SEATTLE, WA – For travelers longing to see the sights of Europe in 2014, Holland America Line’s cruise program will feature eight of the line’s 15 ships, sailing 57 unique itineraries on 105 departures. From the tip of Norway to the beaches in Turkey, cruises range from seven to 42 days, including six new itineraries, seven maiden calls and 17 overnight ports.
The diverse fleet that will explore the region includes ms Eurodam and ms Nieuw Amsterdam — Holland America Line’s two Signature-Class ships — as well as ms Maasdam, ms Noordam, ms Rotterdam, ms Ryndam and ms Veendam. Known as Holland America Line’s intimate explorer, ms Prinsendam will sail 13 unique European itineraries in 2014 that feature six of the maiden calls.
“The allure of Europe is that it offers everything for an ideal vacation: culture, history, culinary excellence, shopping, sun and excitement,” said Richard Meadows, Holland America Line’s executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “Europe is the most diverse region in the world, from the snow-capped fjords of Norway to the olive groves of Greece, and our cruises explore every corner of the continent.”
The 2014 Europe cruise season showcases Holland America Line’s focus on destination diversity, timeless appeal and high-quality experiences, with maiden calls at Antalya, Turkey; Burgas, Bulgaria; Ijmuiden (Amsterdam), the Netherlands; Itea and Kavala, Greece; La Palais on Belle-Ile-en-Mer, France, and Montoir-de-Bretagne (Nantes), France.
Several convenient roundtrip options will be available from nine ports: Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Boston, Mass.; Civitavecchia (Rome) and Venice, Italy; Copenhagen, Denmark; Dover (London), England; Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Piraeus (Athens) and Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Many of the itineraries also can be extended into Collectors’ Voyages ranging from 14 to 37 days, which offer the ultimate European cruise experience. These artfully crafted longer cruises combine back-to-back itineraries, enabling guests to visit more ports and spend extra time exploring centuries of art, history and culture.
Notable New Itineraries:
D-Day 70th Anniversary
Travelers looking for a memorable and moving vacation can embark Eurodam April 29, 2014, for a 12-day “D-Day 70th Anniversary” sailing from Civitavecchia (Rome) to Copenhagen. The ship will call at ports in Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar before arriving at Portland, England, where guests can visit the prehistoric monument of Stonehenge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Eurodam continues north to Cherbourg (Normandy), France, where the famous World War II battle took place June 6, 1944. The cruise calls at Zeebrugge (Brussels), Belgium, before concluding at Copenhagen.
12-Day Baltic Adventure
From May through August, Eurodam will sail a new 12-day Baltic itinerary roundtrip from Copenhagen that features three overnight calls in some of the most exciting cities in the world: St. Petersburg, Russia; Stockholm, Sweden, and Copenhagen, Denmark. The overnight visits allow for an evening Russian ballet performance, an enchanting nighttime cruise along Stockholm’s waterways or a performance at the famed Copenhagen Opera House. The ship also calls at ports in Estonia, Finland and Germany.
14-Day Iberian & Gallic Explorer
Departing May 10 from Civitavecchia (Rome), Prinsendam sails a 14-day voyage to Ijmuiden (Amsterdam) that explores the French wine country with an overnight call at Bordeaux, France. The extended visit allows for an exclusive dinner at a vineyard or extra time to sample local French cuisine. The cruise also visits ports in Spain, Gibraltar, Portugal, Belgium and additional calls in France.
14-Day Bourgundian Explorer
Cruising from Ijmuiden (Amsterdam) Sept. 7 to Barcelona, Spain, Prinsendam visits 11 ports in six countries during the two-week journey. After a call at Vlissingen, the Netherlands, guests will enjoy a day of scenic cruising along the Scheidt River. An overnight at Brussels (Antwerp), Belgium, allows extra shopping time for luxury items such as leather, diamonds and chocolate. The cruise continues on to ports in France, including the maiden call at La Palais, Belle-Ile-en-Mer, as well as Spain and Gibraltar before reaching Barcelona.
16-Day Black Sea Explorer
Prinsendam’s roundtrip Piraeus (Athens) itinerary that departs Oct. 5 extends from 14 to 16 days in 2014, allowing for two full nights at Istanbul, Turkey, and an overnight at Sevastopol, Ukraine. With extra time at Istanbul, guests can take in sights like the Grand Bazaar and Blue Mosque at their leisure. The cruise also includes the maiden calls at Kavala and Burgàs. In addition to ports in Turkey, Ukraine, Greece and Bulgaria, the ship also calls at Constanta, Romania, and guests will enjoy scenic cruising by Mount Athos, through the Bosporus Strait and Dardanelles.
14-Day Mediterranean Enchantment
Near the end of the European season when there are fewer crowds and more comfortable temperatures, Ryndam sails from Istanbul to Barcelona on a 14-day itinerary that features nine calls throughout Turkey, Egypt, Greece and Italy. Departing Oct. 18, guests can visit some of the most historical sites in the region, including Ephesus at Kusadasi, Turkey; the Giza Pyramids and Sphinx at Alexandria (Cairo), Egypt, and Mount Etna at Messina, Italy. This itinerary also features the line’s maiden call at Antalya.
Other Unique Experiences
Additional exciting Holland America Line Europe itineraries enable guests to be among the few to cross the Arctic Circle, transit Germany’s Kiel Canal or cruise the Gironde Estuary into Bordeaux. Other unique experiences include visiting the stunning Guggenheim Museum at Bilbao, Spain, and searching for “Nessie” the sea monster in Loch Ness at Inverness, Scotland. Those interested in taking a dip in the famous “Blue Lagoon,” Iceland’s unique geothermal seawater, can choose the 18-day trans-Atlantic cruise aboard Eurodam, which includes an overnight stay at Reykjavik.
On each Europe cruise, Holland America Line’s “On Location” enrichment program brings local traditions, culinary tastes and cultural experiences to life both onboard and ashore to deepen guests’ appreciation of the region. Guests might enjoy a Turkish Taraf with live belly dancers, Garden of the Gods deck party, Nordic Jazz and Food Festival, German Bierfest with a live “oompah” band, regional beer and wine tastings, cultural cooking demonstrations, special tapas sail-away parties and more.