When Holland America Line’s Statendam and Veendam sail to Mexico, Hawaii and French Polynesia from San Diego for the 2013-14 season, newly expanded itineraries will feature extended port stays and overnight calls. With convenient roundtrip San Diego departures, Holland America said that guests will be able to embark and disembark in the United States, while traveling to destinations that usually require an international flight.
Seven- and 12-day cruises to Mexico depart in November and December 2013 and March 2014, while the 17- to 35-day Circle Hawaii, Tahiti and Marquesas itineraries set sail in October 2013 and February and April 2014.
During the sailings with several sea days, the line is offering its so-called On Location program whereby guests on cruises to Hawaii might learn how to hula, make a fresh flower lei or get a ukulele lesson from a local, while cruisers on voyages to Mexico are entertained with an authentic mariachi band during a Mexican fiesta on deck. The itineraries sets the theme for localized experiences that the line promised will make time onboard as enriching as visiting the ports of call through lectures, demonstrations and performances.
In November and December 2013 and March 2014, the Veendam will sail a total of six seven-day itineraries to the Mexican Riviera, calling at Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta, as well as scenic cruising along Bahia Magdalena — a bay that is noted for the seasonal migration of California gray whales.
Sailing a longer roundtrip San Diego itinerary to the Mexican Riviera, the Statendam departs Dec. 4, 2013, on a 12-day voyage that calls at Cabo San Lucas, Pichilingue (La Paz), Loreto, Guaymas, Topolobampo and Puerto Vallarta. Guests will get extra time ashore in Puerto Vallarta during an overnight call where they can indulge in local cuisine, learn more about the country’s history or check out the nightlife ashore. This departure also includes scenic cruising in Bahia Magdalena.
Between Mexican Riviera cruises, the Veendam sails to Hawaii on four roundtrip San Diego itineraries that explore the Aloha State and add another port call for next season: Kona. Calls also include Hilo, Honolulu, Nawiliwili, Lahaina and Kona, Hawaii.
The Statendam offers two Circle Hawaii cruises ranging in length from 29 to 35 days, these three longer voyages sail roundtrip San Diego to the Hawaiian Islands and French Polynesia.
The 2013 sailing departs San Diego Oct. 4 and Dec. 16 for a holiday journey for a 30-day cruise. Guests can also embark earlier in San Francisco Oct. 2, or Sept. 29 at Vancouver for 32-day and 35-day sailings, respectively.
In 2014, the Statendam departs San Diego Feb. 14 on a 29-day Valentine’s Day-departing roundtrip itinerary, as well as April 15 on a 29-day roundtrip San Diego cruise or a 33-day itinerary that ends at Vancouver.
After departing San Diego, the Statendam makes four calls at the Hawaiian Islands of Hawaii, Maui and Oahu, including an overnight call at Honolulu and late departure from Lahaina.
The ship crosses the equator on the way to French Polynesia where it calls at Bora Bora, Raiatea, Tahiti, Moorea, Rangiroa and Nuku Hiva, the largest of the Marquesas Islands. Holland America Line has allotted extra time with overnight calls at Bora Bora and Tahiti. The Statendam crosses the equator once again before arriving back at San Diego.