Bermuda continues to regain popularity in the cruise industry. First Celebrity announced it would return to the island and now Holland America Line announced it will more than double its previously announced Bermuda cruises in 2010 from 11 to 24 beginning on April 25, 2010. Sailing roundtrip from New York aboard ms Veendam, the cruises will visit both Hamilton and St. George’s, Bermuda’s cultural and shopping hubs.
When the 1,350-guest ms Veendam sails in April on the first of 24 seven-day roundtrips to the island, it will mark Holland America Line’s return to New York City as a home port and to Bermuda as a destination. The itinerary calls for approximately two and half days each in Hamilton and St. George's. The season lasts until October 10, 2010.
Holland America Line worked closely with the Bermudian government to form the partnership that takes Holland America Line back to the island that it first visited more than 70 years ago. In 1926, Veendam II, with a guest capacity of approximately 500, left New York on the company’s first Caribbean cruise. During the summers of 1930 and 1931, Veendam II sailed on five-day roundtrip cruises between New York and Bermuda.
Founded in 1609, the town of St. George’s in the northeast area of Bermuda is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the second oldest settlement in North America. Only Jamestown in the U.S. is older. Narrow, twisting streets and pastel-painted houses create a European feel. The oldest Anglican Church in North America is in St. George’s and many other historic buildings, most made of stone, have been preserved. More than a dozen forts dating to the 17th century are scattered in the hills surrounding the town.
Hamilton, the major commercial hub and seat of government, is in the geographic center of the island and is close to south shore beaches. Veendam will dock at the town’s front door just steps from Front Street and its colorful array of shops and restaurants. Hamilton is home to a massive 19th-century, neo-Gothic cathedral and the Georgian-style Sessions House dating to 1815.