SEATTLE — Holland America Line has been given the green light to resume cruising from Greece starting this August, with bookings opening May 6.
After more than a year’s pause due to the pandemic, the four scheduled departures from Piraeus (Athens) mark the cruise line’s highly anticipated return to the water. Other major cruise lines that have announced resumption of services include Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Crystal.
All four departures, available to fully vaccinated guests, will sail aboard the Eurodam and include the following:
- ‘Idyllic Greek Isles’ departing Aug. 15 and 29 and featuring Kotor, Montenegro plus the Greek isles of Kékira (Corfu), Thíra (Santorini) and Mykonos
- ‘Ancient Wonders’ departing Aug. 22 and featuring Haifa (Israel) as well as Náfplion, Mykonos and Rhodes in Greece
- The seven-day ‘Adriatic Allure’ departing Sept. 5 sailing to Venice with calls at Mykonos, Katakolon (Olympia) and Crete (Chania), Greece, as well as Sarandë, Albania
Both the ‘Idyllic Greek Isles’ and “Ancient Wonders’ itineraries can be combined to form a longer, back-to-back 14-day Collectors’ Voyage.
Additional Mediterranean cruises aboard Eurodam through the fall will be announced in the coming weeks and include ports in Italy and Greece. Eurodam will return to the United States to begin sailing its published Caribbean cruises in mid-November.
“Everyone at Holland America Line has been preparing for our return to service and we are grateful to the government of Greece for allowing us to show that we can safely operate our cruises,” said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. “The beautiful islands of Greece have been a highlight of our Mediterranean itineraries for decades and we are honoured to be able to restart out of Athens and give our guests a memorable vacation after all this time without cruise travel.”
Fares for Eurodam’s seven-day Greece cruises start at a ‘Have it All’ premium package fare of US$1,999 per person, which includes one shore excursion, a beverage package, specialty dining and Wi-Fi. Cruise-only fares start at $1,649 per person, double occupancy. Taxes, fee and port expenses are additional.
VACCINATION & SAFETY PROTOCOLS
These inaugural cruises from Greece are available to guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the start of the cruise. They must also provide proof of vaccination.
In addition to being fully vaccinated, guests will be required to comply with all health and safety protocols at the time of departure for travel to and from the ship, as well as all onboard procedures for visiting ports. For more information about Greece’s traveller health requirements click here.
Additional preventative health measures under Holland America’s ‘Travel Well’ program will also be in place. These include health screenings, face mask requirements, physical distancing and capacity control. The line’s ships now feature enhanced sanitation and air filtration with upgraded HVAC systems and ultraviolet technology; HEPA filters will also be used in key areas as an additional safeguard. Medical centers onboard will be equipped with COVID-19 testing and treatment capabilities.
Though a comprehensive array of health and safety protocols will be in place, Holland America assures that onboard amenities and services that have become the hallmark of its brand will still be available to guests. These include dining in all restaurants and specialty venues, room service, entertainment in the main show lounge, as well as live music in Lincoln Center Stage, B.B. King’s Blues Club, Billboard Onboard and Rolling Stone Rock Room. Port-to-Table culinary demonstrations, EXC Talks and more will also be available to highlight Greece’s culture. To accommodate physical distancing, additional performances may be added to the schedule.
ALASKA & OTHER EUROPEAN CRUISES
To accommodate the new Greece sailings, guests sailing on Eurodam’s published Seattle roundtrip Alaska cruises will be moved to similar accommodations on sister ship Nieuw Amsterdam, which is scheduled to sail on the same departure dates.
In addition, European cruises departing from July 1-25 on Volendam and July 1 through Aug. 31 on Westerdam will be cancelled. Guests who were booked on impacted cruises and their travel advisors are being notified.