Volendam Returns to Guest Cruising Operations

Two-and-a-half years after the cruise industry pause, Holland America Line’s Volendam returned to cruising today at Trieste (Venice), Italy. The ship embarked guests for a 14-day Holy Land and Ancient Kingdoms Explorer itinerary.

To commemorate the occasion, Holland America Line held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the terminal to open embarkation, attended by the ship’s captain and senior officers, with flag-waving fanfare from team members lined up to greet guests as they boarded.

“This is a milestone day as Volendam embarks on its first full cruise since the industry-wide pause,” said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. “We are thankful for the incredible work of the shipboard team these past six months, caring for Ukrainian families. As we get back to cruising, we are excited to welcome guests on Volendam for a series of longer voyages that include explorations of the Mediterranean, Amazon and South America.”

Volendam has spent the past six months in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, under charter to the City of Rotterdam to house Ukrainian families. The ship was a temporary home for up to 1,500 refugees through the charter, part of a larger commitment from the Netherlands to accommodate 50,000 people who fled the war in their homeland.

Following the Holy Land and Ancient Kingdoms cruise, the ship will sail 14-day itineraries to Greece, Turkey, Italy, Croatia and Montenegro. In late October, the ship will reposition to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to offer a 28-day Amazon Explorer voyage, followed by a series of Caribbean cruises. In January 2023, the ship departs on the 74-day Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage that circumnavigates the continent.


Join the Discussion


  1. John simmonds January 27, 2023 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    My wife and I went on the Amazon explorer cruise last November/December. We are 4 star mariners and generally enjoy the HA experience. However, this time it was obvious the the ship was understaffed in many areas and also not prepared for an explorations trip. Normally there are speakers and other information on the counties and ports of calls that greatly enhance the understanding of our visit. This time no relevant lectures, videos at all. The only lecturer talked about NASA initiatives. Absolutely nothing about the Amazon.
    We also got COVID and ended up in quarantine for the last 9 days. The staff were very helpful and we were able to move to a large balcony cabin, so not too bad. However, despite a letter from the program manager saying we would get FCC for these days nothing has happened. Again I suspect the boat’s disorganized approach. If anyone from HAL reads this it would be very nice to hear from someone, because you have 2 very disappointed Mariners.

    • Julie January 30, 2023 at 10:55 am - Reply

      Hi John, we are sorry to hear you had some disappointments on your cruise. Regarding the FCC, please email your booking number and the situation to guestrelations@hollandamerica.com.

  2. Edwin Catt October 6, 2022 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    Nearly at the end of this first cruise. It has been fully up to HAL standards. Ship is beautiful, crew is wonderful and food is great. Have eaten in MDR, canaletto, Pinnacle, Lido And around the pool. All locations top notch. Feel very sorry for those who have cancelled for whatever reason as this has been a really great comeback cruise for the Volendam.

  3. PAMELA BEAVER October 2, 2022 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    We are booked for the 74 day Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage. We are very excited the cruise is getting so close! It’s going to be a fantastic adventure, new places and new people to experience.

Leave A Comment

Sign up for special offers and announcements