SEATTLE, March 3 – Holland America Line will feature a selection of nine unique voyages to the Asia Pacific region in 2009. For the first time next fall, ms Volendam will sail to destinations throughout the Pacific, calling at exotic locales in China, Southeast Asia, Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam and Russia. A convenient new round-trip Hong Kong itinerary is offered and for guests looking to add to their port repertoire, the 2009 Asia Pacific voyages also include four maiden ports of call: Puerto Princesa, Philippines; Otaru, Japan; Sanya, Hainan, China; and Keelung (Taipei), Taiwan.
The enticing itineraries offer a comprehensive exploration of over a dozen of the most popular Pacific Rim nations on cruises from 14- to 19-days that were designed to enable guests to combine cruises for a truly unique and extended experience of up to 66 days. The Explorations Speaker Series provides further opportunities for guests to immerse themselves in the region with lectures focused on select ports of call.
“Asia Pacific is a must-do for experienced travelers, and Holland America Line continues to raise the bar on the premium cruise experience with our exceptional itineraries and engaging ports of call not found with other lines,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs for Holland America Line. “We strive to offer our guests innovative and exciting destinations and onboard activities that bring them back year after year for new adventures.”
First round-trip Hong Kong sailing for Holland America Line: For guests wanting a new adventure, Holland America Line offers a round-trip Hong Kong itinerary for the first time. The 14-day journey departs Oct. 26, 2009, and explores the ancient wonders and mysteries of China and Vietnam. Guests enjoy an overnight stay in Shanghai where shopping abounds and a visit to the tranquil Yuyuan Gardens awaits. A maiden call at Sanya, Hainan, a popular resort area in China, enhances the alluring itinerary.
New Southeast Asia itinerary features maiden port of call: From Singapore to Hong Kong, Volendam is set to explore Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines, offering two itineraries — a 14-day cruise starting April 4, 2009 and a 12-day cruise starting Nov. 7, 2009. Highlights of the new 14-day itinerary include a maiden call at Puerto Princesa in the Philippines, famous for its crocodile farms, underground rivers and dive spots. Named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park features a spectacular limestone karst landscape. An overnight stay in Laem Chabang (Bangkok), Thailand, allows guests plenty of extra time for shopping and exploring the city’s amazing pagodas and temples.
Great Wall of China, Forbidden City explored on 14- and 16-day voyage: On Volendam’s 14- and 16-day China, Japan and Korea cruise, there’s plenty of time to explore the palaces and tombs that dot the ancient lands, take in the tranquility of the temples and gardens and sample the unique flavors of Asian cuisine. The itinerary offers two overnight stays in China to ensure that guests are able to explore the bustling city of Shanghai with an abundance of shopping and historical sightseeing opportunities, and Xingang (Beijing) with optional shore excursions to the Forbidden City, Ming Tombs and the Great Wall of China. Volendam departs on this 14-day itinerary on April 18, 2009 and 16-day itinerary on Oct. 10, 2009.
Adventurous voyage takes guests from ancient traditions to colossal glaciers: Guests wanting a cruise with amazing scenery and diverse ports need only join Volendam for its Japan, Eastern Russia and Alaska itinerary. On the cruises between Kobe (Osaka), Japan; and Vancouver, the ship will explore Petropavlovsk, known as Russia’s Far East – with it’s scores of volcanoes, as well as the scenic Kurill Islands off the coast of Russia and Alaska’s Aleutian Islands and Inside Passage.
An overnight stay in Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan, allows guests time to experience one of the world’s busiest cities and take in the Senso-ji and Kannon Temples. Guests on this voyage are in for a double treat: crossing the International Date Line and visiting the maiden port of Otaru, Japan. Otaru is located on Hokkaido Island and is one of Japan’s leading tourist destinations.
The 19-day cruise, which actually is 18 calendar days in length due to the crossing of the international dateline, departs May 2, 2009, and sails from Kobe (Osaka) to Vancouver. The 16-day cruise in the reverse direction departs Vancouver on Sept. 23, 2009, or guests can board the 15-day version sailing from Seattle on Sept. 24, 2009 and take the ship to Kobe (Osaka). This cruise gains one day by crossing the dateline, thus actually making the voyage 17 or 16 calendar days, respectively.
Exclusive 15- and 19-day itineraries explore Indonesian Islands and the Great Barrier Reef: Volendam’s two new Indonesian Islands and the Great Barrier Reef itineraries are firsts of their kind among major cruise lines in the region. Several interesting ports will be visited in Indonesia, including Komodo Island, part of the Komodo National Park — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — as well as Padang Bai, Bali, with an abundance of shopping opportunities, and Semarang, a bustling city teeming with ancient temples. Also on these exclusive cruises, guests enjoy four days cruising the Great Barrier Reef, including two days of daylight cruising through the world’s largest coral reef system. Scenic highlights in the reef include viewing the sunrise while anchored off Lizard Island, an overnight anchorage in the reef near Sherrard Island, cruising Torres Strait and taking in the sunset off Booby Island. The 19-day itinerary from Auckland to Singapore departs March 16, 2009, and the 15-day Singapore to Sydney cruise departs Nov. 21, 2009.
Holland America Line also features a further selection of nine adventurous voyages Down Under in 2009 with 14-day cruises and a special 16-day holiday sailing between Australia and New Zealand. For a 2009 Asia Pacific cruise brochure or for more information, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-800-426-0327 or visit www.hollandamerica.com