One cruise line will be offering 30 cruises through the Panama Canal on five different cruise ships in 2019. In addition to the full transits, guest can embark on Panama Canal Sunfarer itineraries that feature a partial transit in combination with southern Caribbean ports of call.
Anticipating another robust Panama Canal season, Holland America Line is looking to build on the success of its previous season when the cruise line carried 40,500 guests through the famous canal. With full transits ranging from 14 to 23 days and 10- or 11-day partial explorations, each cruise provides more ways for guests to experience the Panama Canal than any other premium cruise line.
Connect Two Oceans on a Full Panama Canal Transit
From January through December 2019, Amsterdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Eurodam, Oosterdam, Rotterdam and Volendam will make 17 transits between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans from four departure cities. Guests can conveniently sail to or from Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, California; and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Each itinerary includes a diverse collection of ports along with the exploration of the Panama Canal. On full transits, guests will visit cities in Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua and islands in the Caribbean. In addition, some of the sailings include a visit to Half Moon Cay, Holland America’s award-winning private island in the Bahamas known for its pristine beaches, engaging family activities, exciting shore excursions and exclusive beach cabanas.
Combine the Caribbean and Central America on a Partial Transit
In addition to the full transits, Zuiderdam and Eurodam will make 13 partial transits between January and December 2019. Conveniently cruising roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, the 10- and 11-day Panama Canal Sunfarer itineraries include an exploration of the Canal’s Gatún Lake with a combination of southern Caribbean calls in Aruba, Curaçao, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama and Half Moon Cay.
Full Panama Canal transit cruise fares start at $1,329 and Sunfarer cruise rates start at $949, all per person, double occupancy.
Several Panama Canal sailings are eligible for Holland America’s Explore4 promotion where travelers looking to plan ahead for next year or beyond can take advantage of perks to sip, dine, sail and save.
The Explore4 promotion for guests booking any category stateroom includes a Signature Beverage Package valued at $1,400 per stateroom (based on a 14-day cruise), dinner at the Pinnacle Grill for two, free or reduced cruise fares for third and fourth guests in the same stateroom, and 50 percent reduced deposits. Guests receive all benefits when bookings are made by Nov. 19, 2018.
Explorations Central (EXC) Makes Panamanian Culture Come to Life on Board
Throughout the voyages, EXC programming brings Panama’s local customs, culinary creations and cultural experiences on board. Through the EXC Encounters program, guests can practice their language skills, learn about local traditions or enjoy the simple pleasure of storytelling. Those who want to immerse themselves even further can attend an EXC Talk where a Panama Canal expert recounts the history and drama of the historic construction of the waterway. The EXC Team provides further guidance in customizing each visit for the port calls, while the in-stateroom EXC Channel features a selection of curated films, documentaries and TV shows exploring the destinations on the itinerary.
Holland America Line’s Explorations Central was recently honored as the best Overall Cruise Education Program by a leading travel industry publication.
For an up-close view, Holland America Line’s spacious bow observation area gives guests a great platform to watch all the action of a Panama Canal transit, from workers on shore to electric mules to hard-at-work crew members.