Seattle, April 5, 2007 â€“ From the cosmopolitan, glittering cities of Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, Australia to the breathtaking sights and exciting adventures of the north and south islands of New Zealand, Holland America Cruise Lines offers diverse itineraries and more time spent exploring this vast and multi-cultural part of the world. Guests aboard the ms Statendam and the ms Volendam will spend time in Fiordland National Park, Milford Sound, Mercury Islands and Queen Charlotte Sound. They will also call at less-visited ports such as Burnie, Australia where they can enjoy outstanding views, see beautiful waterfalls, experience Rhododendron Gardens or perhaps, visit the Lactos Cheese Factory.
Holland America Linesâ€™ Australia and New Zealand itineraries also offer more time spent in New Zealand than other cruise lines. â€œWith more time spent in New Zealand, including calls at Napier and Picton, we offer one of the best itineraries in the industryâ€ said Richard D Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. â€œIn addition to the classic ports of Auckland and Sydney, we offer guests a chance to see more of the Australian continent with pre- or post-cruise options that can take guests to the Great Barrier Reef, Alice Springs and Ayers Rock, or both. With visits to marquee cities and unique ports, Holland America provides a more comprehensive cruise experience.â€
Cruise highlights include convenient 14-day sailings from Auckland to Sydney or vice versa, extensive explorations of both the northern and southern islands of New Zealand with six ports of call including Christchurch, Tauranga, Dunedin, Wellington, Picton and Napier. Extensive Australian explorations include Brisbane, Whitsunday Island, Cairns and Darwin.
Holland Americaâ€™s optional shore excursions spotlight distinctive activities to satisfy every sense of adventure. Guests can delve deeper into the countryside of New Zealand by swimming with dolphins in the Bay of Islands, kayaking in Queen Charlotte Sound, or taking a guided tour through the wine country in Auckland or visit Mount Cook National Park in the heart of New Zealandâ€™s Southern Alps. Guest can also spend more time in Sydney and Brisbane on shopping excursions, walking tours, a cruise along the Sydney Harbor or perhaps a visit to Bondi, the world famous surfing beach. Explorations of historic sites and botanical gardens, food and wine tours and beach excursions are just a few of the activities that allow guests to experience a tailor-made Australia and New Zealand vacation.
The itineraries also offer three relaxing days at sea, larger staterooms and verandahs, and more overall space than other premium cruise lines sailing to Australia and New Zealand. With more than $2 million worth of art and artifacts, the Statendam features a theme of Dutch life and exploration. The Van Gogh Theater is a work of art in itself. Themed to Dutch artist Vincent Van Goghâ€™s paintings â€œThe Starry Nightâ€ and â€œIrises,â€ the room features computerized fiber optic lighting as well as a state-of-the-art sound system. The Volendam has a beautiful garden theme including an artful floral motif throughout the shipâ€™s spacious public rooms and elegant staterooms (149 which have private verandahs). This beautiful ship accommodates 1,440 guests.
Both ships showcase the Culinary Arts Center, the Explorations Cafe, powered by The New York Times featuring the largest library at sea as well as comfortable music listening stations and Internet access, The Crows Nest where sweeping views make this observation lounge a top choice for relaxation. The Greenhouse Spa features thermal suites, a hydrotherapy and thalassotherapy pool, and the show lounges â€“ Statendamâ€™s Van Gogh and Volendamâ€™s Frans Hals – feature Las Vegas style productions, talented vocalists, illusionists, comedians and variety acts.
Australia/New Zealand 2007-2008 fares start at $1,849 per person, double occupancy for a 14-day cruise. For more information on Holland America Lineâ€™s itineraries in this extraordinary part of the world, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit www.hollandamerica.com.