The South Pacific islands are the epitome of picture-perfect. This one-of-a-kind region beckons to wanderlust spirits from far and wide, promising a unique combination of rich culture, ideal climate and lush landscapes.
Hawaii and Tahiti are fan favorites, and we offer itineraries departing this April on Westerdam or Zaandam.
The 30-Day Circle Hawaii, Tahiti & Marquesas sails roundtrip from San Diego, California on April 2, 2016 visiting Honolulu, Hilo and Kona, Hawaii; Tabuaeran (Fanning Island), Kiribati; Rarotona, Cook Islands; Raiatea, Bora Bora, Moorea, Papeete and Nuku Hiva, French Polynesia. Cruisers also have the option to disembark at Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada or Seattle, Washington following the final stop at San Diego.
The 18-Day Circle Hawaii on Zaandam sails roundtrip from Vancouver, Canada departing on April 27, 2016. This itinerary calls at Honolulu, Hilo, Kona, Lahaina and Nawiliwili Kauai, Hawaii; and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
While Holland America Line offers a number of different itineraries in the South Pacific, the Tales of the South Pacific itinerary on Amsterdam is the most epic. Sailing roundtrip from San Diego, California on Sept. 30, 2016, this amazing cruise offers 23 additional ports of call at Honolulu, Lahaina, Nawiliwili Kona and Hilo, Hawaii; Tabuaeran (Fanning Island), Kiribati; Pago Pago, American Samoa; Apia, Samoa; Savusavu, Suva, Dravuni Island and Lautoka, Fiji; Nuku alofa and Vava u, Tonga; Alofi, Niue; Rarotonga, Cook Islands; Bora Bora, Raiatea, Papeete, Moorea, Rangiroa, Fakarava and Nuku Hiva, French Polynesia. Cruisers also have the option to embark from Seattle, Washington on Sept. 25, 2016 or Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on Sept. 26, 2016, and then stopping at Avalon, California before continuing to San Diego and the rest of the above mentioned South Pacific islands.
The first 10 days of the journey are perfect for getting to know the ship, taking in scenery and preparing for the many adventures that lay ahead. Watch as the azure waters of the Pacific Ocean pass slowly by.
Day 11 is when the real adventure begins with calls throughout Hawaii for the next six days. The shores of Honolulu greet you with aqua-blue waters and a fragrant lei. Watch as surfers glide along Waikiki’s perfect waves. An overnight here passes quickly with a moving visit to Pearl Harbor or a breathtaking hike to the top of Diamond Head crater.
On Maui, it’s the Iao Valley and its emerald needle. Visit the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, Waimea Canyon, on the Garden Isle of Kauai. A trip to Hawaii just wouldn’t be complete without visiting another – you guessed it – volcano! On the Big Island it’s Kilauea Volcano, home to the Hawaiian Goddess of Fire, Pele.
President’s Club member and “World Adventure” blogger Jeff Farschman traveled on the South Pacific Tales cruise in 2015.
“What a spectacular day! The beauty and magnificence of Maui just cannot be captured properly with a few photographs. It is truly one of the most magnificent places to visit.”
Things get even more exotic on day 19 as our mid-sized ship makes its way west to spend the next 10 days exploring islands off the beaten path in the South Pacific. You’ll be inordinately pleased to discover that Fanning Island, Dravuni and Savusavu all have one main street — or less!
Day 37 greets a more familiar name … Tahiti! And for sheer beauty, it’s hard for another destination to compete. Overnights at both Bora Bora and Papeete, plus full days at Raiatea and Moorea, give guests plenty of time to enjoy the view. In Bora Bora’s lagoon, shades of blue and aqua swirl together seamlessly. Snorkel through Raiatea’s coral garden and enjoy a motu beach picnic off Moorea — this really is paradise.
Farshchman’s call at Bora Bora can only be described as dream-like. Lush, misty mountains sit on a bed of bright, green palm trees over a clear-blue ocean. Holland America Line guests can choose to spend the night in one of the iconic overwater bungalows at the Pearl Resort.
“The place is just perfect! It was a relaxing day surrounded by the most beautiful setting imaginable.” – Jeff Farshman
On his second day at Bora Bora he explored what lay beneath the water, and as you can probably guess, the views didn’t disappoint! Colorful fish gracefully weave through the vibrant coral and sea urchins move like dancers in a ballet. Diverse and untouched, it’s safe to say that Bora Bora has some of the best snorkeling in the world.
Cruisers on the 2016 itinerary will make their way to the far-flung Tuamotus on day 42. Rangiroa and Fakarava are among those rare discoveries you’ll want to keep to yourself. The snorkeling and diving at these atolls is world-class, especially at tiny Fakarava, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers, as these islands showcase some of the most beautiful flora on Earth.
“It was very scenic and lovely and when it wasn’t raining, quite nice. I really enjoyed my day exploring Rangiroa.” -Jeff Farschman
At Nuku Hiva, see French Polynesia at its best: pristine, wild and endlessly charming. Then go from one side of the globe to the other in the blink of an eye as you cruise across the equator.
“Had a most excellent day on the island of Nuku Hiva today. The island just takes your breath away with its scenic beauty. Along with the island being so beautiful, we found the people very welcoming and friendly.” – Jeff Farschman
After 48 days of unforgettable memories, you’ll enjoy your final few days onboard editing and sharing photos from your journey in the Digital Workshop powered by Windows. This voyage has plenty of sea days crossing to and from the islands, and days at sea are the perfect time to relax in your spacious stateroom and enjoy idyllic views from your private verandah. It’s also a great time to experience some of the many onboard activities offered like a peaceful yoga session or hands-on cooking class at the Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine. Indulge in fine dining at the Pinnacle Grill, then sing along with fellow cruisers at the Piano Bar.
As disembarkation at San Diego draws near, make a reservation with your new travel friends at Canaletto, our family-style Italian dining venue, to toast to savoring your journey in the South Pacific.
Make 2016 the year that you set sail across the world and explore the wonders of the South Pacific on Amsterdam. With the View & Verandah promotion going on now, there’s no better time to book. We’re offering stateroom upgrades, up to 10 percent off shore excursions and up to 25 percent off Collectors’ Voyages on 2016-2017 sailings when booked by Feb. 29, 2016!
Photos in the body of this blog post showcasing the South Pacific courtesy of Jeff Farschman, President’s Club member and “World Adventure” blogger.