Holland America Line has announced the lineup for its 2015 - 2016 Caribbean season, with eight ships sailing itineraries of up to 21 days on roundtrip cruises from Fort Lauderdale and Tampa.
Seven of the line's premium ships will sail roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, while Veendam will return to the Caribbean in January 2016 to sail roundtrip from Tampa.
From October 2015 through April 2016, Eurodam, Maasdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Oosterdam, Veendam, Westerdam, Prinsendam and Zuiderdam sail a total of 98 seven-, 10-, 11-, 12- and 14-day cruises that can be combined into longer Collectors’ Voyages ranging from 14 to 21 days. The itineraries span the Caribbean on eastern, western and southern routes, as well as a partial transit of the Panama Canal.
All Fort Lauderdale include feature a call at Half Moon Cay, the line’s private Bahamian island.
Roundtrip Fort Lauderdale Itineraries
During the season, Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam will sail a series of seven-day eastern and western Caribbean itineraries that can be combined to form 14-day Collectors’ Voyages spanning both regions. Westerdam maintains a weekly schedule of seven-day eastern Caribbean cruises, while Maasdam sails seven- and 10-day eastern routes, as well as longer 11-day southern itineraries. Oosterdam also offers 10- and 11-day southern Caribbean cruises for guests looking for a longer vacation.
The Nieuw Amsterdam will also sail a new seven-day Tropical Caribbean itinerary in 2016 that calls on maiden port Amber Cove, Carnival Corporation’s new $85 million cruise center in the Dominican Republic. Located near the historic town of Puerto Plata, Amber Cover will provide access to a purpose-built facility with a welcome center, craft marketplace, eateries, a swimming pool and transportation hub for access to inland shore tours for a wide variety of interests.
In addition to the 14-day Collectors’ Voyages, other itineraries can be combined to form a range of options, including a 21-day southern cruise on Oosterdam, a 21-day southern and eastern option on Maasdam and a 17-day nonrepeating double-eastern route, also on Maasdam.
Partial Panama Canal Transits
Guests looking to explore the Panama Canal without going through to the West Coast can embark on a roundtrip Fort Lauderdale partial transit aboard Zuiderdam. The ship makes its way to Gatún Lake and spends the day on scenic cruising. During the 10- and 11-day departures the ship also visits several Caribbean ports.
Zuiderdam recently underwent an extensive drydock to add 25 new staterooms and enhance several public areas — including the dining room, Neptune Lounge, Canaletto restaurant, The Greenhouse Spa and Salon, and the Dive-In outdoor grill serving signature burgers — with new furniture, signage, carpet and design updates.
Roundtrip Tampa Itineraries
Beginning in January 2016, Veendam spends the Caribbean season cruising roundtrip from Tampa on seven-day western and 12- and 14-day southern itineraries. The seven- and 14-day options can be combined to form a 21-day western/southern Caribbean Collectors’ Voyage.
A total of 13 holiday sailings will be available for the 2015 - 2016 season, ranging from seven to 16 days. Several non-repeating itineraries can be combined to form 14- or 21-day Holiday Collectors’ Voyages. Prinsendam also offers a 16-day southern Caribbean cruise, departing December 19, 2015, sailing during both Christmas and New Year’s Day.
During the holiday cruises, guests can take part in a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, enjoy traditional holiday meals with all of the trimmings and indulge in a special Royal Dutch High Tea with holiday cookies and pastries. The ships’ international crew chorus performs a holiday show, while caroling and sing-alongs take place around the ship. Kids will delight in a visit from Santa Claus and holiday-themed crafts.
The New Year’s Eve sailings offer a festive holiday ball with a Champagne toast.
Caribbean Cultural Experiences
On each cruise, regional cultural experiences are brought onboard, such as the Island Magic Steel Drum Band, learning to weave and craft with palm leaves and local rum tastings as part of Holland America Line’s On Location program.