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Journey to the Far East and South Pacific on Amsterdam’s 2018 Grand Voyage

Grand Voyages don’t just get their names from their exceptional length, but from all the magnificent destinations you have the opportunity to experience on just one cruise. On Sept. 30, 2018, Amsterdam will embark on an 82-day Grand Asia & Pacific Voyage roundtrip from Los Angeles, California, that includes 34 ports and six overnights. From the mysterious lands of Asia to the exotic island jewels of the South Pacific, this cruise visits a collection of ports that are high on most travel wish lists. Join us for a peek into this unforgettable journey to see if it’s right for you!

After departing Los Angeles, Amsterdam will spend five leisurely days at sea before making its first call at Dutch Harbor, Unalaska, a port best known for being the famous harbor featured in the Discovery Channel’s hit television series Deadliest Catch. Amsterdam will then spend three more days at sea, crossing the International Dateline before reaching Petropavlovsk, Kamchatskiy, Russia. Spend your time enjoying the spectacular volcano views or take a boat out on Avacha Bay for a day of fishing, whale watching, or just enjoying the scenery. Amsterdam guests will then depart Russia and spend two days at sea before the ship makes its first call in the Far East at Kushiro, Japan.

Journey to Japan

Kobe, Japan.

Kobe, Japan.

Kushiro is famous for the thick fog that creates its mysterious appeal and is home to Kushiro Shitsugen National Park — Japan’s largest undeveloped wetland. Guests can take part in canoe tours through the marshlands or enjoy boardwalk trails while keeping an eye out for Japan’s revered red-crowned crane. Another natural wonder that should not be missed is Akan National Park. Here guests can admire impressive volcanoes and pristine crater lakes where it’s possible to take a dip in one off the area’s natural hot springs. Before heading back to the ship, make sure to stop at Washo market for fresh sushi and sashimi, or head to the fisherman’s wharf for souvenir shopping!

Amsterdam will depart Kushiro and make way for Yokohama, Japan, for the first overnight of the voyage. Having a decidedly different feel from many other Japanese cities, this port continues to be one of the liveliest and most international destinations in Japan, offering microbreweries and restaurants featuring global cuisine. Those looking to explore a bit further can take advantage of the extra time at port and take a quick trip to Kamakura, home to Japan’s second-largest bronze Buddah, Daibutsu, as well as the important Shinto shrine Tsurugaoka Hachimangu. However, the biggest attraction of this port is that it can be accessed through one of our incredible EXC Tours. Select the Hakone National Park & Mt Fuji Views tour for an opportunity to get a close-up view of one of the most recognizable landmarks of Japan — Mt. Fuji! After departing Yokohama, Amsterdam will continue on to call at three additional Japanese ports including Shimizu, Kobe, and Kochi. Following Kochi, guests will enjoy scenic cruising through the Kanmon Strait and a call at Fukuoka (Hakata), Japan, before the ship spends two more days at sea while making its way to China.

Calling at China

The Great Wall of China.

The Great Wall of China.

Following those two relaxing sea days, Amesterdam guests will arrive at Tianjin (Bejing), China, for the second overnight of the voyage. As a major seaport and gateway to Bejing, bucket-list attractions are well within reach, allowing cruisers to take full advantage of their extra time at port. Guests can explore this major city on their own, or take part in an exciting EXC Tour like the Summer Palace & the Great Wall of China, which combines two major attractions in one tour! After spending time in this bustling city, guests will be happy to have two more days at sea to recharge before reaching Shanghai for another overnight stay. With fascinating museums, impressive architecture and over 30,000 restaurants, guests will find their overnight allows them ample time to see a bit of everything.

Amsterdam will depart Shanghai and make three consecutive calls that include Naha and Ishigaki Island in Japan, and Keelung (Taipei), Taiwan. A visit to Naha allows guests to witness Shuri Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was originally erected in the late 14th century and served as the residence of the Ryukyu Kings until 1879. While it’s been rebuilt and destroyed many times over the centuries, this site continues to be popular among visitors. At Ishigaki Island, guests can take part in a tranquil glass-bottom boat tour of Kabira Bay as they admire its renowned white sands and turquoise waters. The next port of Keelung gives cruisers the chance to visit Tawain’s only park with volcanic geography and hot springs — Yangmingshan National Park!

Cruisers will have another day at sea before making the last call in China at the glamorous and cosmopolitan city of Hong Kong for another overnight. Upon departing China, Amsterdam spends another day at sea before continuing on to call at two ports in Vietnam, Nha Trang and Phu, followed by another day at sea before reaching Singapore for an overnight call.

Inviting Indonesia

Bali, Indonesia.

Bali, Indonesia, is a jewel in the region.

The Far East portion of the voyage will conclude with three calls to some of the most intriguing destinations in Indonesia: Semerang, Denpasar and Komodo Island. After a day at sea, guests will arrive at Semarang where visitors can take a day trip to Borobudur, the Buddhist temple and UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates to the 8th and 9th centuries. Cruisers will enjoy another sea day before arriving at Denpasar, the capital city of stunning Bali. While Indonesia is made up of more than 13,000 islands, Bali still manages to stand out against the competition. Here you’ll find alluring temples and shrines of all sizes spread across the island, hidden within the jungle or serenely presiding over scenic locations like the dramatic Pura Tanah Lot that sits atop a rock formation just off Bali’s western coast. The very next day, Amsterdam will call at Komodo Island, where guests will discover another UNESCO World Heritage Site — Komodo National Park. A biosphere reserve since 1992, this region is home to approximately 5,800 Komodo dragons and offers gorgeous landscapes that are comprised of white-sand beaches, clear blue water and sheer rugged cliffs.

Australia Awaits!

Sydney, Australia.

Sydney, Australia.

After departing Indonesia, Amsterdam will spend a day at sea before reaching the next impressive destination of the voyage — Australia. Cruisers’ first call in the Land Down Under will be at Darwin. The lifestyle here is tropical, which means a relaxed atmosphere, fabulous fusion food and vibrant outdoor markets. Guests will then call at Cairns and Mooloolaba before arriving at Sydney for an overnight. The idyllic lifestyle, friendly locals and drop-dead natural beauty of this approachable metropolis explain why the country tops so many travelers’ wish lists. The famed harbor is among the top sights and home to two icons: the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. In one day you can sail around the harbor, get a behind-the-scenes tour of the opera house and climb the bridge, with time to spare for people-watching over a flat white at a waterfront café.

Sailing the South Pacific

Fiji

Amsterdam departs Australia and spends two days at sea as it makes way to the South Pacific, where balmy breezes, turquoise waters and tangerine sunsets await. Guests will enjoy three days of back-to-back calls at Nouméa and Easo, New Caledonia; and Mystery Island, Vanuatu. Nouméa is a French city with Polynesian accents, cooled by ocean breezes and set among tropical flowers the size of dinner plates. With one of the healthiest reef systems left on earth, the island’s lagoons are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, holding more than 9,000 species of fish and other marine life. At the island paradise of Easo, guests will be welcomed with traditional tribal dances as well as a colorful local market that pops up to sell food, drinks and crafts. Lounge on the pristine beach or take in the sights on the island’s many walking paths and trails. Mystery Island is an uninhabited island that’s home to crystal-clear waters and stunning coral reefs, making it the ideal spot for snorkeling or swimming.

Amsterdam guests will then spend a day at sea before calling at two ports in Fiji: Port Denerau (Nadi) and Suva, Viti Levu, where you’ll find some of the world’s best soft coral diving, as well as shimmering green mountains and cultivated gardens. Amsterdam continues the South Pacific adventure with a call at Apia, Upolo, Samoa where guests will find a dramatic volcanic landscape with vibrant green jungles. Explore the Samoan cultural village or visit the To Sua Ocean Trench where you can relax in a natural swimming grotto, filled with sapphire-blue seawater. The fjordlike harbor of Pago Pago, Tutulia, is one of the most stunning in the region! Visitors will find the best views of the harbor from the summit of Mount Alava in the National Park of American Samoa.

Homeward Bound

Hawaiian fire dancer.

After departing American Samoa, Amsterdam will cross the equator and spend four more days at sea before making the last two calls of the voyage at Honolulu and Lahaina, Hawaii. While at Honolulu, guests can learn to surf in the birthplace of modern surfing at gorgeous Waikiki Beach or take a tour to the historic site of Pearl Harbor. At Lahaina, known as the paradise of paradises, guests can journey into the rain forest for a scenic drive full of twists and turns that lead to stunning waterfalls and ponds ideal for cooling off. Following this final call, cruisers will enjoy five luxurious days at sea where the ship becomes the destination as Amsterdam makes its way back to Los Angeles.

Now that you’ve taken a peek into this journey with us, we think you’ll agree when we say this voyage is not just grand, it is epic! With a combination of relaxing days at sea on our elegant ship and calls at exotic cities and picturesque islands, our 82-day Grand Asia & Pacific Voyage makes for one legendary cruise!

ms Amsterdam

ms Amsterdam.

Unable to get away from 82 days? You don’t have to miss out! Holland America Line offers five different segments of this voyage, allowing guests to choose the itinerary that best suits their schedule and interests! On Sept. 30, 2018, cruisers can opt for 57-day segment that begins at Los Angeles and concludes at Sydney, or they can select the 34-day segment that begins at Los Angeles and ends at Hong Kong. On Nov. 4, 2018, an additional two segments are available including a 48-day segment that begins at Hong Kong and concludes at Los Angeles, or a 23-day segment that begins at Hong Kong and concludes at Sydney. Lastly, On Nov. 27, 2018, a 25-day segment is available from Sydney to Los Angeles. Make sure to browse our various itineraries to find the best fit for you!

Which destination would you most look forward to on this itinerary? Tell us in the comments below!

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