In anticipation of the ports in Australia and New Zealand fully welcoming cruise ships back to their shores, Holland America Line has opened bookings for a season of new itineraries aboard Westerdam starting in fall 2022.
The new voyages, offered from Sept. 25, 2022, through March 13, 2023, explore Australia's rich culture, the lush landscapes of New Zealand and the enchanting history and culture of Southeast Asia.
Two new cruises conclude the Alaska season and reposition the ship Down Under from North America. Itineraries in Australia and New Zealand sail roundtrip from Sydney, Australia, or between Sydney and Auckland, New Zealand, and include scenic cruising in Fiordland National Park.
A special Holiday Cruise departing Dec. 20 celebrates the New Year exploring New Zealand.
"The pent-up demand for cruises to Australia and New Zealand led us to the decision that it would be valuable to have Westerdam sail these unique itineraries that include some uncommon ports for us," said Beth Bodensteiner, chief commercial officer of Holland America Line. "We have the utmost optimism that the entire region will be back to cruising come fall, and our guests have been waiting two years to take their dream cruise. These new itineraries give guests a lot to choose from as they explore this part of the world."
HAL added a seven-day Alaska cruise roundtrip from Seattle, Washington, departing Sept. 25, extending Westerdam's season by a week.
The ship will then spend 36 days weaving among the enchanting isles of the South Pacific en route to Australia's southern and eastern regions, and the North and South islands of New Zealand.
The cruise departs Seattle Oct. 2 and arrives at Sydney Nov. 8. Along the way, the ship makes 14 calls on the islands of Hawaii, Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Papua New Guinea, and finishes with three Australia visits.
Starting Nov. 8, Westerdam will explore Australia and New Zealand on four cruises that range from 13 to 15 days.
The port-intensive itineraries ensure guests can deeply explore the region and get a variety of experiences ashore that showcase the country's culture, culinary expertise and popular wine scene.
Scenic cruising takes guests into the vistas of Fiordland National Park with its ice-tipped mountains and sprawling fjords.
In January, the ship will sail from Sydney to Singapore to reposition for a drydock.
The 16-day voyage includes two days of scenic cruising in Australia's iconic Great Barrier Reef — a stunningly diverse ecosystem that is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
Following the ship's refurbishment, Westerdam will cruise two new departures in February before assuming its previously published itineraries in Asia.
Highlights of the new itineraries:
- Nov. 8: 15 days, roundtrip from Sydney. Ports include Port Chalmers (Dunedin), Lyttelton (Christchurch), Kaikoura, Wellington, Napier, Gisborne, Tauranga (Rotorua), Auckland and Waitangi, all in New Zealand, with scenic cruising in Fiordland National Park.
- Nov. 23: 13 days, roundtrip from Sydney. Ports include Eden, Port Arthur, Hobart (overnight), Adelaide (overnight), Penneshaw, Melbourne and Phillip Island, all in Australia.
- Dec. 6: 14 days, Sydney to Auckland. Australian ports include Melbourne and Hobart; New Zealand ports include Port Chalmers (Dunedin), Lyttelton (Christchurch), Kaikoura, Wellington, Napier and Tauranga (Rotorua), with scenic cruising in Fiordland National Park.
- Dec. 20 Holiday Cruise: 14 days, Auckland to Sydney. Ports include Tauranga (Rotorua), Napier, Kaikoura, Lyttelton (Christchurch), Port Chalmers (Dunedin), Hobart and Melbourne, with scenic cruising in Fiordland National Park.
- Jan. 3: 16 days, Sydney to Singapore. Ports include Newcastle, Airlie Beach, Cairns and Darwin, Australia; Komodo Island, home to the infamous Komodo Dragon; and Lembar, Lombok, and Benoa, Bali, both in Indonesia. A highlight of this voyage is two days spent scenic cruising in Australia's Great Barrier Reef where guests can marvel in the coral cays and sun-soaked islands above the surface, along with the thousands of reef systems below water.
- Feb. 3: 11 days, roundtrip Singapore. Ports include Phuket, Thailand (overnight); Port Blair, Andaman Islands, India; and the Malaysian ports of Porto Malai, Langkawi; Georgetown, Penang; Malacca and Port Klang (Kuala Lumpur).
- Feb. 14: 13 days, roundtrip Singapore. Ports include Tanjung Priok (Jakarta), Probolinggo, Surabaya and Semarang (Borobudur), on Java, in Indonesia; Komodo Island; Benoa and Celukan on Bali; ending with an overnight at Singapore.
- Feb. 27: 14 days, Singapore to Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan. Ports include Puerto Princesa, Boracay and Manila, Philippines; Kaohsiung and Keelung (Taipei), Taiwan; and Ishigaki, Naha and Kochi, Japan.
Ranging from 24 to 51 days, Collectors' Voyages are also perfect for avid explorers seeking a more extensive cruise experience.
The voyages combine back-to-back, nonrepeating itineraries and represent the best per-day value for guests.