Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
SEATTLE — For anyone looking to check a Panama Canal cruise off their bucket list, they have plenty more opportunities now that Holland America has announced 32 sailings between September 2019 and May 2020.
A total of seven ships will offer 16 unique itineraries, including full transits ranging from 14-23 days, as well as 10- and 11-day partial transits that also include southern Caribbean cruising.
“Transiting the Panama Canal deeply resonates with any explorer because of the sheer magnitude and power of the experience, and we offer travellers a variety of itinerary choices with a robust season across seven premium ships,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “The sensation of being raised and lowered through the Canal’s legendary locks is inspiring, and whether our guests do it on a full transit from ocean to ocean or a partial through Gatún, it really is one of the world’s greatest modern wonders.”
From September 2019 through May 2020, Amsterdam, Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Oosterdam, Rotterdam and Volendam will make 16 transits between the Atlantic and pacific oceans from three departure cities: Fort Lauderdale, San Diego and Vancouver. On full transits, guests will visit cities in Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua and islands in the Caribbean. Plus, some sailings will include a visit to Half Moon Cay, Holland America’s private island in the Bahamas.
During each transit, a local expert will be onboard to provide commentary on the history and building of the Canal. In addition, a diverse selection of Shore EXCursions will allow guests to fully experience each port of call with tours that focus on culture, history, nature, architecture, adventure and cuisine.
Panama Canal cruise fares start at US$949 for a partial transit Sunfarer itinerary, and $1,349 for a full transit departure. Fares are per person, double occupancy, and taxes, fees and port expenses are additional.
Several Panama Canal sailings are eligible for Holland America Lien’s Oceans of Extras promotion, where travellers looking to plan ahead for next year can take advantage of up to $600 shipboard credit, depending on stateroom booked. Suite guests also receive a $100 beverage card and a Signature Dining Package including dinner in the Pinnacle Grill and Canaletto. Guests receive all benefits when booking a stateroom on an eligible cruise by June 30, 2019.