The 1,432 passenger Volendam was built in 2000. Credit: Holland America Line

Holland America Line launches two new world cruises for 2025

Author: Kaye Holland

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Always wanted to sail to Antarctica and above the Arctic Circle in one trip? Well with Holland America Line you can…

The Seattle-based cruise line recently announced a first-of-its-kind ‘pole-to-pole’ Grand Voyage which will sail to five continents over four months.

The new 133-day itinerary onboard the 1,432-passenger Volendam will set sail from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on January 25, 2025, and return on June 7, 2025.

Passengers will travel through the Panama Canal – an awe-inspiring modern engineering marvel which was built by the US between 1904 and 1914. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of chatting with a Panamanian, then you’ll know that they’re mightily proud of the world’s most famous shortcut that links the Atlantic and the Pacific.

Then you’ll sail down the west coast of South America to Antarctica for four days of scenic sailing, before cruising along Argentina and Brazil (which has about the best beach culture on the planet) to the heart of the Amazon River.

Here your days will be filled by jungle walks and river cruises offering you the chance to spot 40,000 species of plants, several thousand species of birds, over four hundred mammals, and 2.5 million different insects.

Discover the Amazon Rainforest on an expedition cruise. Credit: Shutterstock

Volendam then crosses the Atlantic Ocean to Africa, sails north to Europe, and up to the North Cape before heading west across the northern Atlantic Ocean via Iceland and Greenland, and finally down the eastern shores of North America back to Fort Lauderdale. Phew!

Holland America Line’s ‘pole-to-pole’ itinerary also includes overnights in eight ports – Fuerte Amador (Panama); Callao (Peru); Buenos Aires; Rio de Janeiro (Brazil); Barcelona (Spain); Lisbon (Portugal); and Reykjavik (Iceland) – for deeper immersion.

Out of the aforementioned, World of Cruising is particularly relishing the chance to visit Buenos Aires – Argentina’s charismatic capital that’s home to sizzling steaks, stately European facades, infectious football games, and tango – as well as Rio de Janeiro, South America’s tropical party city. Here sun, samba, football, food, beaches, and Bossa Nova abound.

Paul Grigsby, vice president for deployment and itinerary planning for Holland America Line, told World of Cruising: “Detailed planning went into this voyage to ensure we're visiting destinations when the weather is favourable, and we included locations that are sought after like the Amazon River, Greenland, and Iceland, in addition to Antarctica and the Arctic.”

Buzzing Buenos Aires is the tango capital of the world. Credit: Shutterstock

At the same time as this north-south cruise, Holland America Line will also be sailing an east-west Grand Voyage aboard Zuiderdam.

This 124-day voyage departs on a roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale on January 4, 2025, and transits the Panama Canal before sailing to Chile’s mysterious Easter Island for the trip of a lifetime.

will then leave the Pacific Ocean to call in Australia, Indonesia, and the Indian Ocean paradise of Sri Lanka where oodles of elephants, jungle-clad mountains, tea plantations, sandy beaches, and great surf come as standard.

The ship then sails south to South Africa via the Seychelles – described as “an earthly paradise” by boatswain, Mr Jones, when his ship dropped anchor in Mahé in 1609 – before heading up the eastern coast of Africa through the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean and then returning to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

On April 24, 2025, Zuiderdam will meet Volendam in Barcelona, Catalonia's colourful capital, for a joint overnight call, bringing the two Grand Voyages together for a celebration.

Catalonia's colourful capital, Barcelona. Credit: Shutterstock

“We’ve created two voyages that linger in ports for memorable moments and several overnight stays. We even timed it so the two voyages will meet up to share an overnight experience in Barcelona,” shared Gringsby.

Holland America Line president, Gus Antorcha, added: “This will be a truly historic pair of voyages. Our Grand World Voyage travels east to west and our other Grands focus on one region, so designing this first-of-its-kind-route that explores south to north roundtrip from the US is an incredible way to allow our guests two different choices to travel across the world.”

And, as always, the early bird catches the worm: anyone who books the full 133-day Grand Voyage: Pole-to-Pole or 124-day Grand World Voyage by June 3, 2024, will receive onboard spending credits and amenities valued at up to US$8,800 or UA$8,500 respectively, per person.

What’s more, new perks for all guests who book early feature a complimentary Surf Wi-Fi package, a US$500 air credit per person (if booked through Flight Ease), and complimentary roundtrip airport transfers to and from the Fort Lauderdale airport.

So what are you waiting for? If you fancy seeing sailing around the world in style in 2025, visit today.

Holland America Line's handsome Vista-class ship, Zuiderdam. Credit: Holland America Line
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About Kaye Holland

Kaye is a London-based wordsmith who has written for a range of publications including The Times, The Independent, The I, Culture Trip, The Sun, and ABTA among others. In June 2022, Kaye joined the Real Response Media where she looks – together with Lucy Abbott – after the World of Cruising website. Want to get in touch? Kaye can be reached at: [email protected]