Holland America Increases Sea of Cortez Sailings

Newspapers

SEATTLE, Dec. 27 — Holland America Line highlights Mexico’s Sea of Cortez in 2008 by increasing to 15 the number of 10-day cruises it offers aboard the ms Ryndam through this spectacular area — four more than in 2007. These cruises combine exceptional wildlife viewing and pristine natural beauty with the opportunity for shore excursions to such scenic treasures as Mexico’s famed Copper Canyon. The Ryndam also will sail three Mexican Riviera cruises of varying lengths in 2008, while the ms Oosterdam will continue its popular, seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises, sailing a total of 28 in 2008. Total, Holland America Line will offer 46 Mexico cruises sailing roundtrip from the convenient homeport of San Diego in 2008.

“We provide our guests with an incomparable Mexico cruise experience,” said Richard D, Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “Whether guests choose sailing the Mexican Riviera with its exciting ports or 10 days exploring the Sea of Cortez and Baja California, they will enjoy an enriching vacation filled with new experiences and discoveries. Holland America Line offers an extraordinary number of shore excursions, sporting adventures and eco-tours so that guests can truly experience Mexico.” Meadows also notes that the San Diego departure pier is just minutes from the city’s airport and close to the downtown shopping and old town areas, allowing guests to explore the city on embarkation day or chose one of Holland America Line’s pre- or post-cruise hotel options.

10-day Sea of Cortez Cruises

The 1,258-guest Ryndam features 10-day itineraries to the Sea of Cortez in both spring and fall 2008, when the best wildlife-watching opportunities occur. The ship sails eight cruises from February 5 to April 15 and seven cruises October 12 to December 11. Guests visit the ports of Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Topolobampo, Loreto, La Paz and Cabo San Lucas.

Holland America Line continues to be the only premium cruise line sailing the Sea of Cortez and the only line visiting Loreto and Topolobampo. Loreto features the historic San Javier Mission, founded in 1697 as Mexico’s first Jesuit mission, and Topolobampo offers an exclusive, full-day excursion to Mexico’s magnificent Copper Canyon. Only accessible by train, Copper Canyon’s scenic rail journey is considered by many to be one of the most spectacular in the world and climbs from the sea to 7,200 feet above sea level and includes lunch at the Posada Barrancas. Other intriguing shore excursions range from snorkeling at Los Islotes (home to a sea lion colony) near La Paz to sport-fishing for tuna, marlin and billfish in Cabo San Lucas.

Seven-day Mexican Riviera Sailings

In 2008 the 1,848-guest Oosterdam offers seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises departing Saturdays January 5 through April 19 and October 4 through December 27, including two holiday sailings. Guests have a full day in each port of call: Cabo San Lucas with its sea kayaking, whale-watching and snorkeling/diving opportunities; Mazatlan, famed for its beautiful beaches and resort flair; and Puerto Vallarta, where bustling markets and fine shops complement colonial charm. Guests also enjoy three relaxing days at sea when they can pamper themselves at the Oosterdam’s Greenhouse Spa and Salon and laze in the sun around the ship’s two outdoor swimming pools. The ship accommodates families well with its comprehensive Youth Program including Club HAL for kids ages 3 to 12 and The Loft, a teens-only lounge.

More Mexican Riviera Sailings

In addition, the Ryndam sails three Mexican Riviera cruises. The ship features a 12-day sailing April 25, 2008 from San Diego to Vancouver, BC, which calls at Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, La Paz and Cabo San Lucas before cruising up the West Coast.

On September 24, the Ryndam sails the reverse itinerary from Vancouver to San Diego on an 11-day Mexican Riviera cruise, calling at the same ports except La Paz.

The Ryndam then offers one seven-day day Mexican Riviera cruise on Oct. 5, 2008, which highlights Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas, before beginning its 10-day, fall Sea of Cortez sailings.

For the holidays, the Ryndam will sail a 14-day cruise Dec. 21, 2008 and visits Manzanillo, Acapulco, Santa Cruz (Huatulco), Puerto Chiapas, Zihuatanejo, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Loreto, and Cabo San Lucas.

For more information, consult a travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit www.hollandamerica.com.