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Holland America Line Cruises to Some Unique Remote Locales

Are you a destination collector who likes to visit locales that are hard to access on a “regular” vacation? Maybe you’re seeking a bucket-list port or experience that is best visited by cruise ship? From the North Cape to Cape Horn, Holland America Line cruises circle the globe and call at some of the most beautiful and remote locations in the world. Come aboard one of these itineraries and check off some incredible destinations that are conveniently accessed in comfort via one of our elegant ships.

GRYTVIKEN, SOUTH GEORGIA, ANTARCTICA

Penguins

As ghost towns go, this one’s hard to beat. Located on the remote island of South Georgia in the southern Atlantic Ocean about 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) east of Argentina, Grytviken was founded in 1904 as a Norwegian whaling and sealing station and occupied for 60 years. Today, most visitors to this wild and wind-tossed island, now a British overseas territory, arrive by cruise ship or expedition vessel on itineraries to Antarctica and are greeted by the rusted remnants of its seafaring past, a century-old church, a movie theater and a museum that puts the harsh realities of whaling’s heyday into perspective.

Grytviken is famous as well for having been the place where British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton plotted the rescue of the expedition team from his ship Endurance after it became trapped in shifting pack ice in 1915 and sank. Set against a backdrop of rocky coastline and rugged 2,000- to 3,000-meter (6,500- to 9,600-foot) peaks, the port is also a gateway to the wildlife viewing for which South Georgia is famous. Penguins, seals and seabirds flourish here in populations numbering in the tens of thousands — and some wander amid the ruins of this maritime settlement, making for great photo ops.

The 2019 Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage circumnavigates the continent and goes south to Grytviken, South Georgia, along with some other remote ports like Stanley, Falkland Islands.

NORTH CAPE

North Cape

The Nordkapp (North Cape) is a 300-meter-tall (984-foot-tall) headland in northern Norway, commonly known as the northernmost point in Europe. The views offered from the cape and an enjoyable visitor center keep that reputation intact. The attraction of the region is more than just a quirk of geography. The starkly beautiful, barren and often intimidating coastline of Finnmark contrasts with the majestic fjords to the south, and rare species of seabirds have made the few grassy islands their home. The region offers opportunities for sport beyond hiking, skiing and fishing; sea rafting, in particular, is popular with locals.

Next summer, Nieuw Statendam journeys up to the Arctic Circle and Honningsvag with North Cape scenic cruising on a 14-day Voyage of the Midnight Sun cruise roundtrip from Amsterdam.

EASTER ISLAND

moai

Easter Island is located approximately 2,300 miles from Chile’s west coast and 2,500 miles east of Tahiti. Known as Rapa Nui to its earliest inhabitants, the island was christened Easter Island by Dutch explorers in honor of the day of their arrival in 1722. It was annexed by Chile in the late 19th century and its most famous claim to fame is an array of almost 900 giant stone figures called moai that date back many centuries. There has been much speculation about the exact purpose of the statues, the role they played in the ancient civilization of Easter Island and the way they may have been constructed and transported. In 1995, UNESCO named Easter Island a World Heritage site and it is home to a mixed population, mostly of Polynesian ancestry.

Visit Easter Island on Maasdam’s 34-day Kon Tiki Voyage EXC In-Depth Voyage from Fort Lauderdale to Tahiti, transiting the Panama Canal before making way to Easter Island.

MANAUS

amazon

It’s a port city, but the ocean is almost a thousand miles away. One of the world’s great boomtowns, Manaus — which lies at the confluence of Brazil’s Amazon River and Rio Negro — rose to glory as the rubber trade exploded in the late 19th century, minting fortunes and redefining extravagance for its nouveau riche. All the better for today’s visitors, as the boom-time landmarks still enchant. The Teatro Amazonas is a copy of the Grand Opera de Paris, the Mercado Municipal echoes Les Halles, and the Palacio Rio Negro evokes old Portugal. Of course, the endless jungle stretches all around. From Manaus, cruise visitors can venture even deeper into the heart of the Amazon, on the lookout for jungle birds, manatees and giant alligators.

Looking to cruise down the Amazon and explore Manaus? Veendam’s 23-day Amazon and Carnaval Explorer Cruise departing March 3, 2019, sails from Fort Lauderdale to Rio with an Amazon adventure along the way.

GLACIER BAY

GlacierBay

One of the most coveted destinations in the world, Glacier Bay can only be visited via the water. Frosted crags descend into mossy forests and a 457-meter-deep (1,500-foot-deep) fjord at this UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is also one of the planet’s largest biosphere reserves. Stone, ice and water continue to collide, sculpting a dramatic landscape that is the crown jewel of southeastern Alaska’s natural wonders. The formerly glacier-squashed land is rebounding after retreating for years, rising 30 millimeters (1.18 inches) each year.

While the national park is open year round, most travelers prefer the warmth of late May to early September. Even in summer, be prepared for any weather—especially rain! Holland America Line hosts a Glacier Bay Park Ranger on all cruises to the destination who provides valuable commentary during the scenic cruising experience.

Looking to explore Glacier Bay? Holland America Line has extensive Alaska cruise options during the summer sailing season.

The world is full of wonderful and unique destinations that are best visited via a cruise ship. Which one of these world wonders is on your bucket list?

4 Comments
  • Eleanor

    Does Holland America Line have a policy regarding tourist-caused damage? Do you limit calls and land-excursions in Antarctica? I know many people would love to see these kinds of places, but we all need to be concerned about the damage all the visitors will leave in this unspoiled locations. It is irresponsible to be promoting thousands of visitors to some of these places.

  • Julie

    Hi Eleanor, while in Antarctica Holland America Line ships do not take guests ashore. It is just scenic cruising. When ashore in places like Grytviken, we are always careful to leave minimal footprint.

  • Denise

    Has anyone taken the excursion flying from Chile to Antartica offered on the South America Vandeem 16 day Cruise. My husband has some mobility issues so we need to know about the stairs into the plane and the 1 mile road from the airfield to the research station so we can figure out if we could manage the trip. Thanks

  • Julie

    Hi Denise, the airplane is BAE 146. In Antarctica the ground is uneven, it may have a lot of snow or may be muddy if there has been rain. There is a gradient and a considerable amount of walking that will vary depending on the type of weather on each specific date. Guests should be able to move and walk without any difficulties.

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