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Two Epic Cruises: Volendam’s South Pacific Crossing and Australia Circumnavigation

It’s not often that a cruise circumnavigates an entire continent visiting some of the top bucket list destinations in the world. And when that journey could also include an exciting adventure across the Pacific Ocean to some of the most gorgeous islands in the world, there’s no other itinerary that should top the list of “must do” cruises than Holland America Line’s epic 58-day South Pacific and Australia Circumnavigation Collectors’ Voyage.

Departing Sept. 25, 2015, Volendam sets sail on a journey that includes 14 ports around Australia, three overnight calls, late-night departures and a memorable Great Barrier Reef experience. Not to mention feeling the aloha spirit of Hawaii and cruising through the glistening turquoise waters of the South Pacific.

The 58-day South Pacific and Australia Circumnavigation Collectors’ Voyage is a combination of two cruises that can be taken independently if you want to only explore one region or have less time. If you have more time and want to see it all, the Collectors’ Voyage is the ultimate back-to-back package.

Journey Across the South Pacific
Volendam’s 25-day South Pacific Crossing takes the ship from its summer home in Alaska to its winter home Down Under. After departing Vancouver Sept. 25 and calling at Seattle, the ship makes way to Honolulu where guests enjoy an overnight at the incredible Hawaiian capital. In addition to taking a shore excursion to visit the USS Arizona Memorial or go on a whale-watching exploration, the overnight call affords guests the time to attend an evening luau or a Polyneisan show that showcases the cultures of Hawaii, Samoa, New Zealand, Tahiti, the Marquesas and Tonga.

The Polynesian show at Honolulu brings together several cultures.

The Polynesian show at Honolulu brings together several cultures.

After five relaxing days at sea, the ship arrives at Pago Pago, American Samoa, to begin its island-hopping adventure through the jewels of the South Pacific. Next it’s on to Fiji, one of the most recognizable island chains in the world known for its incredible beauty, powdery beaches and pristine natural environment. Volendam makes two calls here: Suva and Lautoka. Divers will relish in the underwater paradise waiting to be explored.

The charm of Vanuatu is discovered at a call at Mystery Island before the ship sets sail for three calls at New Caledonia: Lifou, Ile des Pins and Noumea. The islands are known for being a haven for snorkelers and divers as a result of excellent volcanic rock formations and the ultimate reef. These calls provide ideal days to relax and gaze at the azure skies or go for an adventure under the water. The ports’ charm, beauty and remote location make them places to visit at least once in your lifetime.

Clockwise from left: Ile des Pins, Lifou and the Tjibaou Community Arts Center on Noumea.

Clockwise from left: Ile des Pins, Lifou and the Tjibaou Community Arts Center on Noumea.

The voyage concludes at Sydney, Australia, where the circumnavigation begins for those guests continuing on with the cruise.

Circle Australia on a 33-Day Adventure
Departing Oct. 19, 2015, Volendam sets a counter-clockwise route around Australia, calling at 12 ports throughout the country. The exploration also includes exciting calls at Komodo Island, Bali and Tasmania.

After setting sail from Sydney, the ship heads north to Brisbane. From here, guests can visit the famous Australia Zoo founded by the late Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary or visit the amazing Glow Worm Caves.

At the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary guests can hand-feed a kangaroo.

At the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary guests can hand-feed a kangaroo.

From the next call at Hamilton Island, guests can explore one of the seven wonders of the natural world: The Great Barrier Reef. The memorable Great Barrier Reef Cruise and Snorkel Adventure shore excursion allows guests to snorkel among the beautiful fish as well as experience a glass-hulled semi-submersible coral viewer that will take guests for a tour along the reef wall.

Cruising around the Great Barrier Reef is a highlight of the Australia circumnavigation.

Cruising around the Great Barrier Reef is a highlight of the Australia circumnavigation.

Those guests not on the tour to the Great Barrier Reef need not worry, as the ship will spend time cruising along this natural paradise. Volendam will take in the Ribbon Reef Region along the outskirts of the Great Barrier Reef, the Far North Region and Torres Strait. An overnight anchorage off of Sherrard Island — exquisitely set between the first and second three-mile openings of the Great Barrier Reef — allows guests to have the chance to witness a stunning sunset and a sunrise. During the day, guests can snorkel among the coral reefs that provide habitat for a staggering array of marine life.

After a call at Darwin, the ship leaves Australia for Indonesia with calls at Komodo Island where the famous dragon awaits and gorgeous Bali with its powdery beaches and calm, inviting waters.

Bali's lush landscapes and Komodo Island's dragon await on the Australia circumnavigation.

Bali’s lush landscapes and Komodo Island’s dragon await on the Australia circumnavigation.

After departing Bali, the ship heads south to Geraldton in Western Australia. The pleasant Mediterranean climate is perfect for kitesurfing, windsurfing, saltwater fishing, boating and sailing, so take your choice. For outback adventures, head to Kalbarri National Park where the Murchison River has sculpted deep gorges and breathtaking vistas.

An overnight call at Freemantle (Perth) and an 11 p.m. departure the next day leave plenty of time to enjoy all of this city’s charm. Visits to a winery, authentic Aboriginal village, the Caversham Wildlife Park, an evening ghost tour or even the prison made this an abundantly diverse Australian call.

The calls in Australia aren’t over yet. Volendam next visits Albany, Port Lincoln (Australia’s “Seafood Capital”) and Adelaide before heading to Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island. A colony of fairy penguins thrives in the pristine waters surrounded Kangaroo Island, and the sight of them regularly waddling up the beach to their burrows is a Penneshaw highlight!

Tasmania is a nature-lovers paradise, and during a call at Burnie guests can visit Cradle Mountain National Park & Dove Lake, Gunns Plains Caves, take a Lost World Adventure Canyon Experience and go in search of the Tasmanian Devil.

The final call on this grand adventure is at Melbourne, the birthplace of much of Australian culture. It also has been rated the world’s most livable city. It your last chance to cuddle with a koala or a kangaroo, or perhaps sampling some of the country’s finest wine is on the schedule for the day. Combine both activities on the Wildlife & Wineries tour!

Wine and wildlife await on this tour in Melbourne.

Wine and wildlife await on this tour in Melbourne.

The ship sails on to Sydney, the starting and ending destination on this continental circumnavigation. Volendam showcases the most exciting, beautiful, culturally rich, historic and memorable ports along the way, not to mention exploring the gorgeous waters of the Great Barrier Reef and its surrounding region.

Go “On Location” While Cruising To Hawaii, the South Pacific and Down Under
On each cruise, experiences such as learning how to play a didgeridoo and enjoying performances of authentic Balinese dancers are a part of Holland America Line’s On Location program. The itinerary sets the stage for guests to indulge in localized experiences that make time on board as enriching as visiting the ports of call through lectures, demonstrations and performances.

During the South Pacific crossing from Vancouver to Sydney, four native Hawaiians will be onboard to share the Aloha spirit through hula lessons, fresh flower lei making, language lessons, cultural presentations, traditional Hawaiian ukulele lessons and performances. Guests who want to look like a local can take part in the Polynesian pareo (sarong) tying class and demonstration, and then they can don their new attire at a Hawaiian Luau on deck featuring live Hawaiian music, hula dancing and and barbecue. Local entertainment comes onboard at Honolulu to dazzle guests with a Drums of Polynesia show.

While circling Australia guest will have presentations about Aboriginal culture and have the opportunity to learn how to play a didgeridoo from Lewis Burns, an internationally acclaimed didgeridoo player and maker, as well as a recognized painter, muralist and mentor.

Didgeridoo performances and lessons highlight the Australia cruise.

Didgeridoo performances and lessons highlight the Australia cruise.

For guests who want to become immersed in local history, George Friend will be a guest presenter onboard to give an overview of the major campaigns and battles fought in the region the ship will be sailing through. Friend served in the Australian Army Regular and Reserve for more than 36 years in transport and logistics.

Additional scheduled guest presenters on Volendam’s crossing include Dr. Adrian Cooper, Associate Research Fellow in the Department of Geography at London University who specializes on conservation areas and island ecosystems as well as regions of mangrove and coral reef. Guests who are aspiring astronomers can attend presentations from Dr. Bill Bendel, an internationally recognized scientist who has worked in partnership with NASA and the European Space Agency to bring innovative visualizations of the solar system’s planets and moons to audiences throughout the world. Sandra Millikin was the assistant Curator at the Royal Institute of British Architects Drawings collection where she contributed to the cataloge of the collection which is now housed in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Her lectures will focus on the influence of the South Pacific on American culture and buildings after the Second World, arts and crafts of the South Pacific, Captain Cook and more regional topics.

Book Now with Fall Finale Savings
If you’re looking to join us for this incredible journey, it’s right around the corner so don’t wait too long. And with Fall Finale savings on both the crossing and the circumnavigation, now’s the time to book!

  • Judith DeFord

    I would have to know the costs of these trips so that I could get my funds together or know if I have the funds to do it. If I could do it, I would love to do it to fulfill my bucket list.

  • Julie

    Hi Judith! For pricing please contact HAL reservations at or contact your travel agent. We hope to welcome you onboard!

  • Samuel Petti

    For those who love the thrill of “collecting” new places, Holland America Line has combined port-intensive itineraries into longer, leisurely Collectors’ Voyages that allow you to savor the ultimate Asia Pacific cruise experience.

  • Pat Marsh

    Who are the Captains & senior staff for this cruise?

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