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Postcards from Hawaii, the South Pacific and Costa Rica

From the Caribbean and South Pacific to Indonesia and all countries close to the equator, the tropics conjure up images of sun-kissed skies, azure seas, palm-lined shores and balmy breezes.

Stretching from the Tropic of Cancer to the Tropic of Capricorn, the tropics make an ideal destination to relax and enjoy the warm weather. Holland America Line ships travel the world, and on many voyages these tropical paradises take center stage. Come along to the tropics with our guests and see it through their eyes.

Guest and regular blog contributor Noel Bell sent in his video from his South Pacific crossing on ms Volendam. He was able to capture some wonderful underwater shots and even went swimming with turtles.

Here’s our South Pacific Crossing in October 2013 from Long Beach, Calif., to Sydney Australia. Visit the best of the Islands…without the sunburn!! Hope you enjoy the trip with us.

Noel also snapped some photos along the way.

Hilo (top row) and Honolulu, Hawaii.

Hilo (top row) and Honolulu, Hawaii.

During a visit to Rabaul, Papua New Guinea, Safety, Environmental and Health Officer Jonathan Bailey captured the beauty of the tropical island.

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The ship continued it’s South Pacific exploration.

The warm welcome the Amsterdam received during our call to Honiara Solomon Islands. Note that their teeth are stained red with a powder they eat to make the teeth strong! – Safety, Environmental and Health Officer Jonathan Bailey.

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On her Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage aboard ms Prinsendam, guest Sharon Johnson is making her way through the tropics before sailing south to cooler weather. At Puerto Limon, Costa Rica, Sharon and Al set off to see some of the wildlife that the area is famous for.

We wanted to see the Tortuguero Canals and sloths so we chose a tour that gave us some time cruising through the canals with an opportunity to see sloths, Howler Monkeys and bird life. We had a very knowledgeable guide who was not only able to pick out the slow-moving sloths, but also a Howler Monkey in one of the tall trees and many of the birds along the mangrove banks. He even spotted some frogs and a colorful lizard on one of the tree trunks. We saw lots of bird life, such as egrets, herons, kingfishers and a toucan. – Sharon

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We had a stop at a Del Monte Banana Plantation where we saw thousands of banana trees with blue bags covering the fruit. The bags protect the bananas from animals and bugs. Then we saw conveyor belts taking bananas from the rows of trees to a small factory where they cut the bananas into smaller bunches, washed them and packed them for shipping to the United States.

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What is your favorite tropical region or island? Tell us in the comments below!

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