Winter is coming, and just not in Westeros (for all you Game of Thrones fans!). That means the Caribbean is heating up to usher in warmer weather for those guests who are getting ready to face chilly temps and snow. Across the fleet Holland America Line ships are preparing to reposition from their summer homes in Europe and other regions to summer-like climates such as the Caribbean and South America.
As the ships move from one region to the next a number of unique itineraries become available, giving guests the chance to experience the best of both worlds on a cruise: relaxing days crossing oceans and seeing some incredible ports of call. Read on to learn the why, when and where of transatlantic repositioning cruises!
Crossing the Atlantic from Europe to the Caribbean
Transatlantic itineraries are the most popular ocean crossing options. From Europe to the Caribbean or vice-versa, guests set out to open sea with itineraries that combine unique ports and relaxing days at sea. Come fall, Koningsdam, Eurodam, Oosterdam and Prinsendam all set sail for Florida, ending in their homeports of either Fort Lauderdale or Tampa.
There’s still time to be apart of history as Koningsdam — our newest ship — makes its way for the first time from Europe to the Caribbean on the Oct. 24, 2016, 16-Day Passage to America crossing. Departing from Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy, and crossing to Fort Lauderdale, the ship explores Spain with calls at Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, Alicante, Malaga and Cadiz, as well as Funchal, Madeira, before spending seven days at sea.
Oosterdam departs Civitavecchia Nov. 3 on a 15-Day Spanish Passage voyage to Tampa, the only Holland America Line ship sailing from this port this winter. The ship calls at Palma de Mallorca, Malaga, Cartagena and Funchal before traversing the Atlantic for eight days. Eight days at sea provide the ultimate options for unwinding and rejuvenating before arriving at Fort Lauderdale.
Also departing November 3 from Civitavecchia, Prinsendam crosses the Atlantic on a 16-Day Journey to the New World cruise that ends at Fort Lauderdale. Our Elegnat Exporer makes calls at Barcelona, Cartagena, Malaga, Huelva (Seville); Lisbon, Portugal; and Funchal before spendign seven days at sea. Unlike the other ships, Prinsendam will then head to the Amazon via the Caribbean for a 29-Day Amazon Explorer cruise.
Eurodam’s 15-Day Passage to America departs from Barcelona November 4 and also explores the Spanish ports of Palma de Mallorca, Alicante, Malaga and Cadiz, as well as Funchal.
What’s to Love About a Transatlantic?
Guest Bob Hale loves that a transatlantic cruise offers plenty of time to enjoy all of Holland America Line’s fabulous culinary offerings and to rest. After all, the ocean is vast, which means more days at sea. Guests who are fans of sea days, like Ester Cooke, treat the ship like a destination in itself, taking time to engage in onboard activities at the Culinary Arts Center, Digital Workshops powered by Windows and more. Another great perk? When you cruise across the ocean you can slowly adjust to changing timezones — which means no jet lag! And going from east to west means an additional hour each day to enjoy the ship’s amenities.
What’s there to do on a sea day, you might ask? Holland America Line understands that our guests seek knowledge and enjoy learning new things. With that in mind, sea days are full of possibilities leaving it up to you. Do as little or as much as you want, the choice is yours.
With guest chefs, cooking classes, wine tasting and mixology classes, the Culinary Arts Center makes it is easy to embrace your culinary passion at sea. Holland America Line has award-winning chefs scheduled to come onboard throughout the year, so check the schedule to see when your favorite is sailing.
In addition to demonstrations and classes put on by the guest chefs, guests also have the opportunity to learn from Holland America Line’s own professional staff. Classes offered cover a variety of topics from seasonal cuisine to learning how to make the impressive fruit and vegetable art displays seen during the cruise.
If you’re looking to get the most out of your gadgets and learn new ways to use them, the Holland America Line Digital Workshops powered by Windows are perfect … and complimentary! Guests can attend classes and learn how to do almost anything with their computer — from sharing vacation photos with family to blogging about your trip. If you think you’ve already learned everything you needed to know from the techsperts on your last Holland America cruise, think again! Check out this blog post about the new classes that have been added and start thinking about which ones you hope to attend on your next cruise.
BBC Earth Changes Your View of the World
Be among the first guests to enjoy exclusive BBC Earth Natural History content on board with BBC Earth Experiences. Learn about the ocean and natural world through amazing concerts, films, shows and children’s activities. Be transported to the majestic wilderness of the Polar Regions with a live concert set to the backdrop of the breath-taking footage from Frozen Planet. Test your knowledge in an exciting new game show uncovering the weird, wonderful and obscure in our natural world.
Spa & Fitness
On sea days, many guests love to head to the Greenhouse Spa to enjoy an incredible and relaxing experience. You might be feeling run down from all the exciting ports you’ve been visiting, making the Greenhouse Spa the perfect place to get refreshed and rejuvenated. Take advantage of the relaxing treatment rooms and indulge in a massage or facial therapy.
If you want to get active, the fitness center is nearby and offers all kinds of classes including yoga, pilates, indoor cycling and cardio circuit training.
On Kondingsdam, there’s even a TRX class that is the first in the fleet. Classes are offered for participants of all different levels, so no need to feel intimated. If you prefer to work out on your own you can take advantage of the state-of-the-art gyms that feature treadmills, rowing machines, weight machines and more.
Relax and catch up on the latest news at the Explorations Café. This comfortable coffee house environment is perfect for browsing one of the most extensive libraries at sea. You can also read the morning paper and enjoy fresh pastries. The café features internet stations and wireless hotspots, destination-related content, jigsaw puzzle tables and cozy chairs overlooking the ocean. And if the “New York Times” crossword puzzle is a morning favorite, test your knowledge at the ones onboard developed exclusively for Holland America Line.
If you didn’t find a painting you liked, there is still one last place to splurge onboard. A world-class shopping experience is just steps away with the “Signature Shops.” Pick out a piece from the selection of jewelry, watches or souvenirs, try a new fragrance, or indulge in some premium liquor. And if you’re looking to purchase a fine piece of jewelry, Merabella has what you’re looking for. Whatever you choose, it will make a fine reminder of your vacation.
There’s still so much more to do onboard so be sure to read the daily program. Whether you like to test your luck bingo, participate in team trivia or play bridge, there are plenty of activities throughout the day!