SEATTLE, WA (September 4, 2008) – Holland America Line will once again sail on regularly scheduled cruises between New York City and Bermuda beginning in 2010. Holland America is the only major cruise line that calls on both Hamilton and St. George’s, Bermuda’s cultural and shopping hubs. Additionally, guests of Holland America Line will have an opportunity to fully experience Bermuda’s British charm and its unique island culture by day and by night with multi-day stays in each port.
When the 1,350-guest Veendam sails in late August 2010 on the first of 10 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.
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.
“We are thrilled to homeport a ship in New York City again and especially to be returning to Bermuda,” said Richard D. Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs, “and it’s particularly relevant to be doing so on a ship with the same name as the one that sailed to Bermuda so many years ago.
“Veendam is ideal for this itinerary,” Meadows noted. “She is a premium mid-size ship, the perfect size to navigate the narrow entrances to the harbors in Hamilton and St. George’s. Veendam’s guests are able to step off the ship right in the center of each town. Ships larger than Veendam must tie up at the Dockyard facility a considerable distance from both towns.
“With overnight stays in Hamilton and St. George’s, guests will truly have the time to explore Bermuda and gain an appreciation of its culture, its people and its history, as well as the time to relax on the island’s beaches, play a full round – or two – of golf on its world-renowned golf courses or partake of the many activities offered.”
The clean and friendly historic island, with its forts to discover, horses to ride, kayaks to paddle and oceans to explore, is an excellent destination for families. “Cruising to Bermuda with Holland America Line is also an outstanding value when compared to staying in land-based resorts,” Meadows noted.
“We are looking forward to our new relationship with Holland America Line,” said Bermuda’s Premier, the Hon. Dr. Ewart F. Brown, JP, MP. “When Veendam’s passengers disembark in Bermuda they will be treated as warmly as they are on board. We believe Bermudians are among the friendliest people in the world, and we can’t wait to extend that hospitality to Veendam in 2010 and 2011. Holland America Line is one of the world’s most-recognized and highly-regarded cruise brands, and we look forward to our partnership.”
In addition to the ten sailings between late August and October in 2010, Holland America Line will visit the island and its towns for a full season beginning in May the following year, with 20 or more sailings anticipated.
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 United States 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.