Holland America Line’s ms Zaandam is set to discover the Hawaiian Island chain in 2010 with Circle Hawaii itineraries that offer guests the best of both worlds: luxuriously relaxing days at sea and exotic islands to explore. The 1,432-passenger ship will sail five 14-day roundtrip San Diego, Calif., cruises and one 15-day voyage from Vancouver, British Colombia, to San Diego. The sailings are from October through December.
Nestled between two stretches of sea days are back-to-back calls at Hawaii, Oahu, Kauai and Maui — plus a call at Ensenada, Mexico — before returning to San Diego. Included in the Hawaii cruise roster is a holiday sailing departing Dec. 19.
“Our Hawaiian itineraries combine the appeal of warm-water cruising and a port-intensive Pacific island experience,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs, Holland America Line. “Guests will have time to enjoy our shipboard amenities and activities, and the convenience of visiting four ports in four days without multiple flights or the packing and unpacking associated with island hopping.”
Departing Sundays from San Diego, guests will have several relaxing days at sea before arriving at Hawaii. During this time, they can enjoy a day at the Greenhouse Spa, channel their inner chef at the Culinary Arts Center for a hands-on cooking class or attend a Digital Workshop powered by Windows® to learn how to share memorable photos taken on the voyage. The Speaker Series offers exciting insights into upcoming ports and includes destination-related topics such as Polynesian music and dance traditions.
The first port call is to Hilo on the big island of Hawaii where guests can visit one of Hawaii’s best-known landmarks — Kilauea Volcano — with its impressive molten lava flows. Other highlights include world-class botanical gardens and the awe-inspiring Akaka Falls. As Zaandam makes it way to Honolulu, the state capital, guests can enjoy an evening at the Polynesian Cultural Centers or other Hawaiian must-dos: whale watching, a traditional Hawaiian luau, a stroll down Waikiki beach or even surfing. For a more reflective view into Hawaii’s past, guests can visit the USS Arizona Memorial from World War II.
On route to Nawiliwili, Kauai, cruisers are in for spectacular views as Zaandam sails along the island’s dramatic Na Pali Coast. Upon reaching Nawiliwili guests can visit Waimea Canyon (the Grand Canyon of the Pacific) or get an aerial view of the island on a helicopter tour. Thrill-seekers can book a zipline tour through the forest canopy for a unique perspective of the island’s inspiring natural setting.
At Lahaina, Maui, guests can explore the stunning beaches and a magnificent volcano, or spend the day shopping at chic boutiques and galleries.
Those sailing on the 15-day voyage departing Oct. 2 have an added call at Kona, once known as the playground of Hawaii's royalty. Kona is synonymous with the famous coffee that grows on the slopes of dormant Hualalai volcano, a definite must-see for coffee aficionados. Another highlight of this longer voyage is an evening scenic cruise past the famous Kilauea volcano.
Cruise fares begin at $1,499 per person for the full 14-day Circle Hawaii and $1,699 per person for the 15-day voyage.