Guests who have been anticipating booking a Caribbean voyage on Holland America Line’s newest ship, ms Koningsdam, can now do so. Bookings opened for the cruises that feature Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s private Bahamian island, as well as a host of other tropical favorites.
The ship, launching in April 2016, will homeport at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and sail a series of Caribbean voyages from November 2016 through March 2017.
The seven-day cruises visit popular ports in the region, while the longer nine-, 10- and 11-day itineraries provide more time for exploring a diverse array of off-the-beaten-path islands.
“Since we began taking reservations for Koningsdam’s summer Europe season, guests have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to book a Caribbean voyage on our beautiful new ship,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Demand for being among the first to experience our latest innovations on Koningsdam is high, so we encourage anyone interested in a Caribbean cruise to book early. It’s going to be a fantastic inaugural season.”
Starting in November 2016, the ship will offer two different seven-day Caribbean itineraries. The eastern Caribbean route calls at the Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Half Moon Cay. The western Mediterranean route visits Half Moon Cay, Grand Cayman, Mexico and Key West, Fla.
The ship’s longer nine-, 10- and 11-day cruises showcase more ports in the region and include unique and lesser-visited islands such as Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Jamaica, Martinique and St. Lucia, to name a few.
The Caribbean cruises follow Koningsdam’s inaugural season sailing roundtrip from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to Norway, the Baltic, British Isles and Iceland.
Half Moon Cay: Holland America Line’s #1-Rated Caribbean Port
The island’s crescent shape is how Half Moon Cay got its name.
Featured on all itineraries, Holland America Line’s private island paradise of Half Moon Cay is consistently rated the number-one Caribbean destination by guests. Perhaps it’s the port’s pristine beaches and crystalline waters in varying shades of blue. Or maybe it’s the variety of activities offered, from swimming with stingrays to horseback riding through the surf. Or the option to simply sit back with a cool drink in hand and soak up the sun.
Cruise Critic’s Erica Silverstein recently wrote an article about Half Moon Cay and had this to say:
“Half Moon Cay — the private island in the Bahamas that Carnival and Holland America share — looks like a movie set of a beach. The sand is pristinely white, with nary a scratchy shell or untoward piece of seaweed. The sea is warm, but not too warm, and turquoise, just like all the postcards you see of Caribbean beaches that you always assumed were fake. The cabanas are painted in bright, happy colors, and the bars have quaint thatched roofs and inviting Adirondack chairs — or are set inside a faux pirate ship. You have to try to have a bad time there.”
To read Erica’s full article on how to enjoy Half Moon Cay, click HERE.
Sun, Sand and Surf … Activities Galore!
Visitors looking to get out and explore Half Moon Cay have more than a dozen shore excursions to choose from that include options in every level of activity intensity. These include horseback riding by land and sea, personal watercraft adventures on the interior lagoon and a stingray adventure, as well as catch-and-release deep-sea fishing trips, eco-tours by glass-bottom boat, parasailing, guided kayak trips and guided bike rides around the island.
One of the most popular tours is horseback riding by land and sea. Guest Sammiefitz had this to say:
“We have been to Half Moon Cay several times and love the beach day, but this time we rode the horses. Not only did we see parts of the island we have never seen before, but we went to the highest point of Half Moon Cay for a beautiful view of the ocean and our ship. We saw the gardens and animals that the locals who live on the island take care of, and the BEST, I mean BEST part, was taking the horses out into the water, and having them swim with us on their backs. They split us into small groups for this swim, and I would suggest that and someone in your party splits up, like, my husband and did, so they can take photos of you in the water. Second suggestion, it’s a lovely walk back to the beach, instead of taking the truck back. Try it…”
Fun For All Ages
Many guests rate the call so high for its abundance of children’s activities. The Half Moon Lagoon aqua park offers large water toys in the shapes of whales, octopi, sharks and dolphins for kids to climb on and a pirate ship water slide that sprays water from its cannons. A pirate-themed playground is available with two slides and two kid-sized wooden pirate ships.
Half Moon Cay has a variety of fun activities for kids of all ages.
Private Beach Cabanas and Villas
Guests looking for a bit of luxury ashore take advantage of the private beach-side cabanas and two-story villas. The cabanas feature a refrigerator, ceiling fan, air conditioner, table and chairs inside, deck chairs and a misting shower on the private terrace, while the luxury villas feature all that plus an exclusive hot tub on the second floor, floating mats and snorkel gear for use throughout the day.
“Loved the beach villa!!!! I have been known to frequent the cabans, but no more. I will choose the beach villas from now on. My family had the best time. If you have more than three people…this is the way to go.” — Guest Racergirl24
The villas, left, and cabanas are popular a feature on Half Moon Cay.
Why do guests love Half Moon Cay so much? Matt Samms, Holland America Line’s vice president Caribbean relations, summed it up nicely:
“It is what guests have pictured in their mind the Caribbean should look like. The experience ashore matches their high expectations as well. And, we have the best staff in the industry.”
There’s so much to do and see on Half Moon Cay that guests keep coming back time and again.
Currently under construction, Koningsdam represents a new Pinnacle Class of ship for Holland America Line. When it sets sail on its Premier Voyage April 8, 2016, the vessel will debut several innovative concepts while still featuring popular amenities guests associate with Holland America Line.
In a first for Holland America Line, the ship will feature purpose-built staterooms for families of five as well as single staterooms among its 1,331 guest accommodations.
Entertainment is taken to a new level with the energetic Music Walk area featuring all genres of music showcased in venues including Lincoln Center Stage with artists performing chamber music nightly; Billboard Onboard, where live musicians rock the crowd with chart-topping hits; and the popular B.B. King’s Blues Club in the Queen’s Lounge, bringing the best of Memphis music to sea.
Read more about Koningsdam’s exciting features in a previous blog post.
Will you be booking a trip to Half Moon Cay on one of Koningsdam’s Caribbean cruises?