From winter 2014 through spring 2015, Holland America Line will have two ships exploring the the Far East. The 1,432-passenger ms Volendam will sail a series of 14- to 17-day cruises and nonrepeating itineraries, while the 1,404-passenger ms Rotterdam takes an epic 90-day “Passage to the Far East” journey.
All of the cruises feature exotic ports of call with extended and overnight stays at some of Asia’s most iconic cities. The longer visits provide travelers ample time to explore the region’s extensive collection of historical and notable landmarks.
“As more travelers look to fulfill their dream of a vacation to far-off corners of the globe, the Far East remains popular due to its historical significance, wealth of sightseeing opportunities and mysterious allure,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs for Holland America Line. “From overland tours to the Bagan Temples to a chance to see the famed Komodo dragon, the length and diversity of our Asia cruises make them a truly unique experience.”
New this year, Volendam will sail three 14-day “Asian Adventure” cruises roundtrip from Singapore. Departing Dec. 22, 2014, and Feb. 2 and March 16, 2015, the ship calls at ports in Malaysia, Thailand and Myanmar. Guests will enjoy an overnight stay at Singapore and Thilawa (Rangoon), Myanmar, as well as an extended port call at Port Kelang (Kuala Lumpur), Malaysia.
The ship also sails a series of 14-day “Far East Discovery” cruises between Singapore and Hong Kong, China. Guests can embark Jan. 5 and 19, Feb. 16, March 2 or 30. The itinerary calls at Koh Samui, Thailand; Sihanoukville, Cambodia (with a late departure); several ports in Vietnam including late departures from Nha Trang and Halong Bay; and an overnight call at Laem Chabang (Bangkok), Thailand.
The Asia Adventure and Far East Discovery itineraries can be combined for a 28-day Collectors’ Voyage departing Dec. 22, 2014, and Feb. 2 and March 16, 2015.
Fares for the 14-day Asian Adventure and Far East Discovery cruises begin at $1,699, and the 28-day Collectors’ Voyages begin at $3,049, per person, double occupancy.
Volendam sails three nonrepeating itineraries at the beginning and end of the season, starting Nov. 22, 2014, with a cruise from Sydney, Australia, to Singapore. The 16-day “Great Barrier Reef” voyage explores eastern Australia with calls at Hamilton Island and Port Douglas (Cairns), with an extensive Great Barrier Reef experience. Guests will witness a sunrise at Lizard Island, sunset at Piper Island and sail around the Ribbon Reef and Far North regions and through the Torres Strait. The ship says goodbye to Australia with a final call at Darwin before visiting Komodo Island, Bali and Java in Indonesia.
In the spring, Volendam sails a 14-day “China and Japan” voyage departing Hong Kong April 13 and ending at Kobe, Japan. Along the way the ship calls at Shanghai and Xingang (Beijing), China, both overnight calls enabling guests to explore those bustling cities; Jeju (Cheju) and Pusan, South Korea; and Nagasaki, Japan.
Guests looking for an adventure can embark April 27 at Kobe for a 17-day trans-Pacific voyage to Vancouver, British Columbia. Following an overnight call at Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan, and calls at Hakodate and Kushiro, Japan, guests will enjoy leisurely days at sea crossing the Pacific Ocean to Canada. The ship visits Kodiak and Sitka, Alaska, with memorable scenic cruising along Alaska’s famous Inside Passage.
The 14-day China and Japan itinerary can be combined with the 17-day trans-Pacific cruise for a 31-day “China, Japan and North Pacific Crossing Collectors’ Voyage.”
Fares for the 16-day Great Barrier Reef cruise begin at $1,999, $1,759 for the 14-day China and Japan cruise, $1,999 for the 17-day trans-Pacific and $3,379 for the 31-day trans-Pacific crossing, all per person, double occupancy.
Rotterdam starts the new year off with a 90-day “Passage to the Far East” voyage sailing roundtrip from Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Jan. 7, 2015. Guests who find it more convenient can cruise roundtrip from Southampton, England, departing Jan. 8 for an 88-day voyage. The ship sails east with calls at Portugal, Morocco, Spain, Malta and Greece, before a daylight transit of the Suez Canal. Following relaxing sea days, the ship stops at Muscat, Oman, and Dubai, U.A.E., before reaching India. After several calls in that country, the ship makes way to Thilawa (Rangoon) for an overnight visit.
The Far East is extensively explored with calls throughout Singapore, Jakarta, Indonesia and Malaysia before sailing back to Sri Lanka, India, Oman, Jordan and Egypt. During the voyage, guests can take advantage of extra time in port with overnight calls at Port Klang, Malaysia; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Mumbai (Bombay), India; Bali and Singapore. Following a transit through the Suez Canal, the ship explores Italy and Spain before returning to Southampton and Rotterdam.
Segments ranging from 34 to 55 days are available between Rotterdam, Southampton and Singapore.
Cruise fares for the complete 90-day cruise start at $10,999, $10,899 for the 88-day journey, $7,199 for the 55-day passage and $4,399 for the 34-day segment. Additional segments are available.