Oosterdam and Zaandam Return to Service
It’s been a busy and exciting week for Holland America Line. Two more ships are back in service, with Oosterdam restarting in Trieste (Venice), Italy, and Zaandam setting sail from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
To commemorate both occasions, 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 the ship.
Following its first cruise back in service, Oosterdam will spend the summer in the Mediterranean, offering seven- to 19-day itineraries roundtrip from Trieste (Venice), and between Trieste and Piraeus (Athens), Greece; Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; or Barcelona, Spain. The ship will explore the entire region with ports in Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Montenegro, Croatia, Albania and Malta.
After the Mediterranean season, Oosterdam departs on a transatlantic crossing to Fort Lauderdale before heading through the Panama Canal and down the western coast of South America to position for a winter season of cruises around the tip of the continent between San Antonio (Santiago), Chile, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. The 14-day itinerary will journey to ports in Chile and Argentina, including the coveted Falkland Islands, along with cruising in the Strait of Magellan, Glacier Alley and Cape Horn. Three 22-day itineraries add four memorable days of scenic cruising in Antarctica.
Following Zaandam’s repositioning cruise along the east coast of North America to Montreal, Canada, Zaandam will spend the summer and early fall offering Canada and New England cruises between Boston, Massachusetts, and Montreal.
On July 9, Zaandam sets sail on the popular 35-day Voyage of the Vikings itinerary roundtrip from Boston that retraces the routes of past explorers with ports in Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Norway and the Netherlands. Following fall foliage cruises between Boston and Montreal, Zaandam embarks guests Oct. 10 for the 71-day Grand Africa Voyage that sails roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale and includes 25 ports of call, four overnights and countless safari opportunities to throughout the African continent.
After the Grand Africa Voyage, Zaandam will spend the holidays in the Caribbean and then offer a series of Panama Canal transits between San Diego, California, and Fort Lauderdale, with two Mexico options roundtrip from San Diego in March. The ship will return to Canada/New England next spring.
Since Holland America Line restarted cruising in July 2021, Eurodam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Noordam, Oosterdam, Rotterdam and Zuiderdam have returned to service with cruises in Alaska, the Caribbean, Europe, Mexico, California Coast and South Pacific. Volendam currently is under charter by the government of the Netherlands, positioned alongside in Rotterdam accommodating Ukrainian families.
Holland America Line will complete the restart of the fleet June 12 with Westerdam in Seattle, Washington.
Hollanda America restart is a fabulous event. I am touring Alaska this May on a smaller ship going through the inside passage. I know the ships company will provide outstanding service and companionship as we cruise. Thank you Holland America for your great restart.
Where on the HAL website is the mBark feature located for uploading facial photo?
The cruise on the Zaandam was not up to expectations. First, there was a general sense that the ship was understaffed. The Canaletto was booked for the first night of the cruise, only to find out at our 7:00 reservation time that it was closed because of insufficient staff. Bo one bothered to tell us in advance. We went to the anytime dining hall at 7:15, and our food eventually arrived at 830, and was either cold or underdone. The food on the ship was mediocre at best, with the exception of the Pinnacle Grill. The service, the quality of the food was exceptional. When we order a Scotch from the dining room, we had to spell the name, and even then the wrong drink was delivered. On the third night of the cruise, we were approached at the dining table with the message that we had to return to out room immediately for a medical emergency. Didn’t elaborate, so we ran thinking the worst that could have happened. We found out that we somehow were the only ones in our party that had been exposed to someone on the ship who already tested positive for COVID. We were relieved to find out that was the reason, but it was handle extremely unprofessionally. Then we were tested two additional times, always negative. The ship docked in Halifax, only for us to find out we were too early for the season, and nothing was really opened on the boardwalk. Why schedule a cruise in offseason and not let anyone know? People asked us to update the arriveCAN form, which we dad done prior to boarding, and showed at the terminal, yet the crew kept asking for the form. When we gave the code, they said that they had a lot of missing forms. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? It seemed to us that everywhere we went, the same refrain was posed, “we are understaffed” It was evident, so why did we sail? You needed to hire more and train the staff better, I will return to sailing on Princess instead of Holland America.
Regarding the mBark facial recognition feature….”Add Security Photo” does not appear on the main page of the Navigator that I just downloaded. Where else might it be found? ( I have version 4.11 on my device).
So very, very disappointed, disillusioned and disgruntled upon learning that our re-engaging Mediterranean cruise is NOT CRUISING TO VENICE as informed in numerous advertisings of our booked trip in May 2023. The Oosterdam will disembark in Trieste.
We cruised the Mediterranean in 2015: the most wonderful of all our cruises over the years and our longing to return to Venice was totally consuming.
We are so disappointed to learn we are not going to Venice but rather to TRIESTE is making us rethink our HAL cruise.