Ship sail

Ninth Holland America Line vessel resumes service, two to come

The ninth ship in the Holland America Line fleet, MS Oosterdamresumed service on Sunday, May 8, as it departed Venice, Italy, welcoming guests for the first time since the global pandemic shutdown began in March 2020.

With the popular ship now restarting operations, only two of the line’s ships remain suspended, and both are expected to return to service within the next month.

osterdam Restarts

The Vista class MS Oosterdam now sails a 12-night Holy Land and Ancient Kingdoms itinerary with popular stops in Greece and Italy including Athens, Haifa, Jerusalem, Crete and more.

This recommissioning trip was marked by an enthusiastic inauguration ceremony in the presence of osterdamThe ship’s captain and senior officers, while the ship’s crew encouraged the first guests to come aboard.

“Our crews are working incredibly hard to prepare the vessels for a return to service, and the smiles when they see our guests walking up the gangplank that first time are so heartfelt and sincere,” said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line.

Photo credit: Holland America Line

It’s the start of the ship’s Mediterranean season, which will include a variety of sailings with stunning ports in Spain, Turkey, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and more. osterdam will remain in the Mediterranean until early November.

At this time, the ship will make a 14-day transatlantic crossing from Barcelona to Fort Lauderdaleleaving Spain on Saturday November 5 and calling at Cartagena, Malaga, Cadiz, Lisbon and Funchal before arriving in Florida on November 19.

osterdam will then offer a variety of longer and more detailed crossings between San Antonio, Chile and Buenos Aires, Argentina during the winter, the perfect time for cruise passengers to explore South America’s rich and diverse ports, including selected sailings that will head to Antarctica. In the spring of 2023, the ship will return to the Mediterranean.

At each navigation, osterdam can accommodate up to 1,964 guests, who will enjoy features such as expert enrichment lectures, delicious specialty meals, multiple pools, the BB King’s Blues Club for live music and High Score! family games room available exclusively on osterdam.

Two ships remain to be restarted

With osterdam now restarted, only two ships in the Holland America Line fleet remain suspended, although the two are expected to welcome guests next month.

“Each ship back to cruise means more team members are returning to sea, and we expect the restart to be complete next month,” said Antorcha.

Zaandam cruise ship
Photo credit: Stories in Light / Shutterstock.com

On Thursday, May 12, MS Zaandam will resume from Fort Lauderdale, repositioning first in Montreal before offering alternate crossings from Montreal and Boston, exploring ports of call in New England and Eastern Canada. On October 17, the ship will embark on an exceptional 71-night Grand Africa voyage, circumnavigating the black continent.

The last ship in Holland America Line’s fleet to restart will be MS Westerdamwhich will begin its season in Alaska on June 12, sailing 7-night round trips from Seattle for the summer.

The ship will visit Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan in Alaska, with a scenic cruise to see the Hubbard Glacier and a visit to Victoria, British Columbia to complete these itineraries.

Holland America Line restarted cruising in July 2021and over the months, several ships have returned to service with cruises to Alaska, the Caribbean, Europe, Mexico, California and the South Pacific.

Volendam is the only ship that does not technically sail but still welcomes guests. For the moment, the ship is chartered by the government of the Netherlands, positioned near the city of Rotterdam while welcoming Ukrainian refugees.

Volendam It is scheduled to resume standard guest operations in July with sailings to the British Isles, northern capitals and Scandinavia.

MS Oosterdam