Holland America Line is a distinguished line- it has enjoyed a notable record of traditional cruises, world exploration, and transatlantic crossings since 1873. Of particular interest to me, however, is Holland America’s focus on passenger comfort; they are classically designed, but relaxed enough to be popular with younger adults and families.
Holland America recently released information on their 2012 voyages, and among them are 44 unique itineraries and 103 departures. The cruises range from 7-35 and offer a wide variety of exotic locales: the line will deploy seven of its 15 ships — ms Eurodam, ms Maasdam, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Noordam, ms Prinsendam, ms Rotterdam and ms Ryndam — to cruise throughout Europe, from the northern tip of Norway to the Baltic and Black Sea, to the Mediterranean.
These longer voyages are an excellent choice for travelers who want to combine back to back itineraries, and explore art, history and culture. Here’s what Holland America has to say about their 2012 options:
Notable New Itineraries:
20-Day Portugal, Spain & Canary Islands
Departing April 16 on Ryndam, guests will sail from Rotterdam, Netherlands and end in Dover (London), England; visiting tropical ports in the Canary Islands where they can enjoy the warm climate and explore natural attractions such as Mount Teide, the third-largest volcano in the world. The itinerary also includes calls in Spain, Portugal and Morocco. Guests also have the option of sailing for 19-days and making their trip either roundtrip Rotterdam, Netherlands on April 16, or roundtrip Dover, England on April 17.
17-Day Spanish Rhapsody
Those seeking an itinerary with a Spanish flavor can embark on a 17-day sailing aboard the Rotterdam roundtrip from Rotterdam. The cruise departs May 2 and calls at Lisbon, Portugal; Cartagena, Valencia, Barcelona, Ibiza, Almeria and Cadiz (Seville), Spain; Gibraltar, and Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy.
7-Day Norwegian Fjords (Southern & Northern)
Cruisers looking to explore the glaciers and fjords of northern Europe can choose from two seven-day itineraries that sail roundtrip from Dover, Rotterdam or Amsterdam aboard Ryndam, Rotterdam or Eurodam. These shorter adventures offer a spectacular scenic tour and call at popular Norwegian ports from May through September. The 7-Day Southern Norwegian Fjords visits ports such as Oslo, Kristiansand and Stavanger. The 7-Day Northern Norwegian Fjords visits ports such as Bergen, Alesund and Geiranger.
14-Day Venetian Empire
Also new for 2012 is the 14-day “Venetian Empire” voyage aboard the Prinsendam. Guests depart Oct. 17 and sail roundtrip Civitavecchia to some of the most beautiful and untouched ports in the region. In addition to cruising past the still-active Stromboli volcano, the ship will call at Dubrovnik and Split, Croatia; Ravenna, Sorrento, Venice (overnight) and Gallipoli, Italy; Valleta and Mgarr (overnight), Malta, and Sousse, Tunisia.
Engaging Unique Experiences
Additional exciting Holland America Line Europe itineraries enable guests to be among the few to cross the Arctic Circle, transit Germany’s Kiel Canal or cruise the Gironde Estuary into Bordeaux. Other unusual itineraries include visiting the ancient pyramids of Giza, near Cairo, Egypt, along with the holy lands in Jerusalem and Nazareth. Those interested in taking a dip in the famous “Blue Lagoon,” Iceland’s unique geothermal seawater, can choose the Icelandic Adventure aboard Prinsendam, which includes an overnight stay at Reykjavik.