G’Day, Australia! Holland America Line is back Down Under after more than two years away. Westerdam — the first ship back for the cruise line since the pandemic — arrived at Cairns today following a journey that began Oct. 2 from Seattle. The full 36-day Pacific Ocean cruise included calls in Hawaii and the South Pacific, and the ship will call at Airlie Beach and Moreton Island, Queensland, before ending at Sydney Nov. 8.
“After being away from Australia for far too long, we are excited to be back in this beautiful part of the world,” said Gus Antorcha, president, Holland America Line. “Despite just opening sales for Westerdam in Australia seven months ago, we’re already seeing some full cruises in the region. Thank you to all of the locals who welcomed our guests at Cairns today and embraced our return with open arms.”
Westerdam will homeport out of Sydney for part of the 2022-23 Australian and New Zealand wave season. Guests who want to explore the southern regions of the continent and New Zealand can embark on a cruise aboard Westerdam through early January, with 13- and 14-day voyages. A special Holiday Cruise departs Dec. 20 and spends Christmas and New Year’s in some of the most beautiful ports around New Zealand.
Westerdam will be joined in Australia by Noordam, which offers Holland America Line’s incredible Australia Circumnavigation. The ship will circle the continent on a 35-day voyage, with 14 calls around Australia, overnights at Fremantle (Perth) and Melbourne, and memorable scenic cruising in the famed Great Barrier Reef.
The ship then sails between Sydney and Auckland, New Zealand, or roundtrip from Sydney on 12- to 16-day cruises that explore New Zealand.
This will be Westerdam’s first season in Australia and New Zealand, and the first time since 2016 that Holland America Line has positioned two ships cruising simultaneously around the region.
For travelers who want to head to Australia from a convenient North America homeport without the need for international air or a quick flight from Canada, the 2024 Grand Australia and New Zealand Voyage is back in 2024. The 94-day journey that’s been more than 10 years in the making departs Jan. 3, 2024, aboard Volendam, sailing roundtrip from San Diego, California.