In 2019, Holland America Line's Noordam is set to cruise a variety of itineraries in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific that showcase the region’s ports, locales and iconic sites. Maasdam also will explore the area on its longer EXC In-Depth Voyages, which include a 30-day Australia Circumnavigation.
Offering a premium, mid-sized ship experience, Noordam explores the islands of the South Pacific, Australia’s southern and eastern regions, and the North and South islands of New Zealand on a series of cruises that range from 10 to 26 days. Maasdam’s EXC In-Depth Voyages also touch the South Pacific and New Zealand on cruises from 11 to 30 days and reach the entire coast of Australia.
Many of the itineraries can be booked together to form longer, more in-depth Collectors’ Voyages of up to 51 days, which combine nonrepeating back-to-back cruises.
Noordam offers cruises roundtrip from Sydney, Australia, or between Sydney and Auckland, New Zealand. During the voyages, guests experience scenic cruising, including Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound. Shoreside, many of the tours include UNESCO World Heritage Site visits.
The ship kicks off the new year departing January 4 on a 10-day South Australia Discovery cruise roundtrip from Sydney, with a call in Tasmania and Kangaroo Island. Noordam’s 14-day Pacific Treasures cruise in January is also roundtrip Sydney but highlights more exotic and lesser-known tropical ports on the South Pacific islands of Vanuatu and New Caledonia, with four calls at each locale.
The 13- or 14-day Australia and New Zealand cruises between Auckland and Sydney run January through March 2019 and again in November and December, including a holiday cruise departing December 21. Those itineraries visit seven to 10 ports and include a day of scenic cruising in Fiordland National Park. Several departures also include scenic cruising in Milford Sound.
The 14-day New Zealand Discovery voyages departing in March and April sail roundtrip from Sydney and include nine calls in New Zealand. The cruise includes scenic cruising in Milford Sound and Fiordland National Park.
A Transpacific crossing between the Pacific region and North America is offered at the beginning and end of each season. Departing April 21, 2019, Noordam sets sail from Sydney to Vancouver, British Columbia, on a 22-day journey that calls at seven ports in New Caledonia, Fiji, American Samoa and Hawaii. The ship returns to Australia on a 26-day South Pacific Crossing from Vancouver to Sydney October 13, making calls in Hawaii, American Samoa, Fiji and New Caledonia.
Maasdam’s EXC In-Depth Voyages
Maasdam’s first 2019 cruise in the Australasia region departs in March to the South Pacific. The 17-day Pacific Odyssey itinerary from Brisbane, Australia, to Auckland, New Zealand explores several ports on the islands of New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and New Zealand. The ship then heads to North America on a 24-day Polynesian Crossing from Auckland to San Francisco, California, calling at Tonga, Niue, Cook Islands, Bora Bora, Moorea, Papeete, Rangiroa, Tuamotu, Marquesas and Nuku Hiva.
The ship returns to New Zealand in September 2019 for an 11-day cruise before embarking on a 30-day Australia Circumnavigation October 17. During this voyage, the ship will call at 14 Australian ports, Komodo Island and feature scenic cruising in the Great Barrier Reef, Ribbon Reef, Torres Strait and a sunrise at Lizard Island.
Maasdam then sails a 17-day Australia & Melanesia itinerary departing November 16 up the eastern coast of Australia to Alotau, Kiriwina, Kitava and the Conflict Islands. In December the ship offers a 20-day Pacific Islands Adventure cruise roundtrip from Sydney to New Zealand, Tonga, Niue, Fiji and New Caledonia. Departing December 23, the 14-day Southern Australia Holiday cruise offers Australian ports and can be combined with the 20-day Pacific Islands Adventure cruise to form a 34-day holiday adventure.
Book Back-to-Back Cruises with a Collectors’ Voyage
Ranging from 24 to 51 days, Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific Collectors’ Voyages combine back-to-back itineraries. During the Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific cruise season, Noordam sails six Collectors’ Voyages and Maasdam offers seven.
Throughout the voyages, EXC programming brings the traditions, culinary tastes and cultural experiences of Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific to life onboard. Through EXC Encounters, guests could learn how to play a didgeridoo or see a performance by a local dance troupe. Guests who want to learn more about the countries can attend an EXC Talk by an EXC Guide or head to America’s Test Kitchen for a cooking demonstration, cooking class or themed mixology class featuring local fare.
The EXC Team will provide further customized guidance for the port calls, and the in-stateroom EXC Channel will feature a selection of curated films, documentaries and TV shows exploring destinations on the ship’s itinerary.
EXC In-Depth Voyages Delve Deeper and Explore Farther
EXC In-Depth Voyages expand on EXC programming. Onboard enrichment is guided by a resident team of subject-matter experts — covering such topics as marine and bird life, geology, cultural anthropology and history — who sail on all EXC In-Depth cruises, complementing each cruise with talks and discussions of their own field experiences.
Each journey offers guests a variety of themes and choices to tailor their exploration: photography; science and nature; arts and culture; food, wine and spirits; history and perspective; and active exploration. Guests can focus on one area of interest or combine their passions through onboard and shore activities.
Maasdam carries Zodiac inflatable boats, the type popularized by oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, so guests can explore less-accessible sites and wildlife habitats in select ports as part of the ship’s EXC Tours program. A mix of onboard experts and local guides co-guide Zodiac outings.
For more information, visit hollandamerica.com.