Cruisers looking to channel their inner explorer and visit the ultimate paradise can chart a course to Australia, New Zealand and the islands of the South Pacific with Holland America Line come this fall. Noordam spends the fall through spring showcasing the lands Down Under, while Maasdam charts a course on longer itineraries starting in August, including a bucket-list Australia circumnavigation.
Offering a premium, mid-sized ship experience, Noordam uncovers the enchanting isles of the South Pacific en route to Australia’s southern and eastern regions, and the North and South islands of New Zealand. Maasdam’s voyages touch the South Pacific and New Zealand on cruises from 10 to 30 days and also reach the entire coast of Australia.
“Our Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific cruises are crafted to focus on the must-explore ports, must-see sites and incredible scenic cruising — from cosmopolitan cities like Sydney to the natural beauty of Milford Sound,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “Having two ships with two distinct paths makes it easier for guests to choose if they want to get a memorable taste of the region or if they want to go all in and join us on a longer adventure. No matter which itinerary they choose, guests won’t be disappointed with what awaits.”
Noordam Spends the Season Down Under Showcasing Highlights
Noordam offers cruises roundtrip from Sydney, Australia, or between Sydney and Auckland, New Zealand, from October 2019 through April 2020. During the voyages, guests have unforgettable experiences with visits to iconic landmarks, some of the world’s most scenic cruising and shore excursions that feature UNESCO World Heritage sites.
The ship kicks off the season Oct. 13, 2019, with a 26-day South Pacific Crossing from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Sydney, with calls along the transpacific journey in Hawaii, American Samoa, Fiji and New Caledonia.
Noordam then begins a series of 12- to 15-day Australia and New Zealand cruises between Auckland and Sydney, including a special holiday cruise departing Dec. 21. These itineraries visit five or six ports in New Zealand as well as Hobart, Tasmania. Melbourne, Australia, is included on some of the 14-day cruises, while Port Arthur, Tasmania, is added to the 15-day itinerary. All include a day of scenic cruising in Fiordland National Park, and several departures also feature scenic cruising in Milford Sound.
Three 14-day New Zealand Discovery voyages departing in January and April sail roundtrip from Sydney and include seven or eight calls throughout the North and South islands of New Zealand, giving a comprehensive exploration of the country. The itinerary includes scenic cruising in Milford Sound and Fiordland National Park, and the April 2 departure also includes a call at Eden, Australia.
On April 16, Noordam heads back across the Pacific Ocean on a 25-day journey from Sydney to Vancouver with calls in New Caledonia, Fiji, American Samoa, Hawaii and Canada.
Maasdam’s Immersive Voyages Include Unique Port Visits
From August 2019 through March 2020, Maasdam explores Australia, New Zealand, the Coral Sea and Melanesia on longer voyages that deeply immerse guests into the cultures and customs of each location. Calling at lesser-visited ports along with popular favourites, the cruises range from 10 to 30 days, including the full circumnavigation of Australia. The Maasdam’s specially curated itineraries set themselves apart with a dedicated onboard team of subject-matter experts and Excursions by Zodiac tours for up-close exploration.
Following a 29-day repositioning cruise from Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan, to Sydney, Maasdam sets its sights on New Zealand and the gorgeous islands of the Coral Sea. For travellers with less time, the 10-day New Zealand and Coral Sea cruise departing Oct. 7, 2019, is the ideal introduction to the region. Maasdam then begins a memorable 30-day Australia Circumnavigation roundtrip from Sydney. The itinerary calls at 13 Australian ports and exotic Komodo Island and includes scenic cruising in the famed Great Barrier Reef, the Torres Strait and Ribbon Reef and a sunrise at Lizard Island.
The ship’s immersive voyages continue with a series of itineraries throughout Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, Melanesia and the Pacific Islands. The unique options include a 17-day cruise with six calls along Australia’s eastern coast, including Cairns, gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, and several ports among the southern islands of Papua New Guinea; a 20-day Pacific Islands Adventure with nine island calls and two New Zealand ports; and a 14-day Southern Australia Holiday cruise departing Dec. 23 that spends time exploring Tasmania and six ports along Australia’s south coast. The ship also sails 13-, 14- and 15-day itineraries that focus on the islands of the South Pacific, New Zealand and Australia.
At the end of the season, Maasdam cruises back to San Diego, California, on a 19-day crossing from Papeete, visiting Bora Bora, Christmas Island and five ports in Hawaii.
Book Back-to-Back Cruises with a Collectors’ Voyage
Ranging from 28 to 51 days, Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific Collectors’ Voyages are perfect for avid explorers seeking a more extensive cruise experience. The voyages combine back-to-back, nonrepeating itineraries and represent the best per-day value for guests.
Explorations Central (EXC) Brings Australia and the South Pacific to Life on Board
Throughout the cruises, EXC programming brings local traditions, culinary tastes and cultural experiences to life on board. Guests who want to learn more about the region can attend an EXC Talk about the ports of call or head to an EXC Port to Table cooking demonstration, cooking class or themed mixology class featuring local fare. The Dining Room and Lido Market also will showcase the flavors of the region. On board the specially curated Maasdam itineraries, enrichment is guided by a resident team of subject-matter experts.
Cruises feature a diverse selection of Shore EXCursions that allow guests to immersively experience each port of call. Tours focus on culture, history, nature, architecture, adventure, culinary topics and family outings. Exclusive culinary-themed Shore EXCursions in partnership with FOOD & WINE magazine showcase the regions' food scenes from a local perspective.
Maasdam also carries eight Zodiac inflatable boats, the type popularized by famous oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, so guests can enjoy opportunities to intimately explore less accessible sites and wildlife habitats in select ports as part of the ship’s Shore EXCursion program. A mix of onboard experts and local guides co-guide Zodiac outings to enrich the experience for guests.
Depending on itinerary length, Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific cruise fares begin from US$549 to $4,299 per person, double occupancy. Taxes, fees and port expenses are additional.