cruises. Guests can immerse themselves in Cuba's natural beauty and rich cultural history on a variety of seven-, 10-, 11- and 12-day itineraries through March 2019. Along with Havana and Cienfuegos, Cuba, the ship will call at several other Caribbean ports in Grand Cayman, Jamaica and Mexico. Veendam also offers a seven-day eastern Caribbean Holiday cruise in December and an 11-day southern Caribbean itinerary in January that do not visit Cuba.
Nieuw Statendam will kick off its maiden Caribbean season with a four-day cruise to the Bahamas in December. Following its inaugural Caribbean sailing, the ship will feature seven-day itineraries that offer both eastern and western routes. Nieuw Statendam also will offer a 10-day itinerary in January for guests interested in exploring lesser-visited ports in the southern Caribbean such as Kralendijk, Bonaire; Amber Cove, Dominican Republic; and Barbados. Other southern Caribbean itineraries will be available on Nieuw Statendam's sister ship, Koningsdam, beginning in November 2018. Cruisers can choose seven-, 10- and 11-day itineraries.
Guests looking to experience the eastern or western regions of the Caribbean can do so aboard Nieuw Amsterdam on a series of seven-day cruises that showcase each region, featuring calls at St. Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk, Cozumel, Georgetown, Ocho Rios and more. Similarly, Oosterdam will offer a series of seven-day cruises that spotlight both eastern and western routes, as well as seven-day Tropical Caribbean itineraries that feature calls at ports in the Bahamas and Dominican Republic.
Partial Panama Canal Transits Explore Gatún Lake Guests looking to explore the Panama Canal can experience a partial transit aboard Zuiderdam, sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale on 10- and 11-day cruises. The ship visits several Caribbean ports as it makes its way to Gatún Lake, where cruisers will enjoy a day of spectacular scenic cruising throughout the canal.
Roundtrip Tampa Itineraries From October 2018 through April 2019Rotterdamwill sail roundtrip from Tampa on eight seven-day western itineraries and five 14-day southern itineraries. The ship visits some of the most beautiful ports and islands in the region including Key West; Curaçao; Mahogany Bay, Honduras; Costa Maya, Mexico; Aruba and St. Lucia.
Combine Back-to-Back Cruises to Form Longer Collectors' Voyages Many of the cruises can be extended into Collectors' Voyages, which offer the ultimate Caribbean exploration with more economical fares than if booking the cruises individually. Ranging from 14 to 21 days, these artfully crafted longer journeys combine back-to-back itineraries, enabling guests to span more than one Caribbean area and have the ultimate island-hopping journey.
Celebrate the Season with a Festive Holiday Cruise For travelers who like to get away for the winter holidays, a total of 14 holiday sailings will ply the warm waters of the Caribbean on far-reaching itineraries that range from seven to 14 days. Several non-repeating itineraries can be combined to form a longer Holiday Collectors' Voyage that can be extended up to 21 days.
Guests in search of a unique and extended itinerary can opt for Prinsendam's 14-day Caribbean Holiday cruise departing Dec. 21, 2018. The ship calls at ports in the British Virgin Islands, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Barbados, Half Moon Cay, the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.
During the holiday cruises, guests can take part in a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, enjoy traditional holiday meals with all of the trimmings and indulge in special holiday events, many with fanciful holiday cookies and pastries. Kids will delight in a visit from Santa Claus and holiday-themed crafts. Hanukkah activities will be available on early December cruises.
The New Year's Eve sailings are the ideal setting to ring in a new year, featuring a festive holiday ball with a Champagne toast.
Cruise fares for Caribbean cruises begin at $499. All rates are per person, double occupancy. Several dates are eligible for the Explore4 promotion: Guests booking any category stateroom will receive a Signature Beverage Package valued at $1,400 per stateroom (based on a 14-day cruise), dinner at the Pinnacle Grill for two, free or reduced cruise fares for third and fourth guests in the same stateroom, and 50 percent reduced deposits. Guests receive all benefits when bookings are made by Nov. 19, 2018. Taxes, fees and port expenses are additional.
Explorations Central Brings Caribbean and Cuban Culture on Board Throughout the voyages, EXC programming brings the region's local traditions, culinary tastes and cultural experiences to life on board. Through EXC Encounters and EXC talks, guests can participate in activities to learn unique practices to the ports of call and attend discussions on history, culture and attractions. The EXC Team will provide further customized guidance as well as online EXC Port Guides. For guests who enjoy exploring on their own, printed EXC Port Maps present a simple view of the best each port has to offer.
For more information about Holland America Line and the Caribbean cruises, consult a travel professional, call 1-877-SAIL HAL (877-724-5425) or visit hollandamerica.com.
About Holland America Line [a division of Carnival Corporation and plc (NYSE: CCL and CUK)] Holland America Line's fleet of 14 ships offers more than 500 cruises to more than 400 ports in 98 countries, territories or dependencies around the world. From shorter getaways to 113-day itineraries, the company's cruises visit all seven continents, with highlights including Antarctica explorations, South America circumnavigations, Cuba cruises and exotic Australia/New Zealand and Asia voyages; four annual Grand Voyages; and popular sailings to the Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico, Canada and New England, Bermuda, Europe and the Panama Canal. The line welcomed Koningsdam in 2016 and has a second Pinnacle-class ship, Nieuw Statendam, to be delivered in December 2018. A third Pinnacle-class ship, due for delivery in 2021, recently was announced.
The company is undergoing $300 million in brand enhancements to secure its position as the leader in premium cruising. Fleetwide, the ships feature innovative initiatives and a diverse range of enriching experiences focused on destination immersion and personalized travel. Guests can expand their knowledge through an exclusive partnership with O, The Oprah Magazine; during an America's Test Kitchen show; at Explorations Café presented by The New York Times; and by taking a Digital Workshop powered by Windows. Outstanding entertainment fills each evening at venues including Lincoln Center Stage, Billboard Onboard and B.B. King's Blues Club. The dining experience can be savored at a variety of restaurants with menus that feature selections from Holland America Line's esteemed Culinary Council, comprising world-famous chefs who design dishes exclusively for our guests.