With sailings up to 20 days, Holland America Line’s 2008 Caribbean itineraries feature 121 varied departures that focus on longer, port-intensive options for premium cruise guests.  The line continues to lead major cruise lines with sailings of 10 days or more and will introduce the new 2,104-guest ms Eurodam to Caribbean cruising.

“Holland America Line once again offers more choice, longer itinerary options and greater port diversity in the Caribbean,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs.

Holland America Line will sail ten ships to the Caribbean in 2008 from Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and New York:  ms Noordam, ms Zuiderdam, ms Westerdam, ms Maasdam, ms Prinsendam, ms Rotterdam, ms Veendam, ms Volendam, ms Statendam, and the new ms Eurodam.

Sailing from Fort Lauderdale in October 2008, the Maasdam takes over the 14-day southern Caribbean cruise previously offered on the Veendam, which will focus on seven-day western Caribbean itineraries.  The Noordam will pick up the Maasdam’s former 10-day Wayfarer and Seafarer cruises using Fort Lauderdale as a gateway.

Southern Caribbean Cruises Include Unique 7-Day Itinerary
Ranging from seven to 14 days, southern Caribbean itineraries feature a full season of seven-day itineraries aboard the Westerdam to Aruba, Curaçao and Half Moon Cay, Bahamas.  A New Year’s departure of Dec. 27, 2008, sails on the new Eurodam.

The Maasdam will sail a series of alternating, 10-day Seafarer and 10-day Wayfarer itineraries roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale Jan. through Apr. with the Noordam sailing the routes from Oct. through Dec., 2008.  Seafarer cruises explore popular ports such as Aruba and Curaçao, while Wayfarer sailings highlight the islands of St. Lucia and Barbados.  The itineraries can be combined to create a 20-day cruise experience that only repeats Half Moon Cay and Grand Turk, two popular ports for Holland America Line’s Caribbean.

The Veendam will feature 14-day winter/spring cruises roundtrip from Tampa. This itinerary delves deep into Southern ports in Dominica, Barbados, Grenada, Venezuela, Bonaire and Aruba.  In fall 2008, a 14-day Southern Caribbean itinerary will depart roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale on the Maasdam and include San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Dominica, Barbados, St. Lucia, Guadaloupe, St. Maarten, Tortola and Half Moon Cay.  A 14-day Statendam itinerary departs Dec. 6, 2008 with highlights including St. Lucia, Trinidad, Venezuela, Antigua, Barbados, Curaçao, Aruba, Grand Turk, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay.

The Noordam will sail 11-day Southern Caribbean cruises roundtrip from New York Jan. 5 through Mar. 8. This itinerary calls at Tortola, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, San Juan, Dominica and Barbados.

10- and 14-day “Sunfarer” Cruises of Panama Canal and Caribbean
Increasing capacity with the Vista-class Zuiderdam at year’s end, Holland America Line continues its popular 10-day Sunfarer voyages that combine Panama Canal cruising with Caribbean destinations.  The Volendam sails ten winter/spring Sunfarer cruises roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale.

Guests cruise to Half Moon Cay, Bahamas; Dutch-influenced Willemstad, Curacao and Oranjestad, Aruba; the Panama Canal to Gatun Lake; Limon Bay and Manzanillo Bay, Panama; and Puerto Limon, Costa Rica.

The Rotterdam also sails a 12-day Caribbean and Sunfarer cruise on Dec. 23, adding Georgetown, Grand Cayman; and Kralendijk, Bonaire.

Eastern Caribbean Cruises
Holland America line will offer a wide variety of six- to 10-day cruises through the eastern Caribbean.  With weekend departures, the Zuiderdam and Westerdam will sail seven-day Eastern Caribbean itineraries roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale. The new Eurodam takes over the Zuiderdam’s fall schedule.

Destinations on eastern Caribbean itineraries may include St. Maarten, Grand Turk, Tortola, St. Thomas, and Half Moon Cay.  The Noordam will feature 10-day winter/spring cruises to the Eastern Caribbean from New York City to the above ports, except for Half Moon Cay, and with additional days at sea.

Western Caribbean Cruises
The Veendam and Westerdam will explore the Western Caribbean in the coming year offering seven-day Sunday departures to such ports as Belize City, Belize; Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala; Cozumel, Mexico; Grand Cayman; and Grand Turk.  Holland America Line is the only premium line to call in Belize and Guatemala.  The Veendam will sail roundtrip from Tampa, while the Westerdam will cruise from Ft. Lauderdale.

Three-day Bahamas Getaways
For those short on time yet seeking major relaxation, Holland America Line will feature a pair of three-day, roundtrip cruises from Ft. Lauderdale to the Bahamas aboard the Westerdam on April 19 and the new Eurodam on Oct. 15, 2008. Guests can indulge in such Holland America Line amenities as the Greenhouse Spa and Salon and the innovative Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine Magazine, where culinary experts provide cooking demonstrations.

Half Moon Cay – The Quintessential Caribbean Island Experience
Most sailings also plan a day at Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s acclaimed private island that offers a horseback riding and swimming excursion, AquaTrax watercraft tour, and family-friendly aqua park.   Porthole cruise magazine has named Half Moon Cay the best private island for six years running.