Holland America Line’s ms Volendam is set to cruise to Australia and New Zealand in early 2011 with 14- and 18-day voyages to the lands of kangaroos, kiwis, the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef and exotic Asian ports. The ship also will sail a 14-day exploration of the South Pacific to island jewels known for their powdery beaches and turquoise waters.
In the spring, Volendam will uncover the mysteries of the Far East with 17- and 18-day voyages throughout the Orient, and then take a trans-Pacific journey that will cross the International Date Line on the way back to North America.
“Exotic cruises to destinations such as Australia and the Far East remain high on the wish-list of many travelers, and we’ve developed our itineraries to showcase the best of each region,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs, for Holland America Line. “We pride ourselves in offering comprehensive experiences around the world, and these itineraries are sure to impress any cruise enthusiast.”
14-Day New Zealand Discovery
Both the North and South islands of New Zealand with their beautiful natural landscapes will be explored on the 14-day round-trip Sydney, Australia, sailings departing Jan. 2 and 30, 2011. The ship will make a total of eight calls at ports in New Zealand, including Wellington, Napier, Christchurch, Tauranga and a full day at Auckland.
The itinerary also features extensive scenic cruising in Fiordland National Park — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — as well as Milford Sound. Guests can take in the breathtaking views of the region’s extreme scenery, ranging from glaciers to mountain ranges and sandy beaches to volcanic plateaus.
14-Day Pacific Treasures
Volendam departs Jan. 16 on a 14-day round-trip Sydney cruise to the islands of the South Pacific and through some of the most pristine waters in the world. Three ports of call in New Caledonia allow guests to dive and snorkel along the region’s coral reef and in the largest lagoon in the world. The ship also calls at the island of Vanuatu with its potpourri of cultures and magnificent natural harbor, as well as two calls at the island of Fiji, known for its sun-kissed beaches and crystal-clear seas.
14-Day Australia and New Zealand
Departing Feb. 13 from Sydney and Feb. 27 from Auckland, these spectacular cruises between Auckland and Sydney were created for travelers wishing to discover the diverse scenery and rich culture Down Under.
This itinerary also features extensive scenic cruising in Fiordland National Park, as well as Milford, Dusky and Queen Charlotte sounds. Holland America Line is one of the few premium cruise lines calling at Picton, the gateway to the South Island and the hub of Marlborough Sound’s thriving wine country, a certain highlight for wine connoisseurs. Guests can experience the Maori culture when the ship calls at Tauranga and experience the novelty of less-visited ports such as Burnie, Australia. For those looking for a more in-depth experience, pre- or post-cruise land tours take guests to the Great Barrier Reef or Alice Springs.
18-Day Great Barrier Reef Explorer
Volendam’s 18-day itinerary departing March 13 from Sydney to Singapore enables guests to enjoy four days of cruising the Great Barrier Reef, including two days of daylight cruising through the world’s largest coral reef system. Scenic highlights include an overnight anchorage in the reef near Sherrard Island and calls within the Whitsunday Island group. Several interesting ports also will be visited in Indonesia, including Komodo Island, part of the Komodo National Park — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — as well the beautiful islands of Bali and Java. An overnight call at Singapore at the end of the cruise enables guests to explore the bustling city and return to the comfort of the ship before disembarking the next morning.
18-Day Asia Explorer
Sailing from Singapore to Kobe (Osaka), Japan, Volendam is set to explore all corners of the Orient including Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, China and Japan on its April 14 departure. The 18-day itinerary is filled with plenty of time to explore the palaces and tombs that dot the ancient lands, take in the tranquility of the temples and gardens, and sample the unique flavors of Asian cuisine. Three overnight stays ensure that guests are able to explore Bangkok with it’s abundance of palaces and Buddhist wats; the cosmopolitan city of Hong Kong with its tea shops and street markets, and Shanghai with its soaring skyscrapers and unforgettable Yuyuan Gardens.
17-Day Japan and Alaska
In the spring, Volendam repositions back to the waters of Alaska with a 17-day trans-Pacific journey from Kobe to Vancouver, British Columbia. Departing May 2, the ship visits the ports of Yokohama, Hakodate and Kushiro, Japan, before crossing the International Date Line over to Alaska and kicking off the season with calls at Kodiak and Sitka, and scenic cruising of the Inside Passage.
Cruise fares are per person, double occupancy, and start at $1,599 for the New Zealand Discovery voyage departing Jan. 2 and $1,699 for the Jan. 30 departure; $1,599 for the Pacific Treasures cruise departing Jan.16; $1,699 for the Australia and New Zealand voyage departing Feb 13 and $1,599 for the Feb. 27 departure; $2,099 for the Great Barrier Reef Explorer cruise departing March 13; $2,099 for the Asia Explorer voyage departing April 11, and $1,599 for the Japan and Alaska trans-Pacific cruise departing May 2.