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Five Holland America Line Ships Set to Explore Europe from Greenland to Greece in 2021 - just released

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This news release just came out today (Sept. 10, 2020) - hopefully good news for future cruises:

 

SEATTLE, Sept. 10, 2020 /CNW/ -- From Greenland to Greece and Iceland to Israel, five Holland America Line ships are set to explore the cultural kaleidoscope of Europe in 2021. The brand's collection of vessels crossing the pond includes Rotterdam, which is slated to debut at the height of the summer Europe season. Joining the fleet's new flagship will be Nieuw Statendam, Westerdam and Zuiderdam, putting two Pinnacle Class ships in the region. Zaandam heads to Europe on the popular "Voyage of the Vikings" itinerary in July.

 
From April through November, the five ships will offer itineraries ranging from seven to 35 days, as well as longer Collectors' Voyages up to 29 days. In addition to transatlantic crossings between Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Europe, the ships will visit the Baltic, British Isles, French and Spanish rivieras, Iberian Peninsula, Mediterranean and Northern Europe including Greenland, Iceland, Norway and the North Cape.

"Our guests miss cruising as much as we do, and as we move closer to getting back to doing what we do best, we want everyone to feel confident in planning their European travel with us for next summer," said Gus Antorcha, Holland America Line's president. "At Holland America Line, we are a community of passionate globetrotters. For anyone looking to go to Europe next summer and really connect with a variety of cultures, Holland America Line has put together the most diverse collection of itineraries that embraces the entire region."

Departure options include Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Athens (Piraeus), Greece; Barcelona, Spain; and Civitavecchia (Rome) and Venice, Italy. The "Voyage of the Vikings" cruise sails roundtrip from Boston, Massachusetts, with a segment departure from Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

To give guests more in-depth experiences in some of Europe's most popular cities, select cruises feature overnight calls at Istanbul, Turkey; Reykjavik, Iceland; Piraeus (Athens) and Rhodes, Greece; Rotterdam, the Netherlands; St. Petersburg, Russia; Valletta, Malta; and Venice, Italy.

Many of the cruises can be extended into Collectors' Voyages ranging from 14 to 29 days, offering the ultimate European exploration. These artfully crafted longer journeys combine nonrepeating, back-to-back itineraries, enabling guests to visit more ports and spend extra time discovering centuries of art, history and culture.

Rotterdam spends maiden season in Northern Europe
Rotterdam sails a seven-day Premiere Voyage from Venice to Rome on Aug. 1, 2021, and then moves into a season of Northern Europe cruises roundtrip from Amsterdam. Through October, the ship will offer three seven-day itineraries to Norway, one 14-day Baltic cruise and one 14-day Norway, Iceland and British Isles sojourn. A transatlantic crossing completes the ship's inaugural Europe season with a 14-day voyage from Amsterdam to Fort Lauderdale.

Nieuw Statendam cruises to Northern Europe and the Mediterranean
In addition to Rotterdam, Nieuw Statendam heads to Northern Europe in 2021. The ship will feature seven-day itineraries roundtrip from Amsterdam through August, along with a 14-day Voyage of the Midnight Sun cruise — placing two Pinnacle-Class ships in Northern Europe at the same time. In addition to Norway, Nieuw Statendam will sail to the Baltic and Northern Isles including Ireland, the U.K. and Iceland on 14-day itineraries.

 

Following its time in Northern Europe, Nieuw Statendam will move to the Mediterranean and cruise roundtrip from Civitavecchia (Rome) on 10-day itineraries to the western part of the region. The ship also offers singular seven-, nine- and 12-day cruises in the Med.

'Voyage of the Vikings' sets sail on Zaandam
The popular "Voyage of the Vikings" that traces the route of ancient explorers returns in 2021. The 35-day journey, departing July 17, cruises roundtrip from Boston on Zaandam. The epic itinerary calls at ports in the U.S., Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland and Ireland, making it easy to visit Europe without international air travel. Two shorter segments from Boston to Rotterdam (16 days) or from Rotterdam to Boston (19 days) are available.

Two ships offer full Mediterranean seasons in 2021
Holland America Line is placing two ships in the Mediterranean full-time for the season. The 2021 program will be anchored by Westerdam and Zuiderdam sailing a combination of longer 11- and 12-day cruises from Civitavecchia, Venice, Barcelona and Athens. The ships will visit popular ports like Istanbul; Mykonos, Greece; and Monte Carlo, Monaco; along with bucket-list jewels like Koper, Slovenia; Limassol, Cyprus; and Rijeka, Croatia.

Many of the itineraries have an overnight in Venice or Athens at the beginning or end of the cruise so guests have more time to experience all those cities have to offer.

From April through October, Westerdam offers an extensive season of 12-day Mediterranean cruises roundtrip from Venice or between Venice and Athens or Barcelona. Two seven-day itineraries with Saturday departures in July offer weeklong Greece and Turkey adventures, while a 12-day "Holy Land and Ancient Kingdoms" itinerary roundtrip from Venice in May charts a course for Haifa (Tel Aviv) and Ashdod (Jerusalem), Israel.

Zuiderdam's full Mediterranean season also includes cruises roundtrip from Venice or between Venice and Athens or Barcelona. The ship explores the Adriatic Sea, eastern and western Med, and Greek Isles on 12-day itineraries.

Edited by DaveOKC

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We're starting to see all the different cruise lines offer strong standing that if airlines, trains and other mass transits can move through the country or the world, why not cruise lines. The sanitation changes with all travel entities have shifted the ability to move forward!

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Aside from recent itinerary changes for Nieuw Statendam and Rotterdam, this Europe season has been published and bookable as far back as last November/December. I think this press release was more to clarify the changes and promote that HAL is still selling cruises to Europe.  2021 is actually at a net loss of 2 vessels compared to what was originally planned. 

Edited by AtlantaCruiser72

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1 hour ago, AtlantaCruiser72 said:

Aside from recent itinerary changes for Nieuw Statendam and Rotterdam, this Europe season has been published and bookable as far back as last November/December. I think this press release was more to clarify the changes and promote that HAL is still selling cruises to Europe.  2021 is actually at a net loss of 2 vessels compared to what was originally planned. 

The drop in prices for the Westerdam April 5 sailing to Venice and the May 2 sailing RT Venice is the best I've seen in a long time, and I'm not talking about bookings made with a HAL PCC, but rather with an independent brick and mortar travel agency (not big box).  On top of that, the "goodies" offered along with the reprice had me scrambling for a calculator.  

 

When I booked these two cruises last spring, I saved 13% from the HAL PCC quote, and now I have saved 32% from the original bookings.  Now I'm patiently waiting for a vaccine and the attendant advice from HAL.....

 

 

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I changed my 2021/22 cruise plans around because I got an unbelievably good rate with the HIA promo (which has value to me) on the 10/19 Sailing of Nieuw Statendam that was far lower than when I had looked several months ago.

 

I am optimistic that 13 months from now we will be permitted to travel to Italy/Greece and that HAL will be sailing!!!!!

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Here's to hoping that all ports & countries will be open and we finally get a grip on this virus. Hope we can cruise without masks & social distancing. 

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Well I'm encouraged that they hope to be sailing - I am booked on one of the Venice to Greece itineraries but I wish they would have put something in that press release about any changes that will be on the ships - surely there will be some! and esp. will we be able to DIY once at the ports!

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5 hours ago, suec12 said:

Well I'm encouraged that they hope to be sailing - I am booked on one of the Venice to Greece itineraries but I wish they would have put something in that press release about any changes that will be on the ships - surely there will be some! and esp. will we be able to DIY once at the ports!


To say what life will potentially be like on a cruise ship 6+ months from now is like predicting the winner of the 2076 Super Bowl.  Any statement made will be outdated within a week, let alone several months from now.  I would not look for a definitive answer Regarding restrictions/protocols until about 2-3 weeks prior to departure (if even that early).  I know this is an unpopular viewpoint on this board, but we are all going to have to be flexible with our mindset and be willing to accept LOTS of restrictions if we want to cruise within the next 12-24 months. Part of that may be (temporarily) giving up the ability to explore ports independent of ship sponsored tours. 

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11 hours ago, AtlantaCruiser72 said:


 I know this is an unpopular viewpoint on this board, but we are all going to have to be flexible with our mindset and be willing to accept LOTS of restrictions if we want to cruise within the next 12-24 months. Part of that may be (temporarily) giving up the ability to explore ports independent of ship sponsored tours. 

 

If a cruise line is not going to advise what the restrictions might be at the time of final payment, then I think they should offer a refund when they do advise, IF those conditions are restrictive -- such as not being able to leave the ship without being on a ship-sponsored tour.

 

I have a BTB Med cruise scheduled in September 2022 (moved from October 2021). If I get the sense that I cannot explore independently by the time final payment is due, I will just cancel and will come up with my own land-based itinerary instead....

 

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There will be less of a presence In Eastern Canada and Alaska.

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2 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

If a cruise line is not going to advise what the restrictions might be at the time of final payment, then I think they should offer a refund when they do advise, IF those conditions are restrictive -- such as not being able to leave the ship without being on a ship-sponsored tour.

 

I have a BTB Med cruise scheduled in September 2022 (moved from October 2021). If I get the sense that I cannot explore independently by the time final payment is due, I will just cancel and will come up with my own land-based itinerary instead....

I am of the same mindset and, furthermore, I often prefer the freedom that land based visits offer in terms of cultural and historical immersion. Cruise port visits, by virtue of time spent in each port of call, simply cannot offer in-depth exposure/exploration of an area (think Rome, Florence, Athens, Saint Petersburg, etc). I enjoy cruise visits because, to me, they offer an excellent introduction to a city. I visit via land for a more in-depth experience. 

We have a cruise scheduled for the latter part of 2021 and, assuming that it is safe/prudent to cruise at that time (doubtful), I will want to know what restrictions will be in place regarding excursions. The inability to DIY in our ports of call is a deal breaker for us - we will simply cancel the cruise. 

Edited by dogs4fun

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1 hour ago, Himself said:

There will be less of a presence In Eastern Canada and Alaska.

 

Eastern Canada is down 1 vessel due to sale of Amsterdam - so a 50% reduction.

 

Alaska so far remains mostly unchanged with 6 ships in the region (down from 7 due to sale of Maasdam) - Eurodam/Oosterdam r/t Seattle, Konigsdam/Volendam r/t Vancouver and Nieuw Amsterdam/Noordam on the N/S Vancover/Whittier sailings.  The 14 day Alaska will not operate in 2021.  This of course could change.

 

The biggest region affected by the sale of the 4 ships and delay of Rotterdam VII (nee Ryndam) was Europe with a net loss of 2 ships (Veendam and Rotterdam VI ) and a slip in delivery of the new Rotterdam VII by several months.

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3 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

If a cruise line is not going to advise what the restrictions might be at the time of final payment, then I think they should offer a refund when they do advise, IF those conditions are restrictive -- such as not being able to leave the ship without being on a ship-sponsored tour.

 

I have a BTB Med cruise scheduled in September 2022 (moved from October 2021). If I get the sense that I cannot explore independently by the time final payment is due, I will just cancel and will come up with my own land-based itinerary instead....

 

 

The issue is that they may not know what restrictions will be in place at time of final payment, and they could change prior to embarkation, or even once on a vessel.  Any restrictions in place regarding going ashore independently can and will change over time.  While initially we may be required to book cruise line excursions to go ashore, that requirement will not be permanent, but right now no one can say exactly how long that will be in place.  It could be a month, 3 months, a year, 2 years, or longer and could vary by port or sailing region ..... It will all be based on worldwide suppression of the virus and development of effective/safe/broadly available vaccines and therapeutic treatments.

 

Anyone with a cruise planned between now and end of 2022 needs to be VERY flexible in their mindset and know that, for now, we many have to give up certain freedoms/preferences if we wish to cruise.

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26 minutes ago, AtlantaCruiser72 said:

 

Eastern Canada is down 1 vessel due to sale of Amsterdam - so a 50% reduction.

 

Alaska so far remains mostly unchanged with 6 ships in the region (down from 7 due to sale of Maasdam) - Eurodam/Oosterdam r/t Seattle, Konigsdam/Volendam r/t Vancouver and Nieuw Amsterdam/Noordam on the N/S Vancover/Whittier sailings.  The 14 day Alaska will not operate in 2021.  This of course could change.

 

The biggest region affected by the sale of the 4 ships and delay of Rotterdam VII (nee Ryndam) was Europe with a net loss of 2 ships (Veendam and Rotterdam VI ) and a slip in delivery of the new Rotterdam VII by several months.

Thank you for the clarification.  I forgot the Noordam.

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35 minutes ago, AtlantaCruiser72 said:

Anyone with a cruise planned between now and end of 2022 needs to be VERY flexible in their mindset and know that, for now, we many have to give up certain freedoms/preferences if we wish to cruise.

 

I am not so flexible that I would buy a pig in a poke. But then cruising isn't the be-all and end-all to me when it comes to travel.  :classic_wink:

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1 hour ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

I am not so flexible that I would buy a pig in a poke. But then cruising isn't the be-all and end-all to me when it comes to travel.  :classic_wink:

I agree. We have always had to be flexible, ports in the past have been missed or changed for a number of reasons but some fundamental rules or policies (I would put ship excursions in that category) need to be decided and disclosures prior to me committing my $$$$.  If the cruise line is unable or unwilling to do that, I will spend those dollars in another manner.

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