Lucky seven is the magic number for Holland America Line in summer 2013 when the line deploys seven ships to Europe and features seven maiden ports of call. The seven ships sailing on more than 53 unique European itineraries—ms Eurodam,ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Noordam, ms Prinsendam, ms Rotterdam, ms Ryndam and ms Veendam—will cruise throughout the region on 107 departures that span from the northern tip of Norway to the Black Sea and across the Mediterranean. Ranging from seven to 64 days, these cruises allow travelers the opportunity to explore a variety of destinations, from iconic ports of call as well as smaller, less-traveled and equally fascinating port cities.
"While the popularity of European cruising continues to grow, the region is opening new ports, which enables us to offer more maiden calls and exciting new itineraries," said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "Whether it's a shorter cruise or a longer Collectors' Voyage, Holland America Line is proud to offer comprehensive experiences around the world, and these new European itineraries are sure to entice any cruise enthusiast."
The 2013 Europe cruise season reflects Holland America Line's focus on destination diversity, timeless appeal and quality. Maiden port calls include Alanya, Turkey; Alcudia (Mallorca), Spain; Galway and Killybegs, Ireland; Hydra and Igoumenitsa, Greece; and Sassnitz, Germany. A total of 20 overnight stays at some of Europe's popular ports provide guests with more time to explore several of the world's most interesting destinations. Overnight calls include Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Barcelona, Spain; Bordeaux, France; Copenhagen, Denmark; Dublin, Ireland; Venice, Italy; Hamburg, Germany; St Petersburg, Russia; Istanbul, Turkey and more.
Notable New Itineraries
Ryndam's 7-day Turkish Explorer voyage sails round-trip from Piraeus (Athens), Greece, with calls that enable guests to experience the landmarks and highlights of Turkey and Greece, including an overnight stay in Istanbul, Turkey. The ship departs Sept. 7, 21 and Oct. 5.
The 7-day Homeric Quest voyage also aboard Ryndam sails round-trip from Piraeus (Athens) and is perfect for any Greece lover looking for an in-depth exploration of the country. Guests will experience five different Greek ports, as well as visit the ancient city of Ephesus in Turkey, which was once ruled by the Persians and Alexander the Great. The ship departs Sept. 14, 28 and Oct. 12.
Eurodam's 11-day Mediterranean Odyssey voyage sails round-trip from Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy, with an overnight stay at Piraeus (Athens). Guests can explore the best of Greece during port calls at Kerkira (Corfu), Katakolon (Olympia) and Santorini, Greece, as well as two calls at the Italian ports of Messina and Naples. The ship departs April 29.
The Noordam's 11-day Adriatic Explorer voyage sails between Civitavecchia (Rome) and Piraeus (Athens), and features a fascinating mixture of ports that were once home to the legendary Roman and Greek empires. With overnights in Venice and Piraeus (Athens), guests can take their time exploring these culturally rich cities. The ship departs April 25, May 28, August 4, Sept. 6 and October 9.
Also new for 2013 is the 11-day Ancient Mysteries voyage sailing between Piraeus (Athens) and Istanbul aboard ms Noordam. This itinerary offers a unique experience with a call at Port Said, Egypt, the gateway to Cairo. In Cairo, guests can visit the Giza Pyramids, the Sphinx or the renowned Egyptian Museum of Antiquities. During an overnight stay at Istanbul, guests can take time to explore the historic Turkish Bazaar, known for its exotic spices and other Turkish delights. The cruise departs May 6 and 17 and Aug. 15 and 26.
Prinsendam's 16-day Mediterranean Explorer itinerary sails from Barcelona to Piraeus (Athens). This cruise gives guests the opportunity to visit many intimate, unique ports such as Sete and Toulon, France; Brindisi, Italy; and Igoumenitsa and Hydra, Greece, while still experiencing popular ports like Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey; Kotor, Montenegro, and Rhodes, Greece. The ship departs Sept. 16.
Popular Itineraries Return
Other ships calling in Europe in 2013 include the line's newest vessel, Nieuw Amsterdam, and Veendam and Rotterdam. The 2,106-passenger Nieuw Amsterdam will sail a series of 7- to 12-day cruises throughout the Mediterranean, visiting some of the region's most popular ports, from Marseille (Provence), France, to Dubrovnik, Croatia. Rotterdam sails a series of 7- to 18-day voyages throughout Europe. Itineraries allow guests to explore the gems of the Baltic, experience the beauty of Norway's fjord-scalloped coastline and discover the Canary Islands. In July, Veendam sails a 35-day Voyage of the Vikings roundtrip from Boston, Mass., tracing the path of past explorers across the Atlantic to ports in Greenland, Iceland, Norway and the Faroe Islands.
For true explorers seeking an in-depth experience at an exceptional value, extended Collectors' Voyages ranging from 14 to 33 days offer the ultimate European cruise experience. These artfully crafted, longer cruises combine back-to-back itineraries, enabling guests to visit more ports and spend extra time exploring centuries of art, history and culture.
A highlight of the Mediterranean season comes spring 2013 when ms Prinsendam, the line's smallest and most intimate ship—just 835 guests, departs Fort Lauderdale, Florida on March 14, 2013 for its roundtrip 64-day Grand Mediterranean Voyage. Visiting 32 ports in 14 countries, the itinerary includes overnights in seven world-class ports including Funchal, Madeira; Istanbul, Turkey; Piraeus, Greece; Venice and Sorrento, Italy; and Barcelona, Spain. Seven shorter segments are also available ranging from 14-to 46-days.
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, cruise the Gironde Estuary into Bordeaux, France, or explore the world's third largest volcano with an overnight stay at Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Other exciting itineraries include visiting the ancient pyramids in 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.
For more information on Holland America Line's cruises, visit Holland America online.