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Please Note: Cruise-Australia and my other related maritime sites are 100% non-commercial and privately owned sites. Be assured that I am NOT associated with any of the cruise companies nor any travel or cruise agencies, etc! The author has been in the Passenger Shipping industry for a very long time and although now semi-retired, but I am delighted to share all my knowledge with those who love to take their vacation by sea! Thus I continue to write on worthy Cruise Companies and their wonderful Ships in order to better to inform cruise and ship enthusiasts for their pleasure, but more so to ensure that you, my wonderful reader will make the best-informed choice possible!



May/June 2019 Edition

In this edition:

ms Westerdam 2019/20 Asian cruise season

Third Pinnacle Class ship ms Ryndam due in 2021

ms Noordam cruises, from Australia to New Zealand, the South Pacific & Trans-Pacific Voyages

The author’s ms Oosterdam’s Cruise Review is located at the bottom of this page



Holland America Line m.s. Westerdam

Photograph provided by & Holland America Line


Explores Eight Iconic Countries in Asia During 2019-20 Season

 The 1,964-guest ship offers itineraries from 13 to 16 days across the region

Exciting New Asian Itineraries -2018 -2020:

The cosmopolitan cities and rich traditions of the Far East unfold for guests on Holland America Line’s ms Westerdam when the ship embarks on its 2019-20 season in Asia. From September 2019 through April 2020, the Westerdam will extensively explore Cambodia, China, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam on cruises ranging from 13 to 16 nights.  

Departing from Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan; Hong Kong and Shanghai, China; as well as Singapore, the contrasts between the ancient and the modern come to life as cultures steeped in tradition collide with soaring skyscrapers and bustling capitals. Nine different itineraries showcase the magic of each country and celebrate the histories and trendsetting modern cultures that have been thousands of years in the making.  

“For many of our guests, a cruise to Asia is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so we build our itineraries to include multiple countries or in-depth explorations of an area and create meaningful and deep encounters on every voyage,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “Having such an extensive season allows us to visit those lesser-explored ports that offer an incredible glimpse into local cultures, along with the must-see larger cities such as Hong Kong and Singapore that are equally as memorable and fulfilling.”  

ms Westerdam begins the season with a 13-day North Pacific Crossing from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Yokohama (Tokyo). The ship then begins a series of voyages that explore the Far East, from Japan to Singapore

The 13-day Japan and China cruises from Yokohama to Shanghai include three ports in Japan; three calls in China, including an overnight at Tianjin (Beijing); and one call in South Korea. Westerdam’s 14-day Taiwan and Japan cruise from Shanghai to Hong Kong starts with an overnight in Shanghai and includes five ports in Japan; Manila, the Philippines; and two ports in Taiwan, with an overnight in Keelung (Taipei).  

Westerdam’s 14-day Far East Discovery cruises between Singapore and Hong Kong call at four ports in Vietnam, including an overnight in Da Nang; Sihanoukville, Cambodia; Ko Samui and an overnight at Laem Chabang (Bangkok), Thailand.  

The 14-day East Asia cruise is roundtrip from Hong Kong and includes two calls in China, including an overnight in Shanghai; two calls each in Japan and Taiwan; and a call at Manila

Celebrating the first cruise of 2020, Westerdam embarks on a 16-day Far East Discovery voyage Jan. 16 that follows the same itinerary but adds an overnight in Hong Kong

A Series of 14-Day Itineraries Continues the Ship’s Asian Exploration

Westerdam’s 14-day Taiwan and Japan cruise between Hong Kong and Shanghai visits the Philippines, South Korea, two ports in Taiwan and four calls in Japan

Cruising roundtrip from Shanghai, the China, South Korea and Japan cruise features four calls in China, including overnight calls at Shanghai and Tianjin (Beijing), and two calls each in Japan and South Korea. The China Explorer from Hong Kong to Yokohama includes two ports in Japan and five ports in China, with overnights in Tianjin (Beijing) and Shanghai

Westerdam‘s Japan Explorer is a roundtrip Yokohama journey with six additional ports in Japan, including an overnight in Kobe (Osaka), and two calls in Taiwan. Then a Japan and Russia itinerary roundtrip from Yokohama visiting an incredible eight ports in Japan and a northerly exploration up to Vladivostok, Russia. The final cruise of the season is a 16-day North Pacific Crossing on April 25, 2020, from Yokohama to Vancouver.

 Collectors’ Voyages Offer Longer Explorations of the Region

Back-to-back cruises can be booked together to form a longer Collectors’ Voyage that provides a more in-depth exploration of the world’s largest continent. Combining two itineraries, the Asia Collectors’ Voyages range from 26 to 30 days and feature few if any repeating ports. 

Asian Culture Comes to Life on Board with EXC Encounters & Shore Excursions

Throughout the cruises, EXC programming brings Asia's local traditions, culinary tastes and cultural experiences to life on board. Through EXC Encounters, guests can participate in activities like transforming a piece of paper into origami art, perfecting chopstick skills, learning the etiquette of local tea ceremonies, and exploring the poses and postures of the statues of Buddha.  

Guests who want to learn more about the region can attend an EXC Talk by an EXC Guide about the ports of call, or head to an EXC Port to Table cooking demonstration, cooking class or themed mixology class featuring local fare. The Dining Room and Lido Market also will showcase the flavours of Asia

Asia cruises feature a diverse selection of shore excursions that allow guests to immersively experience each port of call. Tours focus on culture, history, nature, architecture, adventure, culinary topics and family outings. Exclusive culinary-themed shore excursions in partnership with FOOD & WINE magazine showcase the regions' food scenes from a local perspective. 

Asia cruise fares start at $1,729 per person, double occupancy. Several Asia sailings are eligible for Holland America Line’s Oceans of Extras promotion where travellers looking to plan ahead for next year can take advantage of up to a US$600 shipboard credit depending on the stateroom booked.  Suite guests also receive a US$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 from May 16 to June 30, 2019.

For further information about the ms Westerdam’s 2019 -2020 Far East Cruises, see a specialised & fully registered Cruise/Travel Agent or visit

Please Note: From personal experience, I highly suggest that you book with an expert Cruise Agent for you will receive person to person service and the best advice, which is something you will never receive if you book online, as well as receiving the applicable discounts, etc! I always book through an agent, and I receive the best of service here in Brisbane!

A new ms Westerdam feature will be online very soon!

I will add a link above when completed



ms Ryndam

The Third Ship in the Series due in 2021


Holland America releases of the name and this image of their forthcoming new ship

Image provided by & Holland America Line

Seattle, Washington., April 7, 2019: In a nod to its long line of historic ships that helped build the foundation for cruising as we know it today, Holland America Line announced that its next Pinnacle Class ship will be called Ryndam. This new-build is due for delivery in May 2021, and she will be the fourth ship in the company’s history to carry this famous name.

Ryndam will be similar to sister ships Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam, weighing 99,500 tons and carrying 2,666 guests. As the third in the series the Ryndam will feature enhanced Pinnacle Class amenities and innovations, along with Holland America Line hallmarks a cruise company that drives one of the highest guest repeat rates in the cruise industry.

“Holland America Line honours the timeless tradition of cruising while also embracing new innovations for today’s travellers, and the name Ryndam reflects the unique history of this company while honouring previous ships that were progressive in their time as this last Ryndam will be,” said Orland Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “From the first Ryndam more than 100 years ago to the most recent, the namesake ships have been beloved by our guests. The next Ryndam will bring new life to one of the most notable series of vessels in our history.”

The steel cutting for Ryndam, signifying the official beginning of the construction process, was held on March 13, 2019 at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Marghera, Italy. This will be the 17th ship constructed for Holland America Line by this famed Italian shipbuilder, which most recently delivered ms Nieuw Statendam.

Holland America Line’s Historic Ships Named Ryndam

The first Ryndam was part of the Holland America Line fleet from 1901 to 1929, starting as Rijndam before receiving the English spelling in 1923. In 1927 Ryndam I became the first Holland America Line ship to sail a world cruise, although it was chartered as a floating school at sea for that voyage. The second Ryndam served from 1951 to 1973, and the third sailed in the fleet from 1993 through 2015, when it was transferred to sister brand P&O Cruises Australia and currently operates as one of that company’s most loved ships, the MV Pacific Aria - The author of - .net has cruised on Pacific Aria some six times and has further cruises booked!

Visit the ms Koningsdam feature!



ms Noordam

Cruising from Australia, New Zealand & Around the South Pacific

Offering New entertainment experiences and additional Verandah Staterooms


The elegant 5 Star luxury Cruise ship ms Noordam

Photograph provided by & Holland America Line

Holland America Line’s ms Noordam was deployment in Australia as from October 2015 and she arrive on her maiden voyage to her new home port of Sydney on October 25. The Noordam (as did her almost identical sister ms Oosterdam and the smaller R (Ryndam) Class ships, the ms Volendam and Zaandam in earlier days), she commenced operating her first season of roundtrip, as well as six one-way cruises from Sydney, or Auckland - from October to April on an annual basis.

ms Noordam was in dry dock in April 2015, when she had new “extra large LED screens” installed in the main show lounge that would offer the ability to change the dynamic backdrops, ensuring that the grand stage shows will be even more vibrant and interactive. The popular Dive-In was also refurbished, along with The Greenhouse Spa & Salon, the Ocean Bar, Pinnacle Bar, Crow’s Nest, Explorer’s Lounge, Neptune Suite and the Atrium.

ms Oosterdam slips by the Sydney Harbour Bridge as she is about to berth at the Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay

Photograph provided by & Holland America Line


For a brochure and further information on Holland America Line’s cruises and world voyages, consult your Cruise Specialist or call Holland America Line at 1300 987 322, or visit


Read the author’s … ms Oosterdam Comprehensive 5 page Cruise’n”Ship Review



-Also visit my other Holland America Pages-

Page One The History of Holland America Line and Today’s Modern Fleet

1872 to 2000

Page TwoThe History of Holland America Line and Today’s Modern Fleet

1993 to 2015

Holland America Line Ships featured on Cruise-Australia

ms Koningsdam - ms Noordam - ms Oosterdam - ms Rotterdam  

ms Volendam - ms Zaandam & ms Nieuw Amsterdam

ms Statendam - (A 4-page ship review)

4 HAL - Cruise‘n’Ship Reviews by the Author

ms Oosterdam 2013 New Zealand Cruise Review


ms Oosterdam 2014 Review


ms Volendam Cruise Review - ms Amsterdam Ship Review

My recommendation: I highly suggest that you visit a good and a long established Travel/Cruise Agency for information, bookings and obtain the best possible cruise fares. Personally I never book with any cruise company direct, for they do not offer any personal service or discounts! I know that they do not like me saying this, but I have to be honest and provide you my readers with the very best possible advice! Reuben Goossens.


Please Note: Cruise-Australia and its associated pages are 100% non-commercial and privately owned cruise sites and are NOT associated with any cruise company or travel agency! Although the author has been in the passenger shipping industry since 1960 and is currently semi-retired, but continues to write cruise and ship reviews and articles in order to better to inform cruise and ship enthusiasts and provide information for those intending a cruise in the future.

Reuben Goossens.


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