When Holland America Line's ms Statendam and ms Veendam sail to Mexico, Hawaiiand French Polynesia for the 2013-14 season, newly expanded itineraries will feature extended port stays, overnight calls and visits to some of the most picturesque locations in the world. With convenient roundtrip San Diego, Calif., departures, guests will be able to embark and disembark in the United States while traveling to exotic destinations that usually require an international flight.
The seven- and 12-day cruises to Mexico depart in November and December 2013 and March 2014, while the 17- to 35-day Circle Hawaii, Tahiti and Marquesas itineraries set sail in October 2013 and February and April 2014.
"These cruises make it easy for travelers to visit extraordinary locales without the need of international air travel," said Richard Meadows, Holland America Line's executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "Each sailing features varied port calls including some overnights and enriching onboard activities that give our guests a very exciting and comprehensive Holland America Line vacation experience."
During the sailings with several sea days, guests can enjoy all of the onboard experiences that are exclusive to the premium cruise line. For example, with the new and engaging On Location program, guests on cruises to Hawaii might learn how to hula, make a fresh flower lei or get a ukulele lesson from a local, while cruisers on voyages to Mexico are entertained with an authentic mariachi band during a Mexican fiesta on deck. The itinerary sets the theme for guests to indulge in localized experiences that make time onboard as enriching as visiting the ports of call through lectures, demonstrations and performances.
Guests also can fill their time onboard with other exciting activities or simply relax and catch up on personal time with amenities such as the Greenhouse Spa & Salon, Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine, Explorations Café powered by the New York Times or Digital Workshop powered by Windows.
Mexican Riviera in a Week
In November and December 2013 and March 2014, ms Veendam will sail a total of six seven-day itineraries to the Mexican Riviera. The roundtrip San Diego cruises call at Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, as well as scenic cruising along Bahia Magdalena — a bay that is noted for the seasonal migration of California gray whales. Departure dates are Nov. 9 and Dec. 21 and 28, 2013 (two holiday sailings), and March 9, 16 and 23, 2014.
Mexican Riviera Port Intensive Cruise in 12 Days
Sailing a longer roundtrip San Diego itinerary to the Mexican Riviera, ms Statendam departs Dec. 4, 2013, on a 12-day voyage that calls at Cabo San Lucas, Pichilingue (La Paz), Loreto, Guaymas, Topolobampo and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Guests will get extra time ashore in Puerto Vallarta during an overnight call where they can indulge in local cuisine, learn more about the country's history or check out the nightlife ashore. This departure also includes scenic cruising in Bahia Magdalena.
Circle Hawaii Voyages of 17 and 18 Days
Between Mexican Riviera cruises, ms Veendam sets sail for the beautiful islands of Hawaii on four roundtrip San Diegoitineraries that explore the natural beauty of the Aloha State and add another port call for next season: Kona. These longer sailings offer a leisurely pace that combines exciting ports with plenty of sea days to enjoy the amenities found onboard. The 17-day itinerary departs Nov. 16, 2013, and Jan. 4, 2014, and calls at Hilo, Honolulu, Nawiliwili, Lahaina and Kona, Hawaii. The 18-day cruises depart Dec. 3, 2013, and Jan. 21, 2014, and add an overnight at Honolulu.
On these cruises, guests can explore Hilo's world-class botanical gardens, the molten lava flows of Kilauea and awe-inspiring Akaka Falls. Lahaina boasts the Haleakala Crater and Hana's seven sacred pools, while Nawiliwili features Waimea Canyon — the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific." Honolulu offers a classic Hawaiian allure: pineapple plantations, surfing beaches, hula shows and luaus, while quieter moments await at the USS Arizona Memorial. Once the playground of Hawaii's royalty, Kona is synonymous with the famous coffee that grows on the slopes of the dormant Hualalai volcano.
Circle Hawaii, Tahiti & Marquesas from 29 to 35 Days
Guests looking for an exotic adventure can set sail on ms Statendam's 2013 and 2014 Circle Hawaii, Tahiti and Marquesas itineraries. Ranging in length from 29 to 35 days, these three longer voyages sail roundtrip San Diego to the Hawaiian Islands and the stunning island jewels of French Polynesia.
The 2013 sailing departs San Diego Oct. 4 and Dec. 16 for a special holiday journey for a 30-day cruise. Guests looking to embark earlier can join the cruise at San Francisco, Calif., Oct. 2 or Sept. 29 at Vancouver, British Columbia, for 32-day and 35-day sailings, respectively. In 2014, the ship departs San Diego Feb. 14 on a 29-day Valentine's Day-departing roundtrip itinerary, as well as April 15 on a 29-day roundtrip San Diego cruise or a 33-day itinerary that ends at Vancouver.
After departing San Diego, ms Statendam sails west and makes four calls at the Hawaiian Islands of Hawaii, Maui and Oahu, including an overnight call at Honolulu and late departure from Lahaina. The ship crosses the equator on the way to French Polynesia where it calls at Bora Bora, Raiatea, Tahiti, Moorea, Rangiroa and Nuku Hiva, the largest of the Marquesas Islands. To ensure that guests have the most in-depth experiences ashore, Holland America Line has allotted extra time with overnight calls at Bora Bora and Tahiti. Statendam crosses the equator once again before arriving back at San Diego.
Explore4 Early Booking Promotion Gives Added Perks for Planning Now
Holland America Line is offering the Explore4 early booking promotion that features a free Signature Beverage Package or beverage card, a free specialty restaurant dinner, free or reduced fares for third and fourth guests in the same stateroom and 50 percent reduced deposits for bookings on select 2014 cruises made before October 15, 2013. Guests may receive all four offers when booking a qualified itinerary.
Cruise fares for Mexico itineraries begin at $899 per person, double occupancy for a seven-day sailing and include Explore4 Early Booking Promotion offers. Fares for Hawaii begin from $1,599 per person for a 17-day Circle Hawaii itinerary with Explore4 early booking promotions. Circle Hawaii, Tahiti and Marquesas begin at $3,699 per person.
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