Holland America Line executive says far-flung cruise itineraries will return soon

Nov 7, 2021

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Fans of Holland America Line and its international itineraries can rest easy knowing that the brand’s more robust sailings are on schedule to return next year. On Friday, the line’s president, Gus Antorcha, told TPG that cruisers can “absolutely” expect to see Holland America ships heading back to destinations like Asia and Australia in 2022 and early 2023.

“As far as [international] restart, it is hard, given all the restrictions, given all the requirements … to deliver that full breadth of itineraries this year,” Antorcha said. “There are two phases to the restart. The first phase is what we could restart in Europe … and the United States — more straightforward and clear procedures and what we have to do as far as guidance and guidelines.”

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A Holland America ship in Alaska (Photo courtesy of Holland America Line)

“All our capacity is coming back in Florida with four ships and Southern California with two, so that’s six vessels, and they’ll be operating by early December,” Antorcha added, explaining that, under the second phase, the rest of the fleet won’t be back in operation until the spring and summer of 2022, when the Europe, Alaska and Canada/New England seasons begin. As for destinations farther afield, he said the line is “hoping to restart the itineraries that are really sailing the world come fall of 2022 into ’23.”

Among those voyages is a world cruise on Zuiderdam, departing in early 2023. The sailing, which was originally scheduled to depart in 2022 on Zaandam, was canceled due to port restrictions. Because Zuiderdam is a larger vessel than Zaandam, Antorcha said it will be able to accommodate passengers booked on the original voyage, as well as additional cruisers.

Despite selling off nearly 30% of its fleet in 2020 and tweaking scheduled sailings as a result, Antorcha said the line has still managed to add two new locations — Bimini, Bahamas, and Jamaica’s Port Royal — to the list of ports on which it calls.

“A hallmark of Holland America is our itineraries … and the diversity of places we go,” Antorcha said. “I challenged the team … to really go back and make sure we don’t lose ports, and they took the challenge and came back with more ports. So … after the puts and takes, we’ll be sailing to two more ports than we have historically. We were able to preserve all the ports of call, which is really important to us.”

Featured photo courtesy of Holland America Line.

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