The sun-drenched Caribbean is on Seema's cruise bucket list. Credit: Shutterstock

Discover HAL’s Caribbean itinerary from Channel 5’s Cruising with Susan Calman

Author: Lucy Abbott

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Holland America Line has been in the limelight recently as part of Channel 5’s Cruising with Susan Calman. Discover the very itinerary that was sailed and how you can get onboard.

What’s the next best thing to embarking on a cruise? That’s right, watching someone else fall in love with cruising.

Holland America Line was featured on Cruising with Susan Calman when comedian, writer and presenter Susan Calman was seen boarding Signature-class Eurodam in Fort Lauderdale for a spectacular 10-night Panama Canal Sunfarer voyage.

The cruise featured a sprinkling of Caribbean islands, Costa Rica and a voyage into the Panama Canal through the first set of locks in Gatun Lake.

During the first of two episodes, Susan visited HAL’s own gorgeous private island, Half Moon Cay, before calling into the gorgeous Dutch Caribbean islands of Aruba and Curacao.

Episode two saw Susan explore the modern world wonder that is the Panama Canal and well as the expansive rainforest of Costa Rica.

Don’t fret if you missed watching HAL on TV, you can catch up on this incredible cruise on My5 after reading all about the highlights of the voyage here…

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Half Moon Cay, Bahamas

It doesn’t get more exclusive than this! Owned by HAL, Half Moon Cay is an authentic private island experience, proved by most of the 2,400 acres still acting as a nature preserve.

Half Moon Cay has a distinctive crescent bay, bordered by an idyllic white-sand beach, and Bonefish Lagoon which, legend has it, may have been visited by Columbus.

- READ MORE: What you need to know about Half Moon Cay island -

Picture yourself horseback riding in the surf, snorkelling, sailing, paddle boarding, kayaking and bicycling – everything you can possibly think of, Half Moon Cay has got it.

In 2023, HAL is treating you with more than 80 sailings combining Half Moon Cay with Caribbean islands, including cruises on the two newest Pinnacle-class ships Rotterdam and Nieuw Statendam, with itineraries from seven to 11 days – that’s the next holiday sorted then.

Holland America Line has its own private Caribbean island, Half Moon Cay.

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Oranjestad, Aruba

Located off the coasts of Venezuela and Colombia, the windswept Dutch island of Aruba feels like another world entirely.

Sit back and relax in the shade of a swaying Divi Divi tree on a pristine beach or explore untamed coastal cliffs in an exotic landscape filled with cacti - all thanks to Holland America Line.

If you are missing the water during your time ashore, sail along the lush coastline and watch the spectacular Caribbean sunset from the deck of a catamaran or scuba dive the wreck of the SS Pedernales – one to remember.

Willemstad, Curacao

The capital of Curaçao, Willemstad was founded in 1634, just 10 years after New Amsterdam, later called New York. Yet, Curaçao remains a part of the Netherlands to this day.

The historic centre is a unique mixture of Dutch architecture and Caribbean pastels. Admire the row of gabled houses overlooking Sint Anna Bay, a waterway dividing the city in two and connecting the Caribbean to the protected Schottegat Bay.

The historic centre of Willemstad has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the extent of this history can be explored at institutions such as the Kura Hulanda and Curaçao Maritime Museum.

If you are prone to a glass of liqueur, then you are in luck as you can visit the floating market and taste the famous local blue drink at a Curaçao distillery.

Natural wonders await as well, so discover some of the Caribbean’s most stunning diving and snorkelling spots first-hand.

Explore a pristine beach like Palm Beach in Aruba with Holland America Line. Credit: Shutterstock

The Panama Canal

When you think of the Panama Canal the image that may come to mind is of huge tankers and cruise ships passing through a series of locks.

That, however, reflects only one aspect of this part of the world. As ships travel from the Atlantic to the Pacific, they also pass colonial towns, historic fortresses and manmade lakes that today, are home to sanctuaries for hundreds of different animal and plant species.

- READ MORE: We celebrate the naming of HAL's Rotterdam in style -

At the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal, Colón evokes the old Panama of yesteryear, with its historic buildings gradually being restored.

Some 48 miles to the south, at the canal’s Pacific entrance, Panama City's glittering skyline of office towers reflects the country’s dynamic present and future.

As you travel between these two cities, admire the epic tale that unfolds before you – a feat of engineering, ambition and courage. After all, the Panama Canal saved sailors from making the dangerous, almost 8,000-mile journey around the tip of South America.

Pass through a beautiful and varied landscape when cruising through the Panama Canal. Credit: Shutterstock

Puerto Limon, Costa Rica

Puerto Limón is a perfect base from which to explore an activity-rich region that can fulfil a variety of interests, whatever your discovery preferences are.

You're never far from a rain forest or outdoor adventure in Costa Rica, and there are many day trips from Puerto Limón that allow you to pack in an adrenaline rush or a few more ticks on your bird-watching list within just a few hours – zip alongside the treetops or be at one with the waves while white-water rafting.

Animal lovers can take sanctuary tours in and around Puerto Limón and watch for the legendary sloths in the treetops. Of course, when it comes time to eat, there's plenty of the national favourite, Gallo pinto (rice and beans), as well as fresh seafood – yum.

Appreciate the natural beauty of Puerto Limon in Costa Rica. Credit: Shutterstock

HAL’s Eurodam

Holland America Line’s mid-sized, elegant Eurodam is the perfect way to visit these fascinating destinations in five-star style.

Not only do an impressive 86 percent of the staterooms boast an ocean view, but 67 percent of these staterooms also feature a private balcony.

- READ MORE: Discover Australia & New Zealand with Holland America Line -

Keep an eye out for the $3million-worth of artwork onboard, themed around the Dutch Golden Age as well as attending a showing of BBC Earth set to live classical music.

Experience all this and more as from May to September the ship will sail stunning seven-night Alaska cruises, departing every week from Seattle, USA – so what’s stopping you?

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About Lucy Abbott

Lucy is a cruise journalist who has sailed on a variety of ships, from expedition to river – with her favourite being expedition cruising.

Lucy is interested in new sustainable ways to cruise as well as how cruising is becoming accessible for all.

She works together with Kaye Holland to keep the World of Cruising website up to date with all the latest cruise news.