Holland America Line restarted operations in July 2021. Since then, the Seattle-based cruise line’s ships have been regularly back in service.
Eurodam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Noordam, Oosterdam, Rotterdam, Zaandam, and Zuiderdam resumed service with cruises to Alaska, the Caribbean, Europe, Mexico, the California coast and the South Pacific. Volendam is assigned on a special mission to the Netherlands.
June 12, Westerdam becomes the last Holland America Line cruise ship to welcome guests again. It has been more than two years since the last guests disembarked from the Vista-class cruise ship.
First Westerdam guest to sail in two years
Holland America Line’s fleet of eleven ships has been operational since June 12. Westerdam is sailing on her first cruise in over two years from Seattle, Washington. The last time guests disembarked from the cruise liner was February 19, 2020 in Sihanoukville, Cambodia.
The Vista-class cruise ship, which seats 1,964 passengers, is hosting a seven-night Alaskan Explorer cruise. From Seattle, she will call at Juneau, Hubbard Glacier, Sitka, Ketchikan and Victoria, British Columbia.
The trip is the first in a series of sixteen trips that Westerdam will do in Alaska, all with pretty much the same itinerary. The 82,500 gross ton cruise ship will transit to Australia after its season in Alaska.
This decision came as a bit of a surprise to many guests as Holland America canceled Westerdamthe eleven cruises of Asia, which were due to start in September of this year. Asian cruises on board Westerdam have been canceled due to uncertain entry requirements in many Asian countries.
New route for Westerdam
Holland America Line has designed an all-new route to Westerdam to replace those eleven trips. Sailing from Seattle on October 2, the ship will sail a 51-night Collector’s cruise of the South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand.
“Pent-up demand for cruises to Australia and New Zealand led us to the decision that it would be beneficial for Westerdam to sail these unique itineraries which include ports uncommon to us,” said Beth Bodensteiner, commercial director of Holland America Line.
Ports along the way include Honolulu, Hawaii, Western Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea; Sydney, Australia; and Wellington and the Bay of Islands, New Zealand, before returning to Sydney on November 23.
In January, Westerdam will finally make her return to Asia, as she will arrive in Singapore on January 19. Westerdam resumes full crossings in Asia in February 2023.
Holland America’s comeback is now complete
It has been a turbulent ten months since Eurodam became the first Holland America ship to return to service on August 15, 2021.
Since then, the cruise line has followed a slow but steady mantra of adding a ship at the rate of one per month. Including the company’s newest cruise ship, MS Rotterdamwhich debuted on October 20, 2021.
A ship is not yet sailing with guests. Volendam was chartered by the Dutch government earlier this year to give refugees from Ukraine a place to sleep. This agreement has since been extendedthe first cruise with fare-paying passengers is not expected to take place until September 24.
Other Carnival cruise brands have already fully resumed service, including Carnival Cruise Line, Costa Cruises and Seabourn.