Holland America Line celebrated a special occasion on July 24, namely the first anniversary of the return to cruising and hitting more than 240 cruises over the past year.
The Seattle-based company returned ten cruise ships to service, welcoming back onboard thousands of guests that waited for more than a year to sail again.
Nieuw Amsterdam was Holland America Line’s first ship to make its return on July 24 last year, when she sailed from Seattle, Washington. The last vessel to resume operations was Westerdam on June 12, 2022.
Holland America Line Celebrates One Year Of Service After Global Operational Pause
No one could have expected that what would have been a short operational pause in March 2020 to keep the pandemic under control would turn into 16 months, ending only on July 24, 2021.
It was on July 24, 2021, that the 86,700 gross tons Nieuw Amsterdam was able to welcome her first guests back onboard again, sailing from Seattle, Washington, Holland America Line’s home base, to Alaska. The Signature-class Nieuw Amsterdam celebrated one year back in service yesterday, July 24, while guests enjoyed the day in Whitter, Alaska.
Since July 24, 2021, Holland America Line has kept to a slow- and steady schedule, returning cruise ships to operations if and when feasible and safe to do so.
Besides COVID-19 and the challenges that it brought on for the ships, Holland America, like many other cruise lines, has had to deal with bringing more than 12,000 crew members back onboard.
Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line: “The emotions and excitement from a year ago still resonate today as destinations around the world open and we persist in fully getting back to cruising.“
“We are grateful to our guests who returned to sail with us, to our team members who came back to sea, to the ports that welcomed us, to our partners who stood by us and to all of our shoreside employees who got us back in the water. Over the past year we have operated more than 240 cruises, and we look forward to continuing to offer more memorable vacations.”
As ports opened to tourists, Holland America Line’s ten remaining ships started sailing again.
In addition to Alaska, the brand has resumed travel to Canada/New England, the Caribbean, Hawaii, the Mediterranean, Mexico, Northern Europe, and the South Pacific. The ships will return to Australia/New Zealand and South America/Antarctica before the end of the year.
More Than 240 Cruises Have Sailed
In the 365 days since Nieuw Amsterdam started sailing again, Holland America line has amassed an impressive array of statistics on what happened since then. The cruise line gives a glimpse into the massive scale of the operations that occur daily onboard the cruise ships.
Two hundred forty-two cruises have sailed, during which the ships visited 169 different ports worldwide and 122 glacier visits in Alaska. The ships traveled 502,565 nautical miles to get to those ports, which is enough to travel to the moon and back– two and a half times.
And it’s not just the geography of those cruises that is impressive. During the 242 cruises, the 12,287 crew members from 98 different countries managed to serve more than 6,5 million meals, 1,117,306 beers, and 3,235,855 sodas, waters, and juices.
The fun is not over yet; in the coming months, Holland America Line will be operating some extraordinary cruises. Besides the 150th anniversary transatlantic cruises, there will be a 71-day Grand Africa Voyage that sets sail in October 2022 onboard Zaandam.
There will also be a 128-day Grand World onboard Zuiderdam and a 74-day Grand South America and Antarctica voyage depart in January 2023 onboard Volendam, while Asia itineraries will resume in February 2023.