The holidays can be the best time of year, full of twinkling lights and festive cheer. But the holidays also can bring stress for many with planning, cooking and cleaning. Imagine leaving that all behind (the stress, we mean!) by letting Holland America Line take care of everything on a holiday cruise. Onboard you can sit back, relax and enjoy time well-spent with family and friends … all while traveling to beautiful locales! Festivities onboard bring the holidays to the high seas, so you won’t miss the joy of the season, just the headaches that can come with it!
In December, Holland America Line has ships positioned all over the world, so you can find the perfect getaway to celebrate. Whether you want to escape the winter chill and spend a week relaxing on beaches around the Caribbean, or enjoy an exotic getaway filled with adventure in Australia and New Zealand, one of these cruises is sure to make you want to get started on your holiday wish list early!
Salty and Sunny Caribbean
If you’re looking for some fun in the sun, a cruise to the Caribbean is just what you need. Holland America Line will have multiple ships cruising from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and ms Oosterdam will cruise from Tampa, Florida. The itineraries feature popular island ports like Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s award-winning private island; Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos, known for being an incredible dive spot; and the always-festive Key West, Florida.
Holland America Line’s newest ship, Koningsdam, will spend most of the year cruising in Europe but in the fall it repositions to the Caribbean, giving guests a chance to enjoy white-sand beaches by day and the ship’s incredible amenities by night. Koningsdam’s seven-day eastern Caribbean cruise departs from Fort Lauderdale Dec. 23 and calls at Grand Turk; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.; and of course, guest-favorite Half Moon Cay.
Zuiderdam also will be cruising the Caribbean with a seven-day western Caribbean cruise from Fort Lauderdale. The ship calls at Half Moon Cay; Falmouth, Jamaica; Georgetown, Cayman Islands; and Cozumel, Mexico.
For guests who want to the ring in the New Year in paradise, Eurodam’s seven-day tropical Caribbean cruise departs Dec. 31, with plenty of parties happening onboard, and it spends the first day of the year at Key West. The ship also will call at Grand Turk; Amber Cove, Dominican Republic; and Half Moon Cay.
If it is more convenient for you to cruise from Tampa or the itinerary is just what you’ve been looking for, consider Oosterdam’s seven-day Caribbean cruises. The ship departs Dec. 23 and 30. The Dec. 23 itinerary includes calls at Key West; Roatan, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; and Cozumel. The cruise that departs on the 30th calls at Key West; Roatan; Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala; and Costa Maya, Mexico. Do them both back-to-back on a Collectors’ Voyage and spend all of the holidays onboard.
Natural and Remote South America
South America is characterized by rich history, culture and spectacular natural splendor. On Zaandam’s 21-day South America & Antarctica cruise departing Valpariso (Santiago), Chile, Dec. 20, guests will enjoy an in-depth exploration of Chile, highlighted by a call at Punta Arenas where guests can visit Torres del Paine National Park. This itinerary also includes bucket-list experiences like cruising the Chilean Fjords, the Strait of Magellan, Cockburn and Beagle Channels, Cape Horn and Drake Passage, and the Danco Coast. At Stanley, Falkland Islands, guests can get up close with penguins and at Ushuaia, Argentina, guests can visit the southernmost lighthouse in the world, Les Eclaireurs.
Beachy and Colorful Mexico
Every call on a Mexico cruise presents an opportunity for new adventure. The waters off Cabo San Lucas teem with marlin, swordfish, sailfish and tuna. Puerto Vallarta mixes busy open markets and upscale shops on cobbled streets and Matzatlan serves up great weather, venerable iglesias and an array of beaches. You can visit all three of these locales on Westerdam’s seven-day Mexican Riviera cruise departing from San Diego, California, Dec. 24. Guests will spend the 25th at sea with plenty of celebrations happening onboard, including long-lasting parties and exquisite dinners. Then it’s on to three straight days of Mexican adventure!
The Marvelous and Impressive Panama Canal
Embark on what savvy world travelers consider the thrill of a lifetime — cruising from ocean to ocean via the Panama Canal. Amsterdam departs Dec. 21 on a 14-day Panama Canal cruise from San Diego that begins with calls at Puerto Vallarta; Huatulco, Mexico, and Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala, before heading through the Panama Canal and the Miraflores Locks. From there, guests will head to Cartagena, Colombia, and Half Moon Cay before disembarking at Fort Lauderdale.
Adventurous and Awesome Australia and New Zealand
There is so much awe and wonder in the “Land Down Under” and what better way to celebrate the holidays than to take it all in? In December, ms Noordam and ms Maasdam will both be sailing from Sydney, Australia, each offering different itineraries with plenty of highlights.
Noordam departs Sydney Dec. 21 on a 14-day Pacific Treasures cruise. The itinerary calls at some of the most idyllic ports in the Pacific, including Mystery Island, Port Villa and Luganville, Vanuatu; and Suva, Dravuni Island and Lautoka, Fiji. Spend your holiday basking on powdery white beaches, exploring tiny towns and enjoying a vibrant underwater world.
Maasdam’s 17-day Australia & New Zealand cruise departs Dec. 16 from Sydney to Auckland, New Zealand. The itinerary includes calls in Melbourne, Burnie and Hobart, Australia, before heading toward New Zealand for an in-depth exploration. Nothing can prepare guests for the scenic beauty of Milford Sound as Maasdam sails through its majestic fiords. Calls include Port Chalmers (Dunedin), Lyttelton (Christchurch), Picton, Wellington, Napier and Tauranga (Rotorua), New Zealand.
Exotic and Iconic Indonesia
There is so much to discover in Indonesia — from mysterious and beautiful Bali, featuring Tanah Lot temple overlooking the sea, to Komodo Island, where a reptile is king — the Komodo Dragon. Volendam’s 14-day Indonesian Discovery cruise departing from Singapore Dec. 20 features of both these places and much more. At Semarang, guests can step back to the colonial days of the Dutch East Indian Company or journey to the Borobudur Temple, where 10 massive stone terraces are topped by the Great Stupa. Lembar is a lesser-known Indonesia destination on the island of Lombok, where a slow-paced life is highlighted by beaches, waterfalls and Indonesia’s second tallest volcano.
You can discover all of Holland America Line’s holiday cruises here. Join us for a fun and festive time onboard!
Which of these cruises would you take during the holidays? Tell us in the comments below.