Summer’s just started but travelers who like to plan ahead can get a jump on fall and winter getaways aboard Holland America Line, which will deploy eight ships on Caribbean cruises starting in October. Cruises up to 21 days are offered from Fort Lauderdale and Tampa, and one ship will sail a partial transit of the Panama Canal. Holland America operates mid-sized ships ranging from 835 to 2,100 guests.
“Holland America Line provides the most port intensive and exclusive experience in the Caribbean, with a breadth of itinerary options to highlight the diversity of the region to our guests,” says Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “The Caribbean is a popular destination because it’s a relaxing, tropical paradise that’s accessible to so many travelers, and by offering a wide range of ships and itineraries, we’re able to offer a dream vacation at a great value.”
From October through April the Eurodam, Maasdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Oosterdam, Veendam, Westerdam, Prinsendam and Zuiderdam sail a total of 98 seven-, 10-, 11-, 12- and 14-day cruises that can be combined into longer Collectors’ Voyages ranging from 14 to 21 days. The itineraries span the Caribbean on eastern, western and southern routes. All Fort Lauderdale itineraries feature a call at Half Moon Cay, the line’s award-winning private Bahamian island.
During the season, Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam will sail a series of seven-day eastern and western Caribbean itineraries that can be combined to form 14-day Collectors’ Voyages spanning both regions. Westerdam maintains a weekly schedule of seven-day eastern Caribbean cruises, while Maasdam sails seven- and 10-day eastern routes, as well as longer 11-day southern itineraries. Oosterdam also features 10- and 11-day southern Caribbean cruises ideal for guests looking for a longer vacation.
The Nieuw Amsterdam will also feature a new seven-day Tropical Caribbean itinerary in 2016 that calls on maiden port Amber Cove, Carnival Corporation’s new $85 million cruise center in the Dominican Republic. Located near Puerto Plata, Amber Cover will provide access to a purpose-built facility with a welcome center, craft marketplace, eateries, a swimming pool and transportation hub for access to inland shore tours for a wide variety of interests.
Guests looking to explore the Panama Canal without going through to the West Coast can embark on a roundtrip Fort Lauderdale partial transit aboard Zuiderdam. The ship makes its way to Gatún Lake for scenic cruising. During the 10- and 11-day departures the ship also visits several Caribbean ports.
Beginning in January 2016, Veendam spends the Caribbean season cruising roundtrip from Tampa on seven-day western and 12- and 14-day southern itineraries. The seven- and 14-day options can be combined to form a 21-day western/southern Caribbean Collectors’ Voyage.