SEATTLE, Wash. – In winter 2012 and spring 2013 two Holland America Line ships –– ms Oosterdam and ms Volendam –– will sail a series of Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific cruises, visiting more than 50 ports where guests can revel in the cosmopolitan attractions of Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland, and explore the exotic landscapes of Vanuatu and Fiji in the South Pacific.
The complete series of sailings ranges from 10- to 58-days and features for the first time one of the line’s larger Vista-class ships, ms Oosterdam. This addition represents almost a 25 percent capacity increase in the Australia/ South Pacific region for Holland America Line.
“Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands are among the top travel destinations in the world and we’ve developed our itineraries to showcase the best of what they offer from secluded ports to popular favorites,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs, for Holland America Line. “Holland America Line’s cruises highlight the region’s incredible wildlife on land and sea, including the legendary Outback, world-famous Great Barrier Reef and the opportunity of a lifetime to witness a solar eclipse while at sea.”
Guests can choose from a series of multiple departures ranging from 10- to 14-days sailing roundtrip from Sydney or one way to or from Auckland between October 2012 and March 2013. New Zealand itineraries give guests a chance to experience some of the most amazing scenic cruising in the world, including the beautiful and dramatic Fiordland National Park and Bay of Plenty known for its beaches. These itineraries also visit both the North and South Islands of New Zealand with calls at popular ports of Wellington, Napier and Tauranga.
Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific Voyages
Volendam and Oosterdam sail a total of five 14-day Australia and New Zealand cruises from Auckland to Sydney or reverse and feature port calls at Melbourne and Burnie, Australia; Milford Sound and Akaroa (Christchurch), New Zealand, and scenic cruising at Fiordland National Park.
Four 14-day New Zealand Discovery voyages sail roundtrip from Sydney on Oosterdam Oct. 24, Nov. 21 and Dec. 19, 2012 (holiday cruise) and Jan. 12, 2013. One 14-day Solar Eclipse voyage departs Nov. 7 and includes port calls at Brisbane, Hamilton Island and Townsville, Australia; Ile des Pins and Noumea, New Caledonia, and a total of six days in the Tasman and Coral Sea. Travelers on this voyage will have an opportunity to witness the rare natural phenomenon of a solar eclipse, which occurs Nov. 14, 2012.
Four additional sailings to Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific include the 10-, 11- and 13-day Pacific Treasures cruises roundtrip from Sydney and feature more exotic and lesser-known tropical ports in Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Fiji. Cruise fares begin at $1,299 per person.
Longer Unique Itineraries
Holland America Line offers several unique longer itineraries throughout the season, including Volendam’s 34-day Australia Circumnavigation. That voyage sails roundtrip from Sydney Oct. 21, 2012 and boasts 18 ports of call and scenic cruising in the remote Ribbon Reef and Far North Regions. Ports of call include Brisbane, Hamilton Island, Perth, Melbourne and Cairns, Australia; Hobart, Tasmania; Komodo Island, Indonesia; sunrise at Lizard Island and sunset at Booby Island to name a few. The trip also visits the Great Barrier Reef, one of the seven wonders of the natural world. Cruise fares begin at $5,499 per person.
The 1,380-passenger ms Amsterdam sails a 75-day Grand Asia and Australia Voyage, departing Seattle, Wash., Sept. 21, 2012. Ports of call during this extended voyage include Darwin, Brisbane and Sydney, Australia; Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; Waitangi (Bay of Islands) and Auckland, New Zealand; Lautoka, Fiji, and Apia, Samoa Islands. Guests on board will experience regionally inspired cuisine, gala balls and extraordinary entertainment as well as the treasured cruising tradition of crossing the equator before disembarking at San Diego, Calif. Cruise fares begin at $10,999 per person.
South Pacific and Trans-Pacific Itineraries
One-of-a-kind itineraries are also offered at the beginning and end of the season sailing westbound or eastbound from the US into the Pacific region. Oosterdam’s 22- or 23-day trans-Pacific Crossing departs Seattle, Wash., or Vancouver, B.C., for Sydney Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, 2012. Oosterdam returns on a 22- or 23-day South Pacific Crossing from Sydney to Seattle or Vancouver departing April 13, 2013.
These South Pacific repositioning cruises provide an excellent opportunity to visit several regions with iconic ports of call and more relaxing days at sea. Cruise fares for the South Pacific and trans-Pacific sailings begin at $2,399 per person.
Ranging from 25- to 58-days, Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific Collectors’ Voyages on Oosterdam and Volendam are perfect for true explorers who seek a more extensive cruise experience. These voyages combine two back-to-back itineraries and represent the best per-day value for guests. During the Australia cruise season Holland America Line sails a total of 11 Collectors’ Voyages, affording the most in-depth exploration of this diverse region with extended itineraries visiting multiple destinations and more days at sea. Cruise fares begin at $3,049 per person.
Extended Stays at Ports
Guests can maximize their cruise experience at select destinations on port calls that stay through the evening or overnight at Tauranga and Wellington, New Zealand; Darwin and Tasmania, Australia, and Suva, Fiji, where they can visit local villages and experience traditional performances of local songs and dances performed by friendly villagers, known as Meke.