Seattle, WA, October 17, 2006 â€œ In 1958 Holland America Line embarked on its first Grand World Voyage, circumnavigating the globe on the beloved ss Statendam IV. Fifty years later, in 2008, four Grand Voyages will commemorate the premium lines golden anniversary of worldwide cruising with two sailings each aboard the flagship ms Amsterdam and the intimate ms Prinsendam.
As the popularity of longer cruise voyages grows, Holland America Line is expanding its Grand Voyages program with four extensive itineraries in 2008 that boast a total of 320 days of cruising, 118 ports of call and 74 countries, and will sail more than 95,000 nautical miles. A 114-day true circumnavigation voyage aboard Amsterdam anchors the offerings.
Simultaneously, a 68-day Prinsendam sailing explores the continents of South America and Antarctica, followed by a 73-day journey to the exotic ports of Africa. The two Prinsendam cruises can be combined to create a 141-day adventure. On the fourth Grand Voyage offered in 2008, Amsterdam makes a 65-day fall sojourn to the Pacific Rim.
“A Grand World Voyage is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many travelers, and we have 50 years of experience in delivering the ultimate in global cruising,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, senior vice president, marketing and sales for Holland America Line. “Whether on the full voyage or one of our shorter segments, guests will experience a cruise specially designed to provide a lifetime of treasured memories.”
114-day Grand World Voyage sets sail on its golden anniversary
Commemorating 50 years since Holland America Lines first world cruise in 1958, 2008 marks the 44th year that a Grand World Voyage has been offered. By popular demand, the 1,380-guest, ms Amsterdam returns to world cruising Jan. 4, 2008, with a 114-day voyage featuring 39 ports in 29 countries on six continents. The itinerary comprises a true circumnavigation of the globe, cruising nearly 36,000 nautical miles round-trip from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., through the Panama Canal to the South Pacific, New Zealand, Far East, India, Arabia, Mediterranean, Black Sea and North Africa before crossing the Atlantic via Bermuda to return to North America.
Guests can choose to disembark in New York three days early on April 24 or return to Fort Lauderdale on April 27. Hundreds of optional shore excursions and an array of overland tours add color to this epic voyage, and several exciting cruise segments ranging from 16 to 58 days are available for those with less time.
In addition to classic port cities, Amsterdam visits unspoiled, lesser-known ports offering guests unsurpassed opportunities to explore the world. The itinerary features a maiden call at Phu My, Vietnam, plus eight new ports not previously visited on a Grand World Voyage including Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Fuerte Amador, Panama;Christchurch and Dunedin, New Zealand; Sochi, Russia; Sevastopol, Ukraine; Split, Croatia, and Tripoli, Libya.
The itinerary also includes overnight calls at Papeete, Tahiti; Sydney, Australia; Hong Kong, China; Singapore; Mumbai, India; Istanbul, Turkey, and Venice, Italy. Evening departures in Perth, Australia, as well as Safaga and Alexandria, Egypt, allow more time in port for guests to explore, shop and enjoy the nightlife.
Cruising highlights feature daylight passages through the Panama Canal, the 101-mile-long Suez Canal and the Bosporus Strait, plus scenic New Zealand cruising in Fiordland National Parks Dusky Sound, Doubtful Sound and Milford Sound â€œ a Grand World Voyage first. Guests will sail 20 different oceans, seas, bays, sounds or straits, and visit an average of one port every three days.
Majestic landscapes abound on the 68-day Grand South America and AntarcticaVoyage
On the first of two Grand Voyages, Holland America Lines most intimate ship, the 793-guest ms Prinsendam, will depart on a 68-day South America and Antarctica cruise, round-trip from Fort Lauderdale on Jan. 3, 2008. For guests desiring to experience all that South America has to offer, the voyage will visit every key region while circumnavigating the entire continent. Prinsendam will sail nearly 18,000 nautical miles, visiting 30 ports of call in 14 countries, with overnights in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Callao (Lima), Peru, and Manaus and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The itinerary includes six ports of call in Chile, nine ports in Brazil, and a special stop at Devils Island off the coast of French Guiana.
The voyage also includes seven full days cruising the Amazon River all the way to Manaus, the farthest upriver navigable point for ocean-going vessels, and explores Ushuaia, the southernmost town in the world. Sceniccruising features the infamous Darwin and Beagle channels, Chilean Fjords, Strait of Magellan and Cape Horn, with towering glaciers at every turn.
Prinsendam then heads still farther south to spend three days cruising Antarctica, including the majestic Neumayer Channel and Lemaire Channel, known as Å“Kodak GapÂ for its spectacular scenery. At the southern end of the channel, the ship sails past Petermann Island, where French explorer Dr. Jean-Baptiste Charcot and his crew wintered in 1909.
Before returning to Fort Lauderdale on March 11, guests will explore the Caribbean port of Barbados and the lesser-visited MayagÂ¼ez, Puerto Rico. For those with less time, shorter cruise segments between Fort Lauderdale, Callao (Lima) and Buenos Aires are available ranging from 12 to 56 days.
Breathtaking scenery and exotic wildlife await guests on the 73-day Grand Africa Voyage
Guests begin their 73-day voyage aboard ms Prinsendam March 11, 2008, from Fort Lauderdale, first visiting the unique Caribbean port of Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos Islands before crossing the Atlantic to the remote Madeira Islands. The ship continues on to the northwestern tip of Africa before setting a southerly course toward South Africa to visit Cape Town, Durban and Richards Bay. Then its on to Mombasa, Kenya, gateway to some of the worlds most beautiful beaches, awe-inspiring scenery and amazing wildlife. Prinsendams Africa adventure will cover more than 20,500 nautical miles, call at 28 ports in 18 countries, with overnight stays in Cape Town and three full days in Mombasa. Late night departures in Funchal, Madeira; Durban ; Victoria, Seychelles; Safaga, Egypt, and Malaga, Spain, allow ample time for shopping and exploration of some of the worlds most interesting ports. Highlights of the itinerary include a full day exploring Walvis Bay, Namibia, known for its huge natural lagoon and abundance of seabirds; two days in Cape Town with an optional African safari; a full day and late-night departure from Alexandria, Egypt, which offers plenty of time to discover the ambience, culture and heritage of the city known as the Å“Pearl of the Mediterranean.Â
This cruise also is offered in two segments: 33 days on the outbound from Fort Lauderdale to Cape Town disembarking Apr. 13, or embarking in Cape Town on the 40-day return. And for those with more time, the Grand Africa voyage also can be combined with the preceding Grand Circle South America and Antarctica for an epic 141-day adventure that transits both the Panama Canal and the Suez Canal sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale on Jan. 3, returning May 23, 2008.
Sail to ancient wonders and lands Down Under on the 65-day Grand Asia and Australia Voyage
On this 65-day Grand Voyage, ms Amsterdam explores three diverse regions for a definitive Pacific Rim experience where guests discover the cultures, ancient treasures and natural beauty of Asia, Australia and Polynesia. Departing from Seattle on Sept. 19, 2008, Amsterdam will cruise more than 21,200 nautical miles, visit 21 ports in 13 countries on three continents, from the remote islands of Russias eastern coast to Japan, China, Thailand and Bali, three ports in Australia and the enchanting Polynesian and Hawaiian Islands.
The itinerary features longer visits in key ports and overnight stays in Osaka, Japan; Shanghai and Hong Kong, China; Bangkok, Thailand, and Sydney, with scenic cruising in the remote Aleutian Islands and visits to lesser-known ports such as Hakodate and Miyako, Japan. Guests will have two full days to explore Hong Kong with its ampleshopping opportunities, along with visits to two Australian ports, before venturing to Fiji, Samoa, the Hawaiian Islands and disembarking back in North America at San Diego on November 23. Guests also may to opt to cruise on the first or second half of this cruise with a split point in Singapore on Oct. 22, either disembarking from the 32-day westbound journey or embarking on the 33-day return voyage.
The Holland America Line enhanced cruise experience
Holland America recently enhanced its fleet with the Signature of Excellence program. Upgrades on Amsterdam and Prinsendam include Mariners Dream stateroom amenities including luxurious beds and linens, the exclusive Neptune Lounge for suite guests, the reservations-only Pinnacle Grill dining experience and a Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine. The larger flagship Amsterdam also has the Explorations Caf â€ powered by the New York Times and an expanded Greenhouse Spa and Salon.
Culinary staff and guest chefs will lead cooking classes and demonstrations in the onboard Culinary Arts Center, and, as part of the Explorations Speaker Series, special guest lecturers will sail on segments of the four Grand Voyages to offer unique and enriching perspectives on regional art, history and culture. When in port, guests can choose from a multitude of diverse shore excursions including Overland Adventures, off-the-beaten-track explorations, Signature Collection private-car touring, and exclusive Medallion Collection excursions.
Golden anniversary Grand Voyage reservations can be booked now
Reservations are now available on all four Holland America Line 2008 Grand Voyages, and early-booking bonus amenities such as free airfare, prepaid gratuities, shipboard credit, packages, luggage shipment and limousine transfers are offered when booking select stateroom categories; amenities vary by cruise and booking date.
The four Grand Voyages are available to book for the full cruise or in segments as short as 16 days. Cruise fares are per person, double occupancy and rates start at $20,999 for Amsterdams 114-day Grand World Voyage departing Jan. 4, 2008; $13,199 for Prinsendams 68-day Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage departing Jan. 3, 2008; $14,749 for Prinsendams Grand Africa Voyage departing March 11, 2008; $26,599 for Prinsendams combined 141-day Grand South America, Antarctica and Africa Voyage departing Jan. 3, 2008; and $10,499 for Amsterdams 65-day Grand Asia and Australia Voyage departing Sept. 19, 2008.
For a 2008 Grand Voyages cruise brochure or for more information, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit www.hollandamerica.com.