SEATTLE, April 16 — In 2009, three Holland America Line ships, ms Rotterdam, ms Prinsendam and ms Amsterdam, will offer four distinct Grand Voyages ranging from 50 to 117 days that span the globe. Guests who make full-cruise reservations by May 31, 2008, will be privy to a host of early booking amenities to enhance their cruise experience. Early Booking Amenities vary depending on cruise and cabin category, and may include first-class or economy air, limo or Motorcoach transfers, shipboard credit, pre-paid gratuities, luggage delivery, an exclusive shore side event, initial in-suite bar set-up and a bottle of champagne.
“Early booking amenities are our way of thanking the full-cruise guests for choosing to spend an extended period of time with us,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs for Holland America Line. “The Grand Voyages grow more popular every year, and the incredible amenities encourage guests to book early so they get the cabin of their choice and don’t miss out on the entire adventure.”
Guests can choose from four Grand Voyages in 2009: Rotterdam’s Grand World Voyage departing Jan. 19, the Grand South America Voyage departing Jan. 2 and the Grand Mediterranean Voyage departing March 11 aboard Prinsendam, and Amsterdam’s Grand Australia and New Zealand cruise departing Sept. 26.
Grand World Voyage: Rotterdam sails a 117-day westbound route Jan. 19 from Los Angeles, Calif., through the Pacific Ocean to the Hawaiian Islands, on to the South Pacific, Australia, Asia and Africa before making calls in the Caribbean en route back to Fort Lauderdale and New York. Calling at 39 ports in 27 countries across five continents, Rotterdam will cover more than 35,100 nautical miles while sailing on 15 different oceans, seas, bays, channels and straits.
Grand South America: Prinsendam departs Jan. 2 on a 68-day South America and Antarctica cruise round-trip from Fort Lauderdale. During the voyage, the ship will circumnavigate South America and spend seven days exploring the Amazon River. On the other end of the continent, Prinsendam spends three days cruising Antarctica, a rare journey for most travelers. On this Grand Voyage, the ship will visit 32 ports of call in 14 countries, including an impressive total of 13 different ports in Brazil.
Grand Mediterranean: For guests who always have wanted to explore Europe without flying, Prinsendam departs Fort Lauderdale March 11 for a 50-day round-trip cruise to the Mediterranean and Black Sea. After calls at Caribbean ports, the ship sails eastbound across the Atlantic where 25 centuries of history, art and culture await. After a European encounter, the ship sails westward back across the Atlantic, calling at Bermuda before the cruise ends in either New York or Fort Lauderdale.
Grand Australia & New Zealand: Guests begin their 67-day voyage aboard Amsterdam Sept. 26 from Seattle, Wash., and sail westward toward the South Pacific. After visiting island jewels throughout the tropical region, Amsterdam continues on to Cairns, Australia, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Then, following three full days in bustling Sydney, the 1,380-passenger ship heads to New Zealand. Amsterdam returns to Los Angeles via Hawaii Dec. 2.
On the Grand Voyages, local fare is often featured on the menu and theme nights reflecting the sailing region ensure that guests are immersed in the different cultures on each itinerary. For guests who want to brush up on the history and background of their sailing destinations, Holland America Line sends out a list of suggested reading materials prior to Grand Voyage departures. Additional highlights on the Grand Voyages include special themed balls such as the “Sweethearts Ball” on Valentine’s Day and “Green and White Ball” on St. Patrick’s Day, pillow gifts on each segment and an exclusive shore-side event including a grand dinner in a select port of call.
While on board, guests also will enjoy Holland America’s award-winning style of service. Culinary staff and guest chefs will lead cooking classes and demonstrations in the onboard Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine, and, as part of the Explorations Speaker Series, special guest lecturers will sail on segments of the Grand Voyages to offer unique and enriching perspectives on regional art, history and culture. The Explorations Cafe–powered by the New York Times–enables guests to stay connected to loved ones. To rest up for the next day, guests are assured a good night’s sleep with the Mariner’s Dream stateroom amenities, including luxurious beds and linens.
When in port, guests can choose from a multitude of diverse shore excursions including the exclusive Medallion Collection featuring Overland Adventures; Signature Collection private-car touring; visits to natural, architectural and technical masterpieces from the Wonders of the World Collection; and rare and unusual experiences with the Encore Collection excursions. For a 2009 Grand Voyages cruise brochure or for more information, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-800-522-3399 or visit www.hollandamerica.com.