In 2009, Holland America Line is offering its most diverse and extensive European program ever. Six of the fleet’s ships, including the soon-to-be-launched ms Eurodam, will cruise to 166 ports of call on 70 itineraries throughout the season. Sailing from March through November, the 2009 Europe season also features 16 maiden ports scattered throughout countries that reach from the Arctic Circle to the shores of North Africa and the Black Sea.
The six ships — ms Eurodam, ms Maasdam, ms Noordam, ms Oosterdam, ms Prinsendam and ms Rotterdam — sail various itineraries reflecting the rich diversity of culture and history that Europe has to offer.
“North Americans are realizing that a cruise is the most cost-effective way to experience Europe,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs for Holland America Line. “Our 2009 lineup of itineraries provides the best of traditional Europe with some new exciting destinations as well.”
Cruises range from 10 to 50 days, and enable guests to combine non-repeating itineraries to form a unique Collectors’ Voyage. These port-intensive sailings offer a more in-depth experience and special pricing, making them all the more enticing to the avid traveler.
Marvel of the Mediterranean
Noordam will follow two alternating 10-day Mediterranean round-trip Civitavecchia (Rome) itineraries. “Roman Empires” visits the eastern Mediterranean and “Mediterranean Enchantment” sails the western Mediterranean and includes North Africa. The itineraries can be combined to form a Collectors’ Voyage — either the 20-day “Mediterranean Adventure” (“Roman Empires” followed by “Mediterranean Enchantment”) or the reverse schedule.
After a half-dozen years spent sailing around North America, Oosterdam returns to Europe for a series of three 12-day Mediterranean itineraries that feature two overnight stays in Venice, Italy, and either Barcelona, Spain, or Istanbul, Turkey, depending on the itinerary. “Mediterranean Empires” sails round-trip Venice, “Mediterranean Romance” sails Venice to Barcelona, and “Mediterranean Tapestry” sails a reverse itinerary from Barcelona to Venice. Guests can book an all-encompassing 24-day voyage by combining “Mediterranean Empires” with either “Romance” or “Tapestry.”
Highlights of Northern Europe
Eurodam and Rotterdam will explore Scandinavia, Russia and the Norwegian fjords on 10- and 12-day sailings. Eurodam will sail 10-day round-trip Copenhagen, Denmark, itineraries, which include scenic cruising in either Sweden or Norway. Guests wishing to thoroughly explore the region can combine two itineraries to form a 20-day “Ultimate Northern Europe” Collectors’ Voyage.
Rotterdam will feature 12-day sailings between Rotterdam, Netherlands, and Copenhagen. A two-day stay in St. Petersburg, Russia, enables guests to take in the sites in the history-rich city. Rotterdam also will sail a one-time, 12-day voyage between Rotterdam and Copenhagen called “Northern Strongholds” that offers unique opportunities to visit many castles and features an overnight in Stockholm, Sweden.
Prinsendam discovers Europe
Prinsendam starts the season with a trans-Atlantic voyage from Fort Lauderdale to Civitavecchia (Rome). Upon reaching Europe, the ship will explore Portugal, Spain and Italy before working its way through the region on various northern Europe and Mediterranean itineraries ranging from 14 to 30 days. Prinsendam wraps up the season with a 24-day “European Farewell” trans-Atlantic crossing from Athens to Fort Lauderdale.
16 new ports ready to be explored in 2009
With guests looking to explore new and unique destinations, Holland America Line has added 16 maiden ports of call to the 2009 European itineraries. Ranging from northern Europe over to the Black Sea, these ports represent 11 countries and include Hendaye (Biarritz), France; Oostende (Brugge), Belgium; Kiel, Germany; Scrabster, Scotland, United Kingdom; Kristiansund, Norway; Vaasa, Finland; Foynes, Ireland; Greencastle, Northern Ireland; Portland, England, United Kingdom; Santa Margherita, Italy; Bat’umi, Georgia; Victoria (Rabat), Gozo, Malta; Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom; Djúpivogur, Iceland; Palau, Sardinia, Italy; and Trapani, Sicily, Italy.
Cruise fares for the line’s 2009 European sailings start at $1,699 per person, double occupancy and are available for booking now.