Tag Archives: Eurodam

Hannah from Getting Stamped thought her Caribbean cruise was a reason to jump for joy!
Hannah from Getting Stamped thought her Caribbean cruise was a reason to jump for joy!

Five of the world’s leading travel social influencers recently cruised the Caribbean on Eurodam and had a fantastic time. Their itinerary called at Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and Half Moon Cay, our private oasis in the Bahamas.

We invited Dave’s Travel Corner, Getting Stamped, Healthy Voyager, Never Stop Traveling and True Nomads to see why cruising the Caribbean with Holland America Line is an incredible way to spend the week exploring this tropical and sun-kissed part of the world.

Join them on their journey and see why the next Holland America Line cruise you book should be to meet up with the golden sands, turquoise waters and swaying palms of the Caribbean.

DAVE’S TRAVEL CORNER

Dave from Dave’s Travel Corner loved Half Moon Cay and he can’t wait to return.

There is a private island where the wind blows in the beach pines and the gentle surf laps on the silky white sand. A place that is much loved for moments that can be counted as too short and then left to it’s natural state just as quickly. This place is Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas, a private island.

During his time ashore, he participated in the Horseback Riding by Land and Sea Journeys Ashore shore excursion. Take a look:

Read his entire blog post about Half Moon Cay by clicking HERE.

GETTING STAMPED

Hannah and Adam of Getting Stamped counted down the Top Eight Reasons To Take A Caribbean Cruise on their blog after experiencing Eurodam.

The list includes no shoveling, no winter jackets, no cleaning, no dishes, no cooking, no alarm clock, no responsibilities and no traffic jams!

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THE HEALTHY VOYAGER

Carolyn of The Healthy Voyager is a holistic nutritionist, vegan chef, cookbook author, speaker, show host, consultant and healthy travel expert who took her very first cruise on Eurodam. And now we think it’s safe to say she’s hooked!

From the moment I stepped onto the ship, I was in heaven. A veritable floating city, the Eurodam has 5 restaurants, several bars, a coffee shop, night club, casino, movie theatre, stores, 2 pools, state of the art gym, spa, salon, basketball court and a 2 story live show auditorium. You want for nothing on the ship and 7 days isn’t enough to experience it all!

No matter your age or interests, the Eurodam had something for you. For families, you can request the family staterooms that sleep 4-6 and send the kids off to “camp”! So many fun activities on board for little ones while the adults have plenty to do as well. From Dancing with the Stars contests and cooking classes for those hands-on experiences to relaxation for those who need a break, I can tell you, you can find it aboard a Holland America Line ship!

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Read her most recent article about her Caribbean cruise HERE.

NEVER STOP TRAVELING

Marcia from Never Stop Traveling is a travel expert, and this trip on Holland America Line wasn’t her first cruise. In fact, cruising on Eurodam is a familiar experience for Marcia.

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Marcia wrote on Never Stop Traveling:

You know the feeling when you are about to meet an old friend after a long period of time, with excitement and expectations on high alert? That’s a bit how I felt when I recently boarded Holland America Line’s Eurodam on its first Caribbean sailing of the season. It had arrived early that morning after crossing the pond from Europe.

Today’s Eurodam is not your father’s Holland America ship. The staff continues to be made up primarily of men and women from the Philippines and Indonesia. They provide a traditionally high level of service that HAL has honed into a fine art. And the 21st century is alive and well on this venerable line and continues to pleasantly surprise returning guests.

TRUE NOMADS

True Nomads specializes in diving around the world, and the Caribbean is known to have some of the best diving spots. From Grand Turk’s famous wall to the crystalline waters of Half Moon Cay, this itinerary is a diver’s dream. True Nomads’ Monira and Christopher also took time to explore the ports from above the water as well!

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JOIN US IN THE CARIBBEAN WITH VIEW & VERANDAH

Now is the ideal time to book a Caribbean cruise. Not only is our View & Verandah promotion in full swing, Eurodam — one of the premier ships in the region — just emerged from dry dock with some fantastic new upgrades and amenities. Check out the ship’s refurbished suites, which are available to book under View & Verandah’s free upgrade. Additionally, the Vista-class Oosterdam will soon feature similar suite upgrades and both ships will sail Europe this summer season with numerous sailings also featured during the View & Verandah event.

A refreshed Neptune Suite.

A refreshed Neptune Suite.

The fabulous Neptune Suite bathroom.

The fabulous Neptune Suite bathroom.

A Signature Suite is the ideal "home" to cruise the world.

A Signature Suite is the ideal “home” to cruise the world.

The offer includes stateroom upgrades, up to 10 percent off shore excursions and up to 25 percent off Collectors’ Voyages on 2016-2017 sailings when booked by Feb. 29, 2016!

Are you ready to cruise the Caribbean this year? Which ship will you choose?

Holland America offers dozens of Med cruises with a variety of lengths.
Holland America offers dozens of Med cruises with a variety of lengths.

With its sparkling coastal shores, abundance of significant historical sights, authentic fresh flavors and inspiring architecture, a Holland America Line cruise in the Mediterranean is a memorable experience.

Stretching from Spain to Turkey with incredible attractions and stunning ports in between, the most difficult part of planning a cruise to the Med is picking which destinations to visit and how long to cruise. That’s why Holland America Line offers a variety of itineraries to fit your preference of length and location. Whether you want to spend one week, two weeks, one month or more exploring the Mediterranean, here are some popular cruise options. All that’s left for you to do is choose!

Seven Days, Six Cities & One Incredible Country

One way to enjoy a short and sweet weeklong voyage in the Mediterranean is to stick to one country and see as many of its ports as possible. This cruise is perfect for guests wishing to extensively explore a single country’s culture and experience its diverse regions.

Explore Malaga (Grenada) and Cadiz (Seville) on a Gems of Spain cruise.

Explore Malaga (Grenada) and Cadiz (Seville) on a Gems of Spain cruise.

The 7-Day Gems of Spain cruise on Eurodam departs Barcelona Apr. 17 and Oct. 21, 2016, and stops at five additional ports in Spain including Valencia, Cartagena, Malaga (Grenada), Gibraltar and Cadiz (Seville). This itinerary promises plenty of adventurous shore time, an unbeatable seaside climate, delectable local dishes, plus exposure to Spain’s fascinating history and culture. From large, vibrant cities to charming coastal towns, this sailing thoroughly immerses guests into the Spanish lifestyle for a truly outstanding and rewarding cruise experience.

12 Days, 10 Ports, One Fascinating Eastern Med Exploration

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Pictured from top left to bottom right: Saint Peter’s Basilica, Acropolis & the Parthenon, the Colosseum, Pompeii, the Vatican, Olympia and Ephesus.

Two-week cruises to the region allow enough time to explore more than one country. Oosterdam’s 12-Day Mediterranean Dream itinerary departing in April, June, August and September 2016 is the perfect getaway to the eastern Mediterranean. Starting at Venice and ending at Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy, this exciting itinerary calls at 10 ports across Italy, Greece and Turkey.

The eastern region of the Mediterranean showcases picturesque deep-blue oceans. It is also the birthplace of fresh culinary favorites like pizza and gyros. This sailing is laced with historic sites including the Acropolis, Parthenon, ancient Olympia, Ephesus, the Virgin Mary’s home, Pompeii, Saint Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican, Colosseum, Pantheon and the Sistine Chapel … just to name a few!

The Mediterranean Dream itinerary hits a new port nearly every day so guests can get the most out of their 12-day vacation. Rich in sun, sand, history, food and culture, this cruise is perfect for foodies, history fanatics, nature enthusiasts, seasoned travelers and newbies alike!

25 Days, 2 Unique Itineraries, 1 All-New Ship

For those who love the Med and the thrill of “collecting” new places, Holland America Line’s Collectors’ Voyages offer in-depth explorations on artfully crafted, port-intensive itineraries. Collectors’ Voyages offer an excellent value with two combined cruises priced at one reduced rate. They feature more sea days to indulge in onboard luxuries and activities, and select itineraries even include overnight stays in popular ports of call.

The 25-day Mediterranean and Christening cruise on Koningsdam departs April 27, 2016, and offers not only the opportunity to collect new places but also collect a new ship! This cruise on the new flagship begins at Civitavecchia (Rome) and features three additional calls in the country: Naples, Palermo and Cagliari. After a call at Gibraltar, guests will enjoy an in-depth exploration of Spain with calls at Cadiz, Malaga, Cartagena and an overnight at Barcelona, the first of three overnight calls on the itinerary. The ship returns to Civitavecchia before beginning the second leg of the Collectors’ Voyage.

Guests can get an in-depth look into Spain during the Mediterranean & Christening Cruise. (Top: Cadiz, Malaga and Seville. Bottom: Barcelona and Vigo.)

Guests can get an in-depth look into Spain during the Mediterranean & Christening Cruise. (Top: Cadiz, Malaga and Seville. Bottom: Barcelona and Vigo.)

Guests will return to Gibraltar and Cartagena before two more calls in Spain: Huelva (Seville) and Vigo. The ship also calls at Lisbon, Portugal; and Cherbourg (Normandy) and Le Havre (Paris), France. The incredible trip ends with back-to-back overnight calls at Rotterdam and Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

55 Days, 12 Countries, One Grand Cruise

Cruise roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on the journey of a lifetime with the 55-day Grand Mediterranean Voyage that is perfect for guests with time to spare! The elegant explorer Prinsendam departs Fort Lauderdale March 11, 2016, on a cruise that features calls in all of the great Mediterranean countries: Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Malta, Greece, Croatia, Albania, Montenegro, Monaco and Turkey!

This itinerary is highlighted by overnight calls at two magnificent cities, giving guests the opportunity to enjoy them at night. An overnight stay at Venice, Italy, is the perfect chance to admire this magical port from the water, through a ride in its enchanting canals made even more special with a nighttime gondola serenade. During the overnight call at Istanbul guests can indulge in a delicious dinner at the Maiden’s Tower Restaurant, dating back 2,500 years.

Discover the Mediterranean at night with two overnight calls and various late departures.

Discover the Mediterranean at night with two overnight calls and various late departures.

But Venice and Istanbul aren’t the only cities guests can discover by dark. With late departures from Barcelona; Valleta, Malta; Kusadasi, Turkey; and Lisbon, Portugal, guests can experience the nightlife of a variety of cultures. And for guests that love transatlantic crossings, they’ll do so twice on this epic voyage.

Which Med locales are at the top of your must-see list? Tell us in the comments below.

December 2015 UPDATE: Take Advantage of View & Verandah
We want to make your dream cruise even dreamier with our new View & Verandah promotion. We’re offering stateroom upgrades, up to 10 percent off shore excursions and up to 25 percent off Collectors’ Voyages on 2016-2017 sailings when booked by Feb. 29, 2016. Check out the offer to see if you dream cruise is included and book now!

Eurodam will call at beautiful ports like Monte Carlo on the newly announced 2016 itineraries.
Eurodam will call at beautiful ports like Monte Carlo on the newly announced 2016 itineraries.

One of the many wonderful things about cruising is that changes to itineraries can be made fairly easily when needed or desired. Whether it’s a last-minute switch due to the weather or a now-open berth at a highly desirable locale on a cruise a year away, the mobility of cruise ships allows the addition of exciting ports of call that enhance the itineraries. In 2016, Holland America Line just revised several Mediterranean cruises on ms Eurodam and ms Oosterdam in April and October – and the new itineraries are available to book today!

Eurodam Adds New Seven-Day Cruises and Collectors’ Voyages

Eurodam will now sail a set of two back-to-back seven-day voyages in April and October, visiting marquis ports along the coasts of Spain, France and Italy. Additionally, these two voyages can be combined to form new 14- and 19-day Collectors’ Voyages.

The seven-day Gems of Spain cruise sails roundtrip Barcelona, Spain, and calls at Gibraltar, U.K., and the Spanish ports of Cadiz, Malaga, Cartagena and Valencia. An April 17 departure was added, while the Oct. 21 remains unchanged.

Two new seven-day Mediterranean Glamour voyages also sail roundtrip from Barcelona and call at Cagliari, Sardinia; Palermo, Sicily; Civitavecchia (Rome) and Livorno, Italy; and Monte Carlo, Monaco. This itinerary sets sail April 10 and Oct. 28.

The Gems of Spain, top right, and Mediterranean Glamour itineraries are great additions to Eurodam's roster.

The Gems of Spain, top right, and Mediterranean Glamour itineraries are great additions to Eurodam’s roster.

The April 10 and 17 cruises, as well as the Oct. 21 and 28 departures, can be combined to form a longer 14-Day Mediterranean Glamour & Gems of Spain Collectors’ Voyage with nonrepeating ports.

Beautiful ports like Monte Carlo await on this Collectors' Voyage.

Beautiful ports like Monte Carlo await on this 14-day Collectors’ Voyage.

Guests wanting an even longer cruise can embark the new April 17 Gems of Spain cruise and combine it with the existing 12-day Mediterranean Tapestry voyage that sails from Barcelona to Venice, Italy, with calls in Croatia, Italy, Monaco and France. The new Collectors’ Voyage is an unforgettable 19-day adventure!

Oosterdam Features New 12-Day Itineraries

New for 2016, Oosterdam will be sailing four 12-day Mediterranean Explorer voyages throughout the eastern and western Mediterranean. The cruise will depart from Civitavecchia, and call at Monte Carlo; Livorno; Ajaccio, Corsica; Almeria and Ceuta, Spain; and St. Tropez, Marseille and Sete, France. Guests will enjoy an overnight at Barcelona at the end of the voyage. The new departures are May 12, June 29, August 16 and Oct. 10.

Gorgeous Almeria is one of Oosterdam's calls on its new itinerary.

Gorgeous Almeria is one of Oosterdam’s calls on its new itinerary.

Which new itinerary interests you? Tell us below!

December 2015 UPDATE: Take Advantage of View & Verandah
We want to make your dream cruise even dreamier with our new View & Verandah promotion. We’re offering stateroom upgrades, up to 10 percent off shore excursions and up to 25 percent off Collectors’ Voyages on 2016-2017 sailings when booked by Feb. 29, 2016. Check out the offer to see if you dream cruise is included and book now!

Holland America Group CEO Stein Kruse and Most Reverend J. Peter Sartain, front, pose with Statendam crew members from various departments.
Holland America Group CEO Stein Kruse and Most Reverend J. Peter Sartain, front, pose with Statendam crew members from various departments.

Today is “Day of the Seafarer,” and it’s a day to celebrate the hardworking crew members you meet on every cruise. It is the fifth year that the International Maritime Organization has celebrated this campaign.

In 2010, the Diplomatic Conference that met in Manila, the Philippines, agreed that the unique contribution made by seafarers from all over the world to international seaborne trade, the world economy and civil society as a whole, should be marked annually with a “Day of the Seafarer.” The date chosen was June 25, the day on which the amendments were formally adopted.

Catholic Seafarers’ Center a Home Away From Home for Crew

Holland America Line recently hosted a “Home from the Sea” fundraiser luncheon for the Catholic Seafarers’ Center aboard Statendam at the Port of Seattle. The event was attended by Stein Kruse, chief executive officer of Holland America Group, along with the Most Reverend J. Peter Sartain, Archbishop of Seattle, and Father Paul Magnano.

Before the luncheon, attendees gathered at a ceremony to honor Fr. Tony Haycock, the Catholic Port Chaplain at the Catholic Seafarers’ Center, who has served the facility for nearly two decades.

“The Catholic Seafarers’ Center provides support to our crew members that is valued and appreciated by everyone in our organization,” said Kruse. “It is an honor to have had such a longstanding relationship with the center and to support them in return so they can continue serving our community.”

The Catholic Seafarers’ Center is a social-service agency in the Archdiocese of Seattle. Its mission is to meet the spiritual and practical needs of seafarers and maritime workers visiting and living in Seattle. The center provides a number of services to workers coming to the city, including shipping goods on their behalf, arranging transportation and coordinating recreational activities.

Kruse and Most Reverend Sartain admire a painting of the ship.

Kruse and Most Reverend Sartain admire a painting of the ship.

Holland America Line seafarers live and work onboard, and it’s a 24/7 operation. Traveling for months at a time away from home, they bring their land-life with them and work colleagues become like family. So home doesn’t feel so far away, the ships organize activities and socials for the crew members to bond and have some fun.

Eurodam holds monthly food events for the crew, and recently it was a Mongolian themed dinner.

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Nieuw Amsterdam recently held an ice cream social for its crew members where they could stop by and have a scoop or two with all of the toppings.

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Crew members from Eurodam went on a crew tour to Dolphin Cove at Grand Cayman and had an incredible time interacting with the gentle creatures.

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These Zaandam wine attendants and dining room staff went on an educational crew tour to Lustau Cellar while at Cadiz.

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The ships even have their own soccer teams and play against other local and ship teams when in port.

Eurodam's crew soccer team at a game in St. Thomas.

Eurodam’s crew soccer team at a game in St. Thomas.

Do you have a favorite crew member, one that made a lasting impression on your Holland America Line cruise? Tell us about them in the comments!

Caption for the main hero image at the top of the page: Front row, from left: Assistant Steward Lido Ni Made Oktarini, Stein Kruse, the Most Reverend J. Peter Sartain and Wine Attendant Milleth Bebiro. Second row, from left: Beverage Manager Kenneth Johnson, Dining Room Manager Philip Stolte and Steward Restaurant Hery Priyanto. Back row, from left: Assistant Manager of Culinary Operations Raj Kantharaju, Beverage Attendant Ariel Peradilla, Bellboy Eko Wahyudi and Dining Room Greeter Humid Barbara.

Europe is known for its incredible museums, like the Lourve in Paris.
Europe is known for its incredible museums, like the Lourve in Paris.

Holland America Line’s cruises to Europe feature some of the most interesting and exciting cities in the world. Europe and its many regions are famous for many reasons, particularly the vast amount of art and culture found in nearly every port.

Almost anywhere you call at during a Europe cruise will feature a museum and an opportunity for you to quench your thirst for knowledge about the area. Culture vultures know that museums are much more than art. They teach history, about the great talents of the locals and we get to step back in time and imagine how those that came before us lived. Here are some of Europe’s highest-regarded museums, all reachable during a Holland America Line cruise to the city that holds them.

The Vatican Museums, Vatican City, Italy

The Vatican Museums are seemingly endless with each room bringing more and more impressive pieces.

The Vatican Museums are seemingly endless with each room bringing more and more impressive pieces.

No visit to Rome is complete without a visit to the sovereign state of Vatican City. Within its boundaries you will find the Vatican Museums, displaying an incredible, seemingly endless collection of paintings, tapestries, maps and more assembled by popes throughout the centuries. During the Vatican Museums & St. Peter’s Basilica tour you’ll enjoy a visit to the Sistine Chapel, perhaps the most famous church in the world, with its priceless collection of masterpieces by Botticeli, Signorelli, Perugino and of course Michelangelo’s famous The Last Judgment. Afterwards, you’ll head to St Peter’s Square, which can hold more than 300,000 people during papal appearances. There will still be plenty more to see with a visit to Christianity’s largest church, St. Peter’s Basilica.

Many of our cruises visit Civitavecchia, the port for Rome. If you’re looking for a last-minute getaway, check out Nieuw Amsterdam’s 12-Day Mediterranean Romance departing July 27. In 2016, Eurodam will be sailing a 12-Day Mediterranean Romance cruise departing June 23.

The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain

Bilbao's Guggenheim is as beautiful inside as it is out.

Bilbao’s Guggenheim is as beautiful inside as it is out.

The famous Guggenheim Museum is located in Bilbao’s Abandoibarra area. When it opened in 1997, it was widely regarded as the most important structure of its time, and when you spot it you’ll quickly know it was designed by Frank Gehry. The exterior of the museum is art in itself, made with titanium, glass and limestone. Inside, there is a vast amount of art to be seen by Spanish and international artists. You can explore this architectural masterpiece during the Bilbao Highlights & the Guggenheim Museum tour. The exhibitions here change often, so even if you have been before, it’s worth a second visit.

Holland America Line’s elegant explorer Prinsendam is the ship you have to be on to visit Bilbao. Come aboard in 2016 on a 14-Day Bourgundian Explorer cruise departing Sept. 6.

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Van Gogh is known for his colorful style. Photo courtesy nl.wikipedia.org.

Van Gogh is known for his colorful style. Photo courtesy nl.wikipedia.org.

Located in Amsterdam’s Museum Square, the famous Van Gogh Museum features a unique collection by the 19th-century master of the same name. Opened in 1973 this museum attracts visitors who enjoy seeing Vincent Van Gogh’s amazing, colorful, post-impressionist renditions of sunflowers and potato-eaters and of course his tortured self-portraits. You’ll experience his life as you browse among his paintings and drawings, the largest collection of Van Gogh’s work in the world. The Amsterdam Highlights & Van Gogh Museum tour also includes a drive by the Dam Square, Amsterdam’s cultural center, and the Mint Tower.

One of our three Dutch homeports, Amsterdam hosts several Holland America Line ships. But if you want to be among the first to sail on Koningsdam and visit Amsterdam, join the 13-Day Christening Cruise departing May 9, 2016.

The Louvre, Le Havre (Paris), France

The Louvre with its unique pyramid is one of the most recognizable museums.

The Louvre with its unique pyramid is one of the most recognizable museums.

The Louvre, is one of the world’s largest museums and its most visited. This historic monument, originally built as a fortress by King Phillip II and having served as a royal palace, today is one of Paris’ most famous landmarks. On exhibit guests will find more than 35,000 pieces but the Louvre holds over a million pieces in its collection, including the Mona Lisa and the Venus of Milo. You can visit the Louvre during a call at Le Havre, France. With a transfer to Paris you’ll have enough time to explore the city on your own and this incredible museum should be at the top of your list of things to do.

Bon Jour! Koningsdam’s 13-Day Christening Cruise departing May 9, 2016, also calls at the French port of La Harve, the gateway to Paris.

The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

A Medallion Collection tour is the best way to enjoy the Hermitage.

A Medallion Collection tour is the best way to enjoy the Hermitage.

St. Peterburg’s Hermitage Museum, created by Czarina Catherine the Great in 1764, is one of northern Europe’s best attractions and one of the world’s finest museums. Catherine’s original purchase of 225 canvasses by Dutch and Flemish masters are still the nucleus of today’s collection, which consists of almost three million pieces. The museum’s 353 rooms are filled with masterpieces by Raphael, Titian, Giorgione, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and many others. The buildings’ spectacular staircases, marble structures, malachite columns and highly-decorated floors and ceilings will also impress you. Have the Hermitage all to yourself with the Exclusive Evening at the Hermitage tour. This Medallion Collection tour features an evening viewing exclusively for Holland America Line guests.

St. Petersburg is a popular port, and five Holland America Line ships call at the Russian favorite. Eurodam’s 12-Day Baltic Adventure is a good option for a last-minute getaway this summer, while next summer Zuiderdam takes on the route.

Vasa Museum, Stockholm, Sweden

The Vasa was salvaged and restored and is today the centerpiece of Stockholm's Vasa Museum.

The Vasa was salvaged and restored, and is today the centerpiece of Stockholm’s Vasa Museum.

Stockholm’s Vasa Museum is an authentic piece of living history. In the early 17th century, the Swedish battleship Vasa was the pride of Sweden’s mighty navy. The ship capsized while preparing to set out on its maiden voyage in 1628, sinking into Stockholm’s inner harbor. 333 years later, in 1961, a Swedish team salvaged the ship which was very well preserved. It was then restored and today is the centerpiece of the museum. You can visit the museum and its incredible ship during the Historic Stockholm, Sigtuna & the Vasa Museum tour. You’ll also enjoy the island of Gamla Sta, an enchanting medieval old town, and you’ll visit Sigtuna with the smallest Town Hall in Scandinavia.

Prinsendam and Zuiderdam visit the port of Stockholm. For an epic adventure embark Zuiderdam’s 29-Day Azores, Normandy and Baltic Adventure cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Copenhagen that calls at Stockholm and St. Petersburg.

If you’re interested in visiting these museums, the shore excursions can be pre-booked so you’re sure to get the tour of your choice.

Which of these museums do you want to visit the most? Have you been to any of these already?

From left: CAC Host Barbara Schuchardt, Chef Brian Lumley, CAC Host Melodye Brant and Chef Tournant Julio Ortiz on the Sip, Savor & Sail cruise.
From left: CAC Host Barbara Schuchardt, Chef Brian Lumley, CAC Host Melodye Brant and Chef Tournant Julio Ortiz on the Sip, Savor & Sail cruise.

Chef Brian Lumley and mixologists Pamela Wiznitzer and Chris Lowder just got off Eurodam’s Sip, Savor & Sail cruise, and while they were onboard they performed cooking demonstrations, mixology classes and hosted a Calypso Brunch in the Pinnacle Grill. Preparing Caribbean cuisine and crafty concoctions with flare, Lumley, Wiznitzer and Lowder entertained guests with their electric style and energetic personalities.

From left: Chef  Tournant Julio Ortiz, Culinary Arts Center Hosts Melodye Brant and Barbara Mills, Chef Brian Lumley and guests Michelle and Timothy Falvey, self-proclaimed “Jamericans” who were thrilled to have Lumley onboard.

From left: Chef Tournant Julio Ortiz, Culinary Arts Center Hosts Melodye Brant and Barbara Schuchardt, Chef Brian Lumley and guests Michelle and Timothy Falvey, self-proclaimed “Jamericans” who were thrilled to have Lumley onboard.

Mixologists Pamela Wiznitzer and Chris Lowder had a great time during drink-making demos.

Mixologists Pamela Wiznitzer and Chris Lowder had a great time during drink-making demos.

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The Calypso Brunch in the Pinnacle Grill was a huge hit. On the menu was a delicious selection of Chef Lumley’s creations with regional flavors that celebrated Eurodam’s Caribbean itinerary: Quinoa Salad with Fresh Tomatoes, Herbs and White Wine Vinaigrette; Guinness Braised Short Ribs Scented with Curry and Brown Sugar, Buttered Egg Noodles; Seared Roasted Chicken Breast with Passion Tarragon Sauce, Herbed Basmati Rice Pilaf; and Coconut and Passion Fruit Sorbet with Rum Soaked Fruits.

Chef Lumley preparing for and at the Calypso Brunch.

Chef Lumley preparing for and at the Calypso Brunch.

Here is one of Chef Lumley’s recipes that was on the menu of the Calypso Brunch.

Chef Lumley's Guinness braised short ribs.

Chef Lumley’s Guinness braised short ribs.

GUINNESS BRAISED SHORT RIBS

Ingredients:
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika (not hot)
1 tablespoon curry powder (preferably Madras)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
4 to 4 1/4 lb beef short ribs, cut into 4-inch pieces
4 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), chopped (2 cups)
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 medium carrots, chopped (2 cups)
3 celery ribs, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California
1/4 cup chopped garlic (5 to 6 large cloves)
1 3/4 cups beef broth (14 oz)
2 (12-oz) bottles stout such as Mackeson or Guinness
2 (14- to 15-oz) cans diced tomatoes

Special equipment: a wide 6-qt heavy nonreactive pot with a lid
Accompaniment: buttered egg noodles tossed with chopped fresh parsley

Directions:
Put oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 375°F.

Stir together brown sugar, paprika, curry powder, cumin, pepper, salt and mustard in a small bowl until combined. Pat ribs dry and arrange in one layer in a shallow baking pan or a shallow dish, then generously coat all sides of ribs with spice mixture. Marinate, uncovered and chill, one hour.

Wash leeks in a bowl of cold water, agitating water, then lift out leeks and drain in a colander. Heat oil in pot over high heat until hot but not smoking and quickly brown ribs on all 3 meaty sides (but not bone side) without crowding, in batches if necessary, about one minute per side. Transfer meat to a large plate, then add leeks, carrots, celery, and bay leaves to pot and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about three minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, one minute.

Add broth, beer, and tomatoes with their juice, then add ribs with any juices and remaining spices accumulated on plate and bring liquid to a boil, uncovered. Cover pot and transfer to oven, then braise until meat is very tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Skim off excess fat from surface of sauce. Discard bay leaves.

Chef tips: Short ribs improve in flavor if braised one day ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then chilled, covered. Reheat, covered, in a 350°F oven until hot, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

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There are still five Sip, Savor & Sail cruises this season for guests looking to become immersed in the cuisine and beverages of their cruise itinerary:

Maasdam’s April 7 10-day voyage in the Caribbean; Ryndam’s 12-day May 4 sailing in the Mediterranean; Westerdam’s May 2 seven-day Alaska departure; Statendam’s 12-day July 13 Alaska cruise; and the seven-day Aug. 16 Alaska cruise on Statendam.

Chef Brian Lumley is the creative visionary behind 689 By Brian Lumley, one of Jamaica’s most-loved restaurants. He was named Caribbean Chef of the Year.

Pamela Wiznitzer has a true passion and zest for the industry that is seen and tasted in every drink she serves and also transcends the bar. Since 2006, Wiznitzer has been working throughout New York City. She currently can be found shaking things up as the Creative Director of Seamstress on the upper east side in New York City.

The new Prince Edward Island, Canada, Coast & Cellar tour highlights many of the island's beautiful lighthouses.
The new Prince Edward Island, Canada, Coast & Cellar tour highlights many of the island's beautiful lighthouses.

Holland America Line’s cruises to Canada and New England feature some of the most beautiful scenery, diverse cultures and interesting history in North America. From stunning national parks to picturesque coastlines and plenty of colorful and interesting towns in between, there is plenty to see in this diverse region … and plenty of ways to see it!

In addition to the already-robust menu of available shore excursions, Holland America Line recently introduced 10 new tours that showcase the best of the area in a variety of ways. From hikes to earth’s mantle to a tasting tour that would delight any foodie, be sure to check out one of these new tours on your next Canada & New England cruise.

Explore Acadia National Park at Bar Harbor, Maine

1. The Intimate Look at Acadia National Park tour is the ultimate small-group excursion in Acadia National Park. Along with 13 other guests, you’ll get to observe the wonders of this majestic park. Drive along the ocean’s edge before stopping at Thunder Hole. Here, under ocean swells converge with a thunderous roar against the granite coastline. You’ll pause high above the 107 Otter Cliffs, then wind through lush pine and forests. Next you’ll continue up Cadillac Mountain, the Atlantic coast’s highest peak, passing scenic glacial lakes along the way. From the summit, enjoy a breathtaking, 360-degree view of the Cranberry Islands and Frenchman Bay, where the Holland America Line ship is anchored.

Acadia National Park features beautiful natural scenery.

Acadia National Park features beautiful natural scenery.

Learn About the History of Cap-aux-Meules, Îles de la Madeleine

2. Îles de la Madeleine is a stunning archipelago located in the heart of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and Cap-aux-Meules is its second-largest island. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to take the new Islands Shipwreck & History tour. You’ll start at Étang du Nord, home of the second-largest wooden church in North America, La Vernière. Then you’ll visit the beach where the Corfu Island cargo ship was shipwrecked in 1963, with your guide painting a vivid picture of what took place. Next, a stop at the Havre Aubert Islands will include the Historic Site at La Grave. You’ll also visit the Musée de la Mer, or the maritime museum, that features ship models, photographs, maritime objects and collections of minerals, shells and rocks from the archipelago.

Hike the Earth’s Mantle at Corner Brook, New Foundland

3. You can find adventure in New Foundland with the Gros Morne Park Tablelands Discovery Center & Hike tour. You’ll start with a short drive to Gros Morne Discover Center that overlooks Bonne Bay. Here you can get acquainted with the landscape through exhibits and a viewing deck. Next you’ll head to the starting point for your hike to the top of the bottom of the earth! You’ll discover orange rocks from earth’s middle layer, pushed into place as the continents collided almost half a billion years ago. After your hike you’ll enjoy a tasty lunch in the community of Bonne Bay.

The top of the bottom of the earth is a highlight on the Gros Morne Park Tablelands Hike tour.

The top of the bottom of the earth is a highlight on the Gros Morne Park Tablelands Hike tour.

History, Nature and Puzzles at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

4. The PEI Coast & Cellar tour is the perfect pick for someone looking to take a step back in time. You’ll travel along the island’s stunning coast and stop at a couple of lighthouses, including the Point Prim Lighthouse — the island’s oldest. You’ll also head to the Rossignol Estate Winery for an unlimited wine tasting paired with Prince Edward Island cheeses … the perfect combination! The winery has a 45,000 bottle capacity and produces a variety of premium fruit and table wines made with local produce.

Visit Prince Edward Island's famous sites on the PEI Coast & Cellar tour, including Point Prim Lighthouse.

Visit Prince Edward Island’s famous sites on the PEI Coast & Cellar tour, including Point Prim Lighthouse.

5. The relatively new and incredibly unique Fun with Falcons tour offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity — a chance to watch a Saker falcon in full flight, soaring, diving and catching air currents! These beautiful birds fly at speeds up to 200 mph! And with a handler’s glove, you’ll get to admire them up close as they sit on your hand. Saker falcons are endangered, but their population is growing again thanks to conservation breeding programs.

6. Prince Edward Island is Canada’s smallest province, and small enough to explore by foot. The Charlottetown – On Your Own tour is a self-guided walking tour that combines the technology of a hand-held GPS unit with the adventure of a scavenger hunt as you search for solutions to a customized crossword puzzle. Each location on the walk reveals interesting facts about Charlottetown and the island, showcasing some of the city’s most beautiful architecture and the stories behind its buildings. This outing is the perfect tour for history buffs and curious kids alike, and of course those who can’t resist a good puzzle!

Food and Fundy at Halifax, Nova Scotia

7. Set out to enjoy the best of Halifax’s food, beer and wine scene with the Taste of Halifax tour. You will travel around the city, visiting five local culinary hotspots and trying everything from traditional local seafood and fusion fish dishes to Annapolis Valley pulled pork and craft pizza! This tour is perfect for any foodie with a mix of gourmet food trucks, trendy restaurants and breweries. You’ll enjoy craft beers and Nova Scotia wine — the fastest growing wine district in North America. You’ll also get to take in some history with stops at Citadel Hill and the historic Hydrostone neighborhood.

If you like to sample local cuisine, take the Taste of Halifax tour.

If you like to sample local cuisine, take the Taste of Halifax tour.

8. If you’re looking for more of an adventure at Halifax, the Blomidon Hike & Grand Pre small group tour might be just what you wished for. Enjoy an unforgettable journey through the Annapolis Valley, located between two parallel mountain ranges along the shore of the Bay of Fundy. This bay is well known for its beautiful landscapes and of course for having the highest tidal swing in the world. You’ll take a scenic drive through the western part of the Nova Scotia peninsula and take in the view from the Blomidon Viewpoint atop the North Mountain. Then you will head to Blomidon Park and set out on a challenging hike — the Borden Brook Trail. Along the way you will observe the changing tides of the Minas Basin, appreciate high cliffs and learn of the abundant wildlife in the area. On your way back to the ship, you’ll take in the beauty of the Landscape of Grand Pre, Canada’s newest UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Gorgeous scenery awaits on the Blomidon Hike & Grand Pre tour.

Gorgeous scenery awaits on the Blomidon Hike & Grand Pre tour.

Scenery and Culture at Sydney, Nova Scotia

9. The Otherside of the Cabot Trail tour features some of the most beautiful scenery that Cape Breton has to offer. Sit back and enjoy it all as you drive through the historic North End and follow the Trans-Canada Highway to Boularderie Island. Then you will continue across the Seal Island Bridge to view the Bras d’Or Lakes before making your way to the Cabot Trail. You will pass Beaver Pond, Middle River and Lake O’Law. This tour is perfect for nature lovers, as you get to take in the stunning coastline and beautiful foliage.

10. The Cape Breton: A Cultural Exploration tour starts with a visit to Eskasoni, a vibrant region that features history and natural beauty. You’ll get a unique look at this multicultural area that reflects two different and distinct cultures: that of the Scots, who settled the land, and the Mi’kmaq people who were there before. You’ll take a walking tour at the largest Mi’kmaq reserve in the world, tasting traditional foods, dancing and playing traditional games. Next, you’ll hop aboard a boat for a ride on the Bras d’Or Lake, where you will learn of its fisheries and eco-system. Then you’ll head to the Highland Village that offers a mix of breathtaking scenery and Gaelic culture. You’ll even get to participate in a “milling frolic” — a hands-on filling of the cloth, singing Gaelic work songs while you drink tea and eat oatcakes!

How to get there:

In 2015, 39 Holland America Line cruises will sail throughout Canada and New England. Maasdam will head to the region first with a 15-day cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Montreal departing May 1 and will sail seven-day cruises between Montreal and Boston until October.

From May 16 through October, ms Veendam will cruise seven-day itineraries between Quebec City and Boston. Back-to-back sailings on both Veendam and Maasdam can be combined for an extended 14-day roundtrip Collectors’ Voyage. Both ships’ itineraries include calls at Bar Harbor, Halifax, Sydney and Prince Edward Island.

In September and October, Eurodam will sail 10-day cruises between New York and Quebec City at the height of the stunning fall foliage season.

If you have any questions or would like assistance booking your shore excursions please contact our Shore Excursions Call Center at 1-888-425-9376 or 206-626-7320, Monday – Friday, 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., and Saturday & Sunday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

Remember, you can pre-book the tour of your choice to save time on your vacation!

Which new tour would you take on a Canada/New England Cruise? Do you like the history or go seeking the beautiful scenery? Tell us in the comments below!

December 2015 UPDATE: Take Advantage of View & Verandah
We want to make your dream cruise even dreamier with our new View & Verandah promotion. We’re offering stateroom upgrades, up to 10 percent off shore excursions and up to 25 percent off Collectors’ Voyages on 2016-2017 sailings when booked by Feb. 29, 2016. Check out the offer to see if your dream cruise is included and book now!

On a recent surprise United States Public Health inspection conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ms Eurodam became the first ship in Holland America Line’s history to achieve eight consecutive perfect scores of 100.
On a recent surprise United States Public Health inspection conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ms Eurodam became the first ship in Holland America Line’s history to achieve eight consecutive perfect scores of 100.

Holland America Line’s ms Eurodam Achieves Eighth Consecutive Perfect Score of 100 on United States Public Health Inspection

First time in company history that ship gets eight scores of 100 in a row

Seattle, Wash., Feb. 9, 2015 — On a recent surprise United States Public Health inspection conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ms Eurodam became the first ship in Holland America Line’s history to achieve eight consecutive perfect scores of 100. The ship was inspected Feb. 1, 2015, at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., at the start of a seven-day Caribbean cruise.

Prior to this inspection, Eurodam received a score of 100 in October 2014 during a call at Boston, Mass., on a Canada/New England cruise. In the past year, ms Noordam, ms Zuiderdam, ms Statendam and ms Westerdam also earned perfect scores of 100.

“Achieving eight consecutive perfect scores during U.S.P.H inspections is an amazing accomplishment, and it shows how diligently everyone works to continuously exceed our goals,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Congratulations to the Eurodam team for consistently demonstrating how a commitment to excellence and hard work delivers results.”

CDC inspections are part of the Vessel Sanitation Program, which was introduced in the early 1970s and is required for all passenger ships that call at a U.S. port. The inspections are unannounced and are carried out by officials from the United States Public Health Service twice a year for every cruise ship. The score, on a scale from one to 100, is assigned on the basis of a checklist involving dozens of areas of assessment, encompassing hygiene and sanitation of food (from storage to preparation), overall galley cleanliness, water, shipboard personnel and the ship as a whole. The ships received perfect scores in all of those areas.

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