One of our good friends and a Cruise Diva contributor took the "voyage of a lifetime" on Holland America Line's 2012 World Cruise aboard Amsterdam and she just told me they are doing it again next year! Wow, am I envisou? Of course, especially when she said the itinerary had changed and they would be visiting new ports when Holland America Line's Amsterdam kicks off the new year on Jan. 4, 2014 with a 113-day journey that calls at 38 ports across five continents. The Grand World Voyage is just one of four Grand Voyages featured by the line in 2014. Amsterdam and fleetmate Prinsendam will each sail two itineraries designed to discover and explore remarkable destinations on every traveler's list.
"Our Grand Voyages are dream cruises because they offer extensive explorations in all parts of the world," said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs for Holland America Line. "Africa is highlighted on two 2014 Grand Voyages, and there are numerous additional unique opportunities for our guests, both new and loyal repeaters, to be excited about."
Holland America Line's Grand Voyages make taking a longer vacation easier and more affordable. In addition, for those guests residing in the United States there is no need to fly internationally to board the ship if taking the full cruise except on the Grand Africa and Mediterranean Voyage. Whether visiting one or several global destinations, the voyages feature famous landmarks, new destinations and extended time in port with late departures, overnight calls and overland tours.
Each Grand Voyage also offers grand experiences on board. Guests can relax and unwind during leisurely days at sea, taking advantage of the extra time to indulge in a massage at the Greenhouse Spa, take in a lecture by a renowned expert, enjoy a cooking demonstration by a celebrated chef in the Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine, learn how to share photos at a class in the Digital Workshop powered by Windows®, or simply lounge on deck and watch the world sail by. Evening shipboard activities shine as well with local cultural entertainment. Festive gala balls and formal nights create memorable moments, along with an exclusive Captain's Grand Voyage Dinner for full-cruise guests. Dining is elevated on each Grand Voyage, with menus that change daily and are seldom repeated, featuring local ingredients and regional cuisine.
Grand World Voyage
Amsterdam departs Jan. 4 on its 2014 Grand World Voyage that sails roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Rather than taking a traditional course back through Europe, Amsterdam crosses the equator four times and sails a route that deeply explores the Southern Hemisphere. The ship begins the journey by sailing west with a daylight transit of the Panama Canal followed by two full overnights at Callao, Peru. After calling at beautiful islands in the South Pacific, Amsterdam continues along the east coast of Australia up to Micronesia, the Far East and Indian Ocean. Adding to the adventure, the ship then travels south to explore several ports in east, south and west Africa before crossing the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean en route back to South Florida.
Eight segments ranging in length from 20 to 86 days are available from departure ports along the route for guests who have less time to travel. The seven overnight calls included in the 2014 Grand World Voyage give guests an opportunity to visit Machu Picchu from Callao (Lima); snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef from Sydney, Australia; shop at the night market in Hong Kong, China; and go on a safari from Cape Town, South Africa. Additional overnight calls include Papeete, Tahiti; Victoria, Seychelles, and Singapore.
Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage
Prinsendam returns to South America, Antarctica and the Amazon in 2014 on a 68-day itinerary sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale Jan. 5. After passing through the Panama Canal, the ship will reach South America's Pacific coast and continue on to circumnavigate the continent.
During the voyage, Prinsendam will spend seven full days cruising the Amazon River and four days of scenic cruising in Antarctic, weather permitting. The 2014 itinerary also features overnight calls at Manaus, Brazil, in the Amazon; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Buenos Aires, Argentina, and two full nights at Callao (Lima). Segments of 32 and 36 days between Fort Lauderdale and Buenos Aires also are available.
Grand Africa & Mediterranean Voyage
Immediately following its Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage, Prinsendam departs on a 57-day Grand Africa and Mediterranean Voyage that sails from Fort Lauderdale to Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy. The ship visits the Caribbean before crossing over to Africa and making calls at Cape Verde, Gambia and Dakar. Following the Canary Islands, Prinsendam explores northern Africa, Spain, Italy, Montenegro, Croatia, Greece and Turkey. Calls in the Holy Land allow for a visit to the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, Israel, or the Giza Pyramids in Alexandria (Cairo), Egypt.An overnight call at Venice, Italy, allows ample time for shopping, exploring and a traditional gondola ride.
A 27-day segment from Fort Lauderdale to Barcelona, Spain, and a 30-day segment from Barcelona to Civitavecchia (Rome) are available. This voyage can be combined with the Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage for an extended 120-day cruise.
Grand Pacific & Far East Voyage
In fall 2014, Amsterdam will wrap up the year with a 78-day Grand Pacific and Far East Voyage sailing from Seattle, Washington, to San Diego, California. Departing Sept. 21, the ship takes a northerly route to Alaska before extensively exploring Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Jakarta, Bali and Indonesia. The voyage continues to Australia before circling back and visiting ports in the South Pacific and Hawaii en route to San Diego. This voyage includes eight overnight calls along the way at Tokyo, Japan; Incheon (Seoul), South Korea; Xingang (Beijing), Shanghai and Hong Kong, China; Singapore; Sydney, and Honolulu, Hawaii.
Reservations & More Info
Reservations are currently being taken for all of Holland America Line's 2014 Grand Voyages, and early-booking bonus amenities for full-cruise guests include prepaid hotel service charges, shipboard credit, luggage delivery service, and a complimentary shore excursion or event when booking select stateroom categories. Amenities vary by cruise, stateroom category, and booking date. For guests based in North America, book a Penthouse Suite or Deluxe Verandah Suite on the full Grand Africa and Mediterranean Voyage and receive complimentary domestic business class air with deluxe transfer or $1,000 per person additional cruise savings. This offer expires July 31, 2013.
While at port, guests can choose from a multitude of diverse shore excursions including Overland Adventures, off-the-beaten-track explorations, Signature Collection private-car touring and exclusive Medallion Collection excursions. For more information on the 2014 Grand Voyages, visit HollandAmerica.com.