Rotterdam and Volendam will sail cruises from 14 to 90 days in 2014 and 2015
I have always considered Holland America to be one of the best values in cruising. The relatively small size of the line’s state-of-the-art ships make them feel much more like a luxury cruise experience than a regular cruise line. The ship staterooms are roomy and comfortable with big soft beds, large bathrooms and plenty of closet and storage space. Meanwhile, the small passenger load means more intimate dining rooms and smaller tour and lecture groups, for example. Best of all, the cruise prices are competitive with the lowest priced cruise lines in the business. You get a lot of value for your dollar with Holland America.
If your dream is to see the wonders of the Far East, I think Holland America offers some of the best values in the region, where beginning later this year, from the winter of 2014 to the spring of 2015, Holland America Line will have two ships. The 1,432-passenger Volendam will sail a series of 14- to 17-day cruises and non-repeating itineraries, while the 1,404-passenger Rotterdam will take an epic 90-day “Passage to the Far East” journey.
“As more travelers look to fulfill their dream of a vacation to far-off corners of the globe, the Far East remains popular due to its historical significance, wealth of sightseeing opportunities and mysterious allure,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs for Holland America Line. “From overland tours to the Bagan Temples to a chance to see the famed Komodo dragon, the length and diversity of our Asia cruises make them a truly unique experience.”
All of the cruises feature extended and even overnight stays at some of Asia’s most exotic ports of call. The longer visits provide travelers plenty of time to explore the region.
Shorter Itineraries on Volendam
- New 14-day Asian Adventure Voyages
New this year, Volendam will sail three 14-day “Asian Adventure” cruises roundtrip from Singapore. Departing Dec. 22, 2014, and Feb. 2 and March 16, 2015, the ship calls at ports in Malaysia, Thailand and Myanmar. Guests will enjoy an overnight stay at Singapore and Thilawa (Rangoon), Myanmar, as well as an extended port call at Port Kelang (Kuala Lumpur), Malaysia.
- 14-day Far East Discovery Voyages
The ship also sails a series of 14-day “Far East Discovery” cruises between Singapore and Hong Kong, China. Guests can embark Jan. 5 and 19, Feb. 16, March 2 or 30. The itinerary calls at Koh Samui, Thailand; Sihanoukville, Cambodia (with a late departure); several ports in Vietnam including late departures from Nha Trang and Halong Bay; and an overnight call at Laem Chabang (Bangkok), Thailand.
The Asia Adventure and Far East Discovery itineraries can be combined for a 28-day Collectors’ Voyage departing Dec. 22, 2014, and Feb. 2 and March 16, 2015.
Fares for the 14-day Asian Adventure and Far East Discovery cruises begin at $1,699, and the 28-day Collectors’ Voyages begin at $3,049, per person, double occupancy.
- 16-day Great Barrier Reef Voyage
Volendam sails three nonrepeating itineraries at the beginning and end of the season, starting Nov. 22, 2014, with a cruise from Sydney, Australia, to Singapore. The 16-day “Great Barrier Reef” voyage explores eastern Australia with calls at Hamilton Island and Port Douglas (Cairns), with an extensive Great Barrier Reef experience. Guests will witness a sunrise at Lizard Island, sunset at Piper Island and sail around the Ribbon Reef and Far North regions and through the Torres Strait. The ship says goodbye to Australia with a final call at Darwin before visiting Komodo Island, Bali and Java in Indonesia.
- 14-day China and Japan Voyage
In the spring, Volendam sails a 14-day “China and Japan” voyage departing Hong Kong April 13 and ending at Kobe, Japan. Along the way the ship calls at Shanghai and Xingang (Beijing), China, both overnight calls enabling guests to explore those bustling cities; Jeju (Cheju) and Pusan, South Korea; and Nagasaki, Japan.
- 17-day Trans-Pacific
Guests looking for an adventure can embark April 27 at Kobe for a 17-day trans-Pacific voyage to Vancouver, British Columbia. Following an overnight call at Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan, and calls at Hakodate and Kushiro, Japan, guests will enjoy leisurely days at sea crossing the Pacific Ocean to Canada. The ship visits Kodiak and Sitka, Alaska, with memorable scenic cruising along Alaska’s famous Inside Passage.
The 14-day China and Japan itinerary can be combined with the 17-day trans-Pacific cruise for a 31-day “China, Japan and North Pacific Crossing Collectors’ Voyage.”
Fares for the 16-day Great Barrier Reef cruise begin at $1,999, $1,759 for the 14-day China and Japan cruise, $1,999 for the 17-day trans-Pacific and $3,379 for the 31-day trans-Pacific crossing, all per person, double occupancy.
Rotterdam’s Iconic 90-day “Passage to the Far East”
Rotterdam starts off the new year with a 90-day “Passage to the Far East” voyage sailing roundtrip from Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Jan. 7, 2015. Optionally, guests can also board in Southampton, England, departing Jan. 8 for an 88-day voyage. The ship sails east with calls at Portugal, Morocco, Spain, Malta and Greece, before a daylight transit of the Suez Canal. Following relaxing sea days, the ship stops at Muscat, Oman, and Dubai, U.A.E., before reaching India. After several calls in that country, the ship makes way to Thilawa (Rangoon) for an overnight visit.
The Far East is extensively explored with calls throughout Singapore, Jakarta, Indonesia and Malaysia before sailing back to Sri Lanka, India, Oman, Jordan and Egypt. During the voyage, guests can take advantage of extra time in port with overnight calls at Port Klang, Malaysia; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Mumbai (Bombay), India; Bali and Singapore. Following a transit through the Suez Canal, the ship explores Italy and Spain before returning to Southampton and Rotterdam.
Segments ranging from 34 to 55 days are available between Rotterdam, Southampton and Singapore.
Cruise fares for the complete 90-day cruise start at $10,999, $10,899 for the 88-day journey, $7,199 for the 55-day passage and $4,399 for the 34-day segment. Additional segments are available.
For more information about Holland America Line, consult a professional travel seller, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit www.hollandamerica.com.