Tag Archives: Puerto Rico

The Caribbean will welcome ms Koningsdam in Nov. 2016.
The Caribbean will welcome ms Koningsdam in Nov. 2016.

Following its inaugural Europe season in 2016, Holland America Line’s new ms Koningsdam will homeport at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The ship will kick off the Caribbean season with a four-day cruise to the Bahamas, followed by a series of diverse itineraries criss-crossing the region from fall 2016 through March 2017.

The seven-day cruises — which are all roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale — visit popular ports in the region, while the longer nine-, 10- and 11-day itineraries provide more time for exploring and include a variety of islands with exciting, off-the-beaten-path calls.

“We are excited to sail Holland America Line’s newest ship from Port Everglades on the most varied and robust Caribbean itineraries of any of our ships,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “The Caribbean remains among the most popular cruise destinations in the world, and by having itineraries that range from four to 11 days guests will be able to enjoy a vacation that fits their schedule.”

Which itinerary is right for you? Read this blog post comparing the Caribbean regions to help you decide.

Four-day Bahamas Cruise

Half Moon Cay, top and left, and Nassau, are the featured ports on the 4-day cruise.

Half Moon Cay, top and left, and Nassau, are the featured ports on the 4-day cruise.

Koningsdam begins its inaugural season in the Caribbean with a four-day cruise to the Bahamas departing Nov. 9, 2016. Following an overnight in Fort Lauderdale, the ship calls at Nassau followed by Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s award-winning private island. The voyage is the perfect way to sample Holland America Line’s new Pinnacle-class ship.

Seven-day Caribbean Cruises Include a Holiday Sailing

Clockwise from upper left: St. Thomas, San Juan and Grand Cayman are featured on the seven-day voyages.

Clockwise from upper left: St. Thomas, San Juan and Grand Cayman are featured on the seven-day voyages.

Two different seven-day itineraries provide an ideal getaway in winter, when the balmy breezes of the Caribbean beckon. The first itinerary sails Jan. 8 and 29 and Feb. 12, 2017, calling at Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Half Moon Cay. The second itinerary departs Jan. 15 and Feb. 5, 2017, and visits Half Moon Cay; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Cozumel, Mexico; and Key West, Fla. The two itineraries can be combined to create a nonrepeating 14-day Caribbean Collectors’ Voyage.

For the holidays, the Dec. 23, 2016, departure falls over Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, making it the most festive of voyages. The seven-day cruise will visit Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay.

Nine-day Caribbean Cruises Include a New Year’s Option

Guests looking for a slightly longer Caribbean vacation can embark Dec. 14, 2016, for a nine-day voyage that showcases six popular ports. The ship calls at Half Moon Cay; Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Basseterre, St. Kitts; San Juan; and Grand Turk.

The beautiful beaches of St. Maarten and Tortola are showcased on the nine-day cruises.

The beautiful beaches of St. Maarten and Tortola are showcased on the nine-day cruises.

Another nine-day voyage departing Dec. 30 rings in the New Year with fun, sun, sand and surf. The ship will call at Falmouth, Jamaica; Half Moon Cay; Grand Turk; Georgetown, Cayman Islands; Cozumel and Key West.

10-day Caribbean Cruises Feature Southern Caribbean

The ABC Islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao highlight the 10-day itineraries.

The ABC Islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao highlight the 10-day itineraries.

From the turquoise waters of the Dominican Republic to the powdery beaches of the ABC Islands, Koningsdam’s 10-day itinerary highlights some of the most beautiful ports in the region. Departing Nov. 13 and Dec. 4, 2016, and Feb. 19 and March 12, 2017, the cruises call at Half Moon Cay; Grand Turk; the exclusive cruise port of Amber Cove, Dominican Republic; Kralendijk, Bonaire; Willemstand, Curaçao; and Oranjestad, Aruba.

11-day Caribbean Cruises Offer Blend of Several Ports

The eastern Caribbean takes center stage on the 11-day voyages that depart Nov. 23, 2016, and March 1 and 22, 2017. Koningsdam will visit the ports of Philipsburg; Castries, St. Lucia; Bridgetown, Barbados; Fort-de-France, Martinique; Basseterre; St. Thomas; and Half Moon Cay. Guests aboard also will enjoy scenic cruising in Soufrière Bay and past the famed Mount Pelée volcano.

More gorgeous ports like Barbados, above, and St. Lucia with its famed Pitons, highlight the 11-day cruises.

More gorgeous ports like Barbados, above, and St. Lucia with its famed Pitons, highlight the 11-day cruises.

The inaugural Caribbean season of Koningsdam will be open for booking in summer 2015. Which cruise will be you joining us on? Tell us below!

Trapeze

Every season, Holland America Line carries thousands of guests on cruises to the Caribbean. The allure of the region reaches beyond sun-kissed skies and gorgeous beaches. The Caribbean is rich in culture, history, natural beauty and unique adventures.
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Medoc Vineyards in Bordeaux, France.
Medoc Vineyards in Bordeaux, France.

One of the great pleasures of travel is the opportunity to sample local food and drink. While you may find language barriers along the way, an appreciation for good food is a universal language and can be a fantastic way to immerse yourself in local cultures.
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La Casita
La Casita

As highlighted in the above video, Holland America Line’s seven-day eastern Caribbean cruises feature the gorgeous port of San Juan, Puerto Rico, in addition to Grand Turk, St. Maarten and Half Moon Cay. Puerto Rico is the largest island that the ships visit on this exciting itinerary. Rich in history and culture, it is always a guest favorite.

Dating back to the early 1500s, Puerto Rico is surrounded by high stone wall and dotted with examples of Spanish Architecture. Old San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital city, provides a cultural experience that is unmatched. The island is about 100 miles long and 35 miles wide. Puerto Rico’s entire population is around 5 million, while the population of San Juan itself is 1.6 million.

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Like most of the other islands visited on the Caribbean cruises, Puerto Rico was once home to the Arawak people. Because of the size of this island, it was home to more Arawak settlements than any other island. Of course, this all changed with the arrival of Europeans, beginning with Christopher Columbus in 1493. It was on his second trip to the new world that Columbus found Puerto Rico. Though he named the island, he named it not what it is today. The name he gave to the island was San Juan Bautista, honoring St. John the Baptist.

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Thanks to HAL guest Janny Niessen for sending in the beautiful photo of Maasdam docked at Puerto Rico while she was on her April cruise.

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Mar 2013

Enjoy these two photos that I took while ashore in the Caribbean.

Lunching in Martinique.

Lunching in Martinique.

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Mar 2013

Mike Faust, editor of Cruise Currents, recently sailed on board Eurodam for a seven-night eastern Caribbean cruise and chronicled his trip for us. What’s your favorite Caribbean port? Let us know in the comments below!

Cruising the Eurodam – Day 4 – San Juan

It was around 9:00 am when we began pulling into San Juan Harbor. We were greeted with rough waves and spotty showers, but the rain stopped and the sun came out as soon as we docked.

The morning was pretty much spent sitting on the balcony watching us sail into San Juan. I ended up skipping breakfast to instead accept the invitation of Captain Emiel de Vries to tour the bridge. This had to be the highlight of the cruise so far. Captain Emiel showed me around the entire bridge, showing me the different types of radar and equipment used, as well as the crazy intricate deck plans on the walls of the bridge! I am very thankful to Captain Emiel for his invitation, and I can’t wait to show you photos of my bridge tour.

Right after my bridge tour we decided to debark the ship and head into San Juan. This was actually my first time ever debarking in San Juan. I have been on cruises in the past that had stops in San Juan, but I had actually never debarked. Anyway, we didn’t have any pre-planned excursions in the city, so we thought we would begin walking towards the El Morro Fortress. On our way to the fortress, we navigated the narrow and steep brick streets trying to find our way to the fortress. About a half hour later we found El Morro. We found ourselves standing at the border of the fortress overlooking beautiful green grass, the bright blue ocean in the distance, and the amazing El Morro Fortress.

Mike2

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