Holland America Line’s Oosterdam will rejoin the cruise line’s active fleet after being sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Oosterdam will sail a full season in the Mediterranean, then head to South America, according to the cruise line. On May 8, the ship took on guests for the first time since Holland America Line suspended cruising in April 2020, citing port closings and other restrictions related to COVID-19.
Passengers embarked from Trieste (Venice), Italy for a 12-day “Holy Lands and Ancient Kingdoms.” The cruise includes port calls in Haifa and additional stops in Israel and Greece. Oosterdam will sail on seven- to 19-day itineraries this summer between Trieste and Piraeus (Athens), Greece; Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; and Barcelona, Spain, making port calls in Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Montenegro, Croatia, Albania and Malta.
The Oosterdam will then reposition to Ft. Lauderdale for a journey through the Panama Canal and down the west coast of South America. The ship’s winter schedule will include 14- to 22-day cruises between San Antonio (Santiago), Chile, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Itineraries will include stops in the Falkland Islands and cruising through the Strait of Magellan and Glacier Alley and past Cape Horn and Antarctica.
Full Fleet Expected to Return by June
Oosterdam becomes the ninth active Holland America Line ship, joining Eurodam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Noordam, Rotterdam and Zuiderdam. The cruise line began sailing again in July 2021. Current cruise itineraries include Alaska, the Caribbean, Europe, Mexico, California Coast and South Pacific.
Holland America Line will complete the restart of the remaining ships in its fleet in May and June. Zaandam will depart May 12 from Fort Lauderdale, while Westerdam will sail June 12 from Seattle.
Holland America’s 12th ship, Volendam, has been chartered by the Dutch government and is docked in Rotterdam, providing accommodations to refugees from the war in Ukraine.
“Our teams work incredibly hard getting the ships ready for a return to service, and the smiles when they see our guests walking up the gangway that first time are so heartfelt and sincere,” Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line, said in a press release. “Each ship back to cruising means more team members back to sea, and we look forward to the restart being complete next month.”
For more information, visit hollandamerica.com.