As guests cruise the world on Holland America Line they’re privy to some of the most beautiful views and vistas. Guests can also choose to connect with the culture, people, nature and sites of every port on a very deep level with our EXC Tours.
Several port around the globe feature some of the world’s most well-know, recognizable and iconic sites. Whether you’re a first-time or longtime cruiser, if you’re looking to experience the world’s wonders these EXC Tours may be for you!
As they say, “All roads lead to Rome,” and for those looking to experience the Eternal City the Highlights of Rome EXC Tour is just for you! Guests will enter the vast expanse of St. Peter’s Square through Bernini’s Colonnade, and step into Christendom’s largest church, St. Peter’s Basilica. Leaving the Vatican, guests will drive along the Tiber River, passing Aventine Hill for a view of the imposing remains of the Imperial Palaces and the Circus Maximus. Pass by the Forum where vestiges of the Roman Empire remain.
Then guests will visit and circle the Colosseum en route to Venice Square, the heart of Rome with its flamboyant memorial to King Victor Emanuel. Stop at the Trevi Fountain where King Neptune’s Tritons guard the sparkling waters of Rome’s most beloved monument. Toss in a coin to ensure a return to the Eternal City. A typical Italian lunch will then be served before guests can enjoy some free time for shopping or to continue sightseeing around the city.
THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA
If you’re cruising to Xingang (Beijing), the Summer Palace & the Great Wall of China EXC Tour will take guests to the most iconic sites in the Land of the Red Dragon. Depart from the port for an approximately three-hour transfer to the Summer Palace and the Garden of Cultivated Harmony. Built in the Qing Dynasty and surrounded by grounds laid out by Emperor Qianlong as a place of retirement for his mother, this summer residence took on special interest for the notorious Empress Dowager Cixi, who fulfilled a wonderful dream by commissioning the palace in 1888.
Lunch will be served at a local restaurant near the Great Wall where guests will also have a half-hour of shopping for local specialties. Continue to the Great Wall, whose construction began as early as the 8th century BC, but it was the first Qin Emperor who extended this bastion against the invading Mongolians. Construction reached its zenith under the Ming Dynasty. Today, the wall stretches some 3,600 miles. The visit features a walk along a restored section of the Wall’s battlements, which are wide enough to allow cavalry and chariots to pass.
THE SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE
For guests who love music and are heading to the Land Down Under, they can capture the dynamic spirit of Sydney while enjoying a performance at the Sydney Opera House. This epic building and its outrageous sail-shaped roof has been immortalized in the hearts of “Sydneysiders” and visitors alike.
With the Evening at the Sydney Opera House EXC Tour, guests will arrive by motorcoach and then be escorted to reserved seats to savor a dazzling performance by talented professionals in this unparalleled performing arts venue.
RIO DE JANEIRO
No sight is more famous in Rio than the statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado Mountain. On the Corcovado & Rio Highlights EXC Tour, guests will set out on a drive through the city to the Tijuca Forest at Corcovado. At the base of the mountain, guests will board a 115-year-old cogwheel tram for the 20-minute ride through the forest to the top of the ‘hunchback’ mountain. The spectacular vistas of Rio from the tram encompassing the city’s beaches, buildings and bridges will surround each guest.
At the top, guests will then take the elevator or escalator to the summit — an elevation of 2,400 feet. After a climb of approximately 25 steps guests will see the crowning glory of Corcovado — the famous statue of Christ the Redeemer, standing 125 feet tall. The Redeemer’s outstretched arms welcome guests to an absolutely astonishing 360-degree view of this bustling Brazilian city.
FLORENCE & PISA
While all the roads may lead to Rome, a journey to the Tuscan cities of Florence and Pisa is truly a treat. For cruisers exploring the Italian peninsula, or the “boot”, the Tuscan Landmarks EXC Tour is a must. The tour begins with a 1½ hour voyage through the countryside of western Tuscany to Florence. In the city, guests will set out on a half-day walking tour that includes Brunelleschi’s masterpiece cathedral in pink, green and white marble, and its adjacent bell tower and baptistery. There guests can see the copy of Michelangelo’s David in the Piazza della Signoria and visit the Church of Santa Croce.
After enjoying a savory lunch at a local Florentine restaurant and the many fruits of Florence, guests will take a 60-minute freeway drive to Pisa. In Pisa, guests will have about 30 minutes of free time at the aptly named Piazza dei Miracoli – the site of the Leaning Tower, the cathedral and the baptistery. Across the street is a row of street stalls selling souvenirs and terrific leather bags.
Interested in booking or ready to learn more about EXC Tours? Our helpful and user-friendly EXC Tours guide has all of the information to get you exploring!