Holland America Line will deploy ms Volendam and ms Zaandam in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the South Pacific in 2011-12, marking the first time the line will have two ships sailing a series of itineraries in the region simultaneously.
Guests will be able to select from a variety of itineraries ranging from 13 to 26 days, with calls at some of the most popular and exotic ports throughout the Pacific. Travelers looking for a longer exploration will be able to sail a Collectors’ Voyage from 27 to 39 days long that combines two back-to-back itineraries, allowing for an in-depth experience while visiting multiple regions.
“That part of the world has always been popular with our guests, and that greatly influenced our decision to increase our capacity in the region,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs, for Holland America Line. “The entire area has such diverse offerings — from the Great Barrier Reef and fiords of New Zealand to the dramatic landscapes of the South Pacific islands and rich and exotic cultures of the Orient.”
14-day Explorations Highlight Australia and New Zealand
Volendam will sail a series of 14-day cruises roundtrip from Sydney, Australia, or between Sydney and Auckland, New Zealand, that explore both the North and South Islands. The nine departures from October 2011 thorough March 2012 feature extensive scenic cruising opportunities in Fiordland National Park — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — as well as Milford, Dusky and Queen Charlotte Sounds. Calls at some of the most popular ports like Wellington, Napier and Tauranga highlight the itineraries, along with several evening departures.
Following the same itinerary as Volendam, Zaandam also sails a 14-day roundtrip Sydney cruise departing Nov. 25, 2011.
South Pacific Itineraries Feature Exotic Islands
From December 2011 through February 2012 Volendam and Zaandam will sail three 13- or 14-day roundtrip Sydney itineraries to island jewels in the South Pacific. The ships visit lesser-known tropical ports in New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji that are celebrated for their crystalline waters, powdery beaches and dramatic scenery. Guests will be able to soak up the sun and learn about fascinating island cultures.
Mystery and Mythology Showcased in the Far East
In 2012, Zaandam sails six spectacular 14-day sailings between Singapore or Kobe (Osaka), Japan and Hong Kong, China. Ancient customs and traditions live on in this part of the world, and the mysteries of a little-known region will unravel with each port of call. The cruises — which depart January through March — offer extended stays in several ports, as well as overnight calls at Laem Chabang (Bangkok), Thailand; and Hong Kong, Shanghai and Xingang (Beijing), China.
With extra time in port, guests will be able to visit world-famous landmarks such as Hong Kong’s Big Buddha, and the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Great Wall of China, Vietnam’s Halong Bay and Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
Pacific Crossings Offer Unique Ports, Relaxing Days at Sea
Volendam and Zaandam both offer repositioning cruises to and from Asia and the South Pacific region, ranging from 22 to 26 days. These trans-Pacific adventures provide an excellent opportunity to visit several countries on one cruise, spend relaxing days at sea and require only one-way international airfare.
Volendam departs Sept. 7, 2011, from Vancouver, B.C., on a 26-day cruise that makes its way to Hawaii, Samoa, Fiji and New Caledonia before arriving at Sydney. The ship returns to Vancouver from Sydney on a 23-day itinerary departing April 10, 2012, that also makes calls throughout the South Pacific and the Aloha State.
Zaandam sails from San Diego, Calif., to Sydney on a 26-day crossing via Hawaii and the South Pacific that includes an evening sailing by the Kilauea Volcano. Guests looking for a northern Pacific crossing can sail from Kobe to Vancouver April 1, 2012, on a 22-day journey and explore several ports in Japan before arching up to Alaska and enjoying scenic cruising in Glacier Bay and the Inside Passage.
Sea days aboard a Holland America Line ship are an invitation to unwind and rejuvenate. Guests can fill their time with enriching activities such as cooking demonstrations at the Culinary Arts Center, pampering at the Greenhouse Spa or simply sipping a coffee while reading the news at the Explorations Café.
Cruisers looking to make the most out of their time in Asia, Australia and New Zealand can add a pre- or post-cruise land tour to further explore sites such as the Forbidden City in Beijing, Uluru/Ayers Rock or Alice Springs in Australia’s Northern Territory.