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Saying ‘Bon Voyage’ to Two Grand Voyages in Style

January is always an exciting month for Holland America Line as two Grand Voyages depart, and this year they set sail a day apart from Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades terminal: Prinsendam on her 68-day Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage on January 3 and Amsterdam on her 113-day Grand World Voyage that departed on January 4.

Prinsendam’s Hotel Director Bart Groeneveld, along with Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford and I greeted enthusiastic guests as they boarded our “Elegant Explorer” January 3. Among the embarking guests were two members of the elite President’s Club. During the circumnavigation voyage around South America the ship will induct two more guests into Holland America Line’s highest loyalty club.

HD Bart, Captain, Orlando, Gerald.

The following day Orlando, Captain Jonathan Mercer, Hotel Director Henk Mensink, Cruise Director Hamish Davis and I greeted guests as they arrived to board Amsterdam for her 2018 Grand World Voyage. First to board on January 4 were 33 members of the elite President’s Club. During the fourth-month cruise, 12 new 5-Star Mariner guests will be inducted into the President’s Club.

HAL President Orlando Ashford, Dolly Smith, Captain Jonathan Mercer and Gerald Bernhoft.

President Orlando Ashford, Annie Scrivanich, Captain Jonathan Mercer, Cruise Director Hamish Davis, Director Mariner Society Gerald Bernhof.t

Director Mariner Society Gerald Bernhoft, President Orlando Ashford, Leiling Leung, Edward Leung, Captain Jonathan Mercer & Cruise Director Hamish Davis.

Seattle based VISIONART decorated the terminal for a proper send-off of these two vessels. Greeting guests as they arrived were tropical floral arrangements on every table and check-in counter, “Welcome Aboard” signs made out of nautical alphabet flags, palms gracing the space and navy blue and white balloon towers at the entrance of the terminal.


Havana, Cuba.


Although rather cold outside for South Florida, the warmth of the décor put smiles on our guests faces and hopefully made them feel special as they embarked on these two grand adventures. One circumnavigating the continent of South America and the other circling the globe.

Bon Voyage to you, Prinsendam and Amsterdam!

  • Patricia B

    Wonderful post! Enjoy seeing the hard work HAL puts into a wonderfully decorated send-off for these Grand Voyages.

    Thanks to Mr Bernhoft for the great photos and to both him and Mr Ashford for taking time from their busy schedules to take part.

    HAL is the best!

  • Raul J Rodriguez

    The Prinsendam with its captain, officers, and excellent crew is truly an exceptional jewel in HAL’s inventory of ships. It is the fourth HAL ship we have sailed in and while all have been very fine experiences, the Prinsendam stands out to the point we have become addicted to it.

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