HAL heads to Hawaii
Ready to start planning your 2010 vacation. How about a leisurely cruise to Hawaii from San Diego. Nothing like it. Your savvyseafarer has made this voyage a dozen or more times. And now Holland America’s 1,432-passenger Zaandam sets sail on 14-day roundtrippers from San Diego–and one 15-day voyage from Vancouver, British Colombia, to San Diego–beginning October 2010 through December.
Nestled between two stretches of sea days are back-to-back calls at Hawaii, Oahu, Kauai and Maui — plus a call at Ensenada, Mexico — before returning to San Diego. Included in the Hawaii cruise roster is a holiday sailing departing Dec. 19.Of course you must book a stateroom with a private balcony, it’s the only way to cruise to Hawaii or anywhere, at least your Savvy Seafarer thinks so. I rarely fly coach and never sail in a cabin without a veranda.
“Our Hawaiian itineraries combine the appeal of warm-water cruising and a port-intensive Pacific island experience,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs, Holland America Line. “Guests will have time to enjoy our shipboard amenities and activities, and the convenience of visiting four ports in four days without multiple flights or the packing and unpacking associated with island hopping.”
Departing Sundays from San Diego, guests will have several relaxing days at sea before arriving at Hawaii. During this time, they can enjoy a day at the Greenhouse Spa, channel their inner chef at the Culinary Arts Center for a hands-on cooking class or attend a Digital Workshop powered by Windows® to learn how to share memorable photos taken on the voyage. The Speaker Series offers exciting insights into upcoming ports and includes destination-related topics such as Polynesian music and dance traditions.
The first port call is to Hilo on the big island of Hawaii –with excursions to the amazing Kilauea Volcano — with its impressive molten lava flows, botanical gardens and the awe-inspiring Akaka Falls. En route to Oahu, the ship will offer an evening at the Polynesian Cultural Centers or other Hawaiian must-dos: whale watching, a traditional Hawaiian luau, a stroll down Waikiki beach or even surfing. For a more reflective view into Hawaii’s past, guests can visit the USS Arizona Memorial from World War II.
Pax on the 15-day voyage departing Oct. 2 have an added call at Kona, once known as the playground of Hawaii’s royalty. Kona is synonymous with the famous coffee that grows on the slopes of dormant Hualalai volcano, a definite must-see for coffee aficionados. Another highlight of this longer voyage is an evening scenic cruise past the famous Kilauea volcano.
Your Savvy Seafarer has sailed on a variety of Holland America ships and gives the cruise lines 4 Stars for service, ambience and accommodations and 3 to 4 stars for cuisine–it depends where you dine. The dining rooms offer good fare while the alternative venues usually offer more haute cuisine especially since the chefs have fewer mouths to feed and can put their best efforts forward.
Fares: start at $1,499 per person for the full 14-day Circle Hawaii and $1,699 per person for the 15-day voyage.
For a cruise brochure or for more information on Holland America Line’s Grand Voyages, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-800-522-3399 or visit www.hollandamerica.com.