WHY IT RATES: Ready to sail around the world like a true explorer? Holland America Line’s Grand World Voyage will help travelers feel like a true adventurer.—Donald Wood, Breaking News Senior Writer
Holland America Line opened bookings today for its 2021 Grand World Voyage aboard Amsterdam, and it’s a journey of cultural immersion like no other. Circling the globe for 128 days, the epic world cruise makes 47 calls in more than 20 countries, visits 35 UNESCO World Heritage sites, and features nine overnight visits and 10 late departures so guests can experience more ports from day through night.
Cruising roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the ship departs Jan. 4, 2021, and sails deep into the heart of the Amazon River before taking a westerly route through the Panama Canal to the South Pacific, Asia, the Middle East and Mediterranean before crossing the Atlantic Ocean, arriving back at Port Everglades May 13.
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“Our Grand World Voyage is the pinnacle of cruising, giving travelers the ultimate way to see and experience dozens of cultures and countries around the world in a way that combines all elements of travel — from learning the history to simply taking in the scenery,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “There’s a camaraderie among guests on our Grand Voyages that’s special, and those who are able to embark on this journey with us will find that it’s not just the extraordinary ports we visit but also connections they make along the way that make it memorable.”
Highlights of the 2021 Grand World Voyage include an Amazon River exploration, transits of the Panama and Suez canals, and calls at several ports that are gateways to some must-see sites including the Great Wall of China, Taj Mahal, Petra and Ephesus.
A significant length of time is spent in Asia, with overnights in Tokyo and Kobe (Osaka), Japan; Xingang (Beijing), Shanghai and Hong Kong, China; Singapore; and Mumbai (Bombay), India. Guests also enjoy overnights at Aqaba, Jordan; and Istanbul, Turkey; and late departures at Hilo, Hawaii; Naha, Japan; Da Nang, Vietnam; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Dubai and Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.; Aqaba following the overnight; Ashdod and Haifa, Israel; and Mykonos, Greece.
South America and Amazon River
Following departure from Fort Lauderdale, Amsterdam makes its way along the Amazon River and calls at five Brazilian ports along the way. Traveling along the largest river in the world, guests will visit remote villages and witness an astounding and unique biodiversity.
Amsterdam then transits the Panama Canal — making way from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean — and visits ports in Costa Rica and Mexico before setting a course for the South Pacific.
Paradise in the Pacific Ocean
As Amsterdam cruises west, the ship explores three ports in the Hawaiian Islands and calls at Majuro, Marshall Islands; and the U.S. Territories of Guam and Saipan — unique locales in the South Pacific not often visited.
The Marvels and Mysteries of Asia
The Far East takes center stage on the Grand World Voyage, with 13 calls throughout Japan, China, Vietnam and Singapore, including five of the overnight visits. Guests will enjoy an in-depth exploration of Japan with six calls, including Ishigaki, Naha, Shimizu, Fukuoka and the larger cities of Tokyo and Kobe (Osaka). Three overnight stays in China at Xingang (Beijing), Shanghai and Hong Kong allow overland tours to the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, Terracotta Warriors and more. Rounding out the Asia experience are calls at Colombo, Sri Lanka, and an overnight at Mumbai (Bombay), allowing for an overland tour to the Taj Mahal.
From the Middle East to the Mediterranean
Amsterdam continues the journey, weaving among countries that line the Arabian Sea. In the United Arab Emirates, the ship visits Fujairah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and then makes way to Oman for calls at Muscat and Salalah. An overnight and then a late departure the next night in Aqaba, Jordan, provides guests time to visit Petra, the “Lost City” that still has secrets to reveal.
Following a daylight transit of the Suez Canal, the ship makes two calls in Israel that both have late-night departures. From Ashdod, guests can travel to Jerusalem, while at Haifa, Nazareth awaits a visit.
Guests have a Mediterranean exploration in Turkey with calls at Kusadasi and then an overnight in Istanbul, before visiting Mykonos and Piraeus (Athens), Greece; Naples, Italy; Malaga, Spain; and the Azores, before crossing the Atlantic Ocean back to Fort Lauderdale.
Early Booking Bonus for Full Grand World Voyage Cruisers
Guests who book the full 128-day Grand World Voyage by June 1, 2020, will receive a host of exclusive perks valued at up to $6,860 per person. The bonus rewards include pre-paid gratuities, luggage delivery service, an onboard spending credit of $500 per person for select ocean-view staterooms and up to $2,000 for suite bookings and a welcome aboard bottle of sparkling wine. Select suite guests also receive a complimentary shore excursion, Signature Internet Package and initial in-suite liquor set-up. If the full Grand World Voyage is paid in full by June 1, 2020, guests also receive a 3 percent savings off the cruise-only fare. Early booking bonus terms and conditions apply.