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Cruising the Caribbean Beyond 7 Days

Photo courtesy of guest Kaylynn.

Photo courtesy of guest Kaylynn.

Many cruises to the Caribbean are seven days, making them fabulous week-long vacations. Those itineraries tend to focus on one region, whether it be eastern, western or southern. Each area has beautiful islands to explore with plenty of time for fun, sun, sand and surf. But did you know that Holland America Line also offers longer Caribbean itineraries for guests looking to spend more time exploring this gorgeous part of the world?

From October 2013 through April 2014, ms Eurodam, ms Maasdam, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Noordam, ms Ryndam, ms Veendam, ms Westerdam and ms Zuiderdam sail a total of 109 seven-, 10-, 11- and 14-day cruises that can be combined into longer Collectors’ Voyages ranging from 14 to 25 days. The itineraries span the Caribbean and also include a partial transit of the Panama Canal.

Here are some highlights of the ships’ longer itineraries, keeping in mind that they also offer seven-day cruises for those looking to get away for a week.

Maasdam features the most varied itineraries of the season. A 10-day eastern route visits San Juan, St. Thomas, Dominica, St. John’s, Tortola and Half Moon Cay, the line’s award-winning private island. Guests looking to explore the southern Caribbean can take an 11-day cruise to St. Maarten, St. Kitts, St. Vincent, Barbados, Martinique, St. Croix and Half Moon Cay or a 14-day sailing that calls at St. Thomas, St. Bart’s, St. Lucia, Barbados, Grenada, Curaçao, Bonaire and Half Moon Cay.

Photo courtesy of guest Kaylynn.

Photo courtesy of guest Kaylynn.

Noordam also highlights several of the region’s ports on roundtrip Fort Lauderdale, Fla., cruises. The ship’s 10-day southern cruise highlights the Dutch “ABC” islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao, and also visits Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk and Santa Barbara de Samana, Dominican Republic, while the 11-day southern sailing calls at St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Barbados, Martinique, Dominica, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay.

The only ship sailing roundtrip Tampa, Fla., Ryndam offers two different 14-day southern Caribbean itineraries that call at Key West, San Juan, St. Thomas, St. John’s, St. Lucia, Aruba, Grand Cayman and Curaçao or Bonaire.

Zuiderdam features 10- and 11-day Panama Canal Sunfarer itineraries that sail roundtrip Fort Lauderdale and explore the southern Caribbean with a partial transit of the canal. The 10-day route highlights the partial transit and calls at Half Moon Cay; Aruba; Curaçao; Colon, Panama, and Puerto Limón, Costa Rica, while the 11-day cruise features Half Moon Cay; Aruba; Curaçao; Cartagena, Colombia; a partial Panama Canal transit, Colon and Puerto Limón.

Guests seeking a longer Caribbean exploration can take one of Holland America Line’s extended Collectors’ Voyages that combines back-to-back cruises to form an in-depth Caribbean itinerary. Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam combine seven-day voyages to feature 14-day Collectors’ Voyages, and Ryndam, Maasdam and Noordam offer 21-day adventures. At 25 days, Maasdam also sails the longest Collectors’ Voyage of the season.

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