Holland America Line’s (HAL) Statendam and Veendam will sail roundtrip from San Diego to Mexico, Hawaii and French Polynesia during the 2013-2014 season on newly expanded itineraries offering extended port stays, overnight calls and visits to picturesque locations.
“These cruises make it easy for travelers to visit extraordinary locales without the need for international air travel,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president of 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.”
The seven- and 12-day cruises to Mexico sail in November, December and March. Six weeklong Mexican Riviera itineraries onboard the Veendam call at Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta, along with scenic cruising along Magdalena Bay, noted for its seasonal migration of California gray whales. Departure dates are Nov. 9, Dec. 21 and 28 (two holiday sailings) and March 9, 16 and 23.
A 12-day cruise onboard Statendam sails Dec. 4 and visits Cabo San Lucas, Pichilingue (La Paz), Loreto, Guaymas, Topolobampo and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Guests have extra time onshore in Puerto Vallarta with an overnight call, during which they can sample local cuisine, learn more about the country’s history or check out the area’s nightlife. This departure also includes scenic cruising in Magdalena Bay.
In Hawaii, the 17- to 35-day Circle Hawaii, Tahiti and Marquesas itineraries have departures this October and next February and April. Veendam offers four roundtrip San Diego itineraries, adding Kona as a port of call. These sailings have a leisurely pace that combines interesting ports with plenty of sea days to enjoy the amenities found onboard. The 17-day itinerary departs Nov. 16 and Jan. 4, and calls at Hilo, Honolulu, Nawiliwili, Lahaina and Kona. The 18-day cruises depart Dec. 3 and Jan. 21 and add an overnight in Honolulu.
Statendam’s three Circle Hawaii, Tahiti and Marquesas itineraries range in length from 29 to 35 days. Four calls in Hawaii, Maui and Oahu include an overnight in Honolulu and late departure from Lahaina. In French Polynesia, the ship visits Bora Bora, Raiatea, Tahiti, Moorea, Rangiroa and Nuku Hiva — the largest of the Marquesas Islands — with overnight stays in Bora Bora and Tahiti.
Departures from San Diego are scheduled on Oct. 4 and Dec. 16 for a 30-day special holiday cruise. Guests can also join the cruise in San Francisco on Oct. 2 or in Vancouver on Sept. 29 for 32-day and 35-day sailings, respectively. In 2014, the ship departs San Diego on Feb. 14 for a 29-day roundtrip itinerary, as well as April 15 on a 29-day roundtrip cruise. A 33-day itinerary that ends in Vancouver is also available for booking.
HAL is using the days at sea to enrich the cruising experience and prepare guests for the cultures they will encounter through lectures, classes, demonstrations and performances. For example, with the new 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 sailings to Mexico are entertained by an authentic mariachi band during a Mexican fiesta on deck.
HAL’s Explore4 early booking promotion 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 Oct. 15, 2013. Guests may receive all four offers when booking a qualified itinerary.
Cruise fares for Mexico itineraries start at $899 for a seven-day sailing and include Explore4 early booking promotion offers. Fares for Hawaii begin at $1,599 for a 17-day Circle Hawaii itinerary with Explore4 early booking promotions. Circle Hawaii, Tahiti and Marquesas cruises start at $3,699 per person.