Are you a port or destinations collector? Do you like longer journeys? What about relaxing days at sea? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, Holland America Line’s Collectors’ Voyages are the perfect cruise travel option. The Collectors’ Voyages are combined back-to-back itineraries that enable cruisers to visit more areas in a region than on a single, shorter voyage. And sometimes they combine two cruises in different regions, spanning continents and oceans. Cruise fares also can be more economical with Collectors’ Voyages, making them impossible to pass up.
If you’re thinking about booking a Collectors’ Voyage and wonder if it’s right for you, here are the top five reasons to take one of these exciting and unique itineraries.
1. More Exciting & Unusual Ports
The beauty of a Collectors’ Voyage is that it combines two back-to-back itineraries into one, extended cruise. Holland America Line often purposefully schedules ships on alternating routes in a region so guests who want to visit more ports in the area easily can combine two voyages into one seamless itinerary.
If you’re looking for the ultimate Caribbean adventure and want to see what the many unique islands have to offer, Oosterdam’s 21-day Southern Caribbean Wayfarer/Seafarer Collectors’ Voyage calls at 12 ports, including the chance to experience Half Moon Cay twice. Holland America Line’s private island paradise is consistently ranked number-one in the Caribbean by cruise guests. In addition to conveniently sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the ship visits popular favorites like Barbados, Martinique, St. Lucia and St. Maarten. But it also calls at several off-the-beaten-path ports like the ABC Islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, as well as Grand Turk and St. Kitts.
2. Longer Voyages
While some Collectors’ Voyages can be “shorter” such as the 14-day Easter/Western Caribbean Collectors’ Voyage, many are longer, epic journeys lasting a month, sometimes two. In addition to combining itineraries, many Collectors’ Voyages combine destinations that require more time to get from place to place, or the back-to-back itineraries are already longer individually and make up an even longer cruise when combined.
In September 2015 Volendam sails from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Singapore on a sweeping 75-Day South Pacific Explorer and Great Barrier Reef Collectors’ Voyage. While crossing the Pacific Ocean, the ship spends the night at Honolulu, Hawaii, then island-hops among South Pacific jewels en route to Australia. Once there, the ship makes 18 calls around the continent and offers guests two opportunities to experience the Great Barrier Reef, as well as scenic cruising in the Ribbon Reef region. Undoubtedly, it’s a memorable journey.
3. Visit Many Countries on One Trip
Many of the Collectors’ Voyages concentrate on one region, such as the Caribbean Collectors’ Voyages, while others explore multiple countries and span thousands of nautical miles. In Europe and South America it’s easy to hit many countries on one voyage without going too far. But sometimes the Collectors’ Voyages reach countries that are oceans apart.
The 48-Day Mediterranean and Far East Explorer Collectors’ Voyage departs Sept. 13, 2015, on Ryndam and cruises from Rotterdam, the Netherlands, all the way to Singapore in the Far East. The ship calls at 28 ports in 14 countries, making it a fun adventure for the traveler who wants to add to their collection of destinations visited.
In addition to countries like Portugal, Italy, Spain and Greece, guests will visit exotic locales in Jordan, Oman, India and Sri Lanka. A transit of the Suez Canal is a highlight of the voyage.
The convenience of unpacking just once, no hassles with car, train, bus or air transportation, and waking fresh in a new location makes a longer cruise adventure an unbeatable value.
4. Overnight Stays in Ports of Call
Overnight port calls are a highlight of some of the Collectors’ Voyages, allowing guests more time ashore to experience all that the area has to offer. Guests can take an evening tour to enjoy the nightlife side of the city, or perhaps dinner ashore at a well-known local restaurant is on the list of things to do. It also means time to take multiple tours in one port (which is a rare opportunity), go overland to an area farther from the ship than a day-call would allow, or even split time between taking a tour and exploring on your own. The cities that warrant an overnight call are often some of the most culturally rich in the world, leaving much to discover.
On the 28-Day Indonesian Discovery & Far East Discovery Collectors’ Voyage departing Jan. 5, 2016, from Singapore, Volendam guests will call at 16 ports in six countries and have overnight calls at Benoa (Bali), Indonesia; Singapore; and Laem Chabang (Bangkok), Thailand.
The overnight call at Laem Chabang allows guests to make the 2 1/2-hour journey into Bangkok and spend the night at a hotel in the bustling city. The Bangkok Overnight Tour includes visits to some of the country’s most impressive temples, the Grand Palace, Royal Barges and Wat Po with its golden reclining buddha, as well as the chance to enjoy an authentic Thai dinner at a local restaurant.
5. More Sea Days to Experience the Ship
While port days are exciting and full of adventure, it’s nice to have a few sea days to relax, recharge and take advantage of all of the ships’ wonderful amenities. Guests can be as active as they want or simply choose to unwind and do as little as possible. But if it’s activities you’re looking for, Holland America Line has something for everyone.
With guest chefs, cooking classes, wine tasting and mixology classes, the Culinary Arts Center makes it easy to embrace your culinary passion at sea. If you’re looking to get the most out of your gadgets and learn new ways to use them, the Digital Workshops powered by Windows are perfect … and complimentary!
On sea days, many guests love to head to the Greenhouse Spa to enjoy a relaxing experience. You might be feeling run down from all the exciting ports you’ve been visiting, making the spa the perfect place to get refreshed and rejuvenated.
Holland America Line’s “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” program is one of the most exciting activities available on a cruise ship. Guests have the opportunity to learn the art of a variety of dancing genres in classes onboard, and then compete for a chance to perform on the Champions Cruise.
Holland America Line’s “On Location” program is truly one of a kind. Become further immersed in your destinations with enriching activities featuring the local cultures and cuisine of the ports you have been visiting, all while onboard. From learning tai chi in Asia to lei making in Hawaii, you will love these hands-on classes. And if it’s knowledge you seek, Holland America Line has an impressive roster of experts in a variety of fields that come onboard and provide exciting and informative lectures.
The 44-Day Alaska Explorer and Transpacific Crossing Collectors’ Voyage on Statendam starts off with a port-intensive exploration of Alaska. In addition to calling at Juneau, Ketchikan, Homer, Sitka, Kodiak, Icy Straight Point and Anchorage, guests also are treated to the stunning scenery of Tracy Arm and Hubbard Glacier. But then it’s off across the Pacific to Singapore. Along the route guests will visit Hawaii, Micronesia, Guam, the Philippine, Malaysia and more, but it’s the 19 total sea days that are a real treat for those who are ready to have fun onboard.
Have you taken a Collectors’ Voyage or are you thinking about it? What appeals to you most about these longer cruises? Tell us below!