With Japan working to finalize details for reopening to international cruise travelers for the first time in two-and-a-half years, Holland America Line is poised with a diverse and culturally-rich itineraries to Asia beginning in February 2023.
The first sailings will begin aboard Westerdam after a brief drydock following the ship’s 2022 Australia summer season, offering itineraries from multiple homeports for travelers’ convenience.
Japan Reopening to Cruising
Japanese authorities announced earlier this month that they were prepared to start receiving international cruise ships once more, though overall health and safety protocols continue to be refined and finalized.
With the green light to resume cruises on the horizon, Holland America Line is ready with extraordinary itineraries to this rich and amazing part of the world, one where many travelers plan once-in-a-lifetime getaways.
“We’re grateful for the work that the Japanese authorities have done to allow for a return to cruising,” said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line.
Guests booked on upcoming Asia voyages should stay in close contact with Holland America Line for updates on the required health and safety protocols. Guests can also use the cruise line’s website to look up detailed protocols for their specific sailing through the booking number or voyage number.
Asia, including Japan, has largely been closed to international cruise guests since the beginning of the pandemic and the cruise industry shutdown in March 2021.
The imminent reopening is sure to be a popular one for well-traveled cruisers, particularly as cruising is a convenient way to explore many destinations in a single trip.
To attract adventurous travelers eager to explore this amazing region, Holland America Line has put together very unique and engaging itineraries from February through April, 2023.
“Holland America Line’s guests love longer voyages to unique parts of the world, and we’ll be sailing to some incredible locations as our season in Japan and the rest of Asia begins,” said Antorcha.
The Vista-class Westerdam will offer roundtrip and one-way itineraries to explore the Far East, with both Yokohama, Japan and Singapore serving as homeports for the vessel, depending on departure date. Earlier this year, 11 Westerdam sailings in Asia were canceled due to continued uncertainties in the region at that time.
The new Asia cruises range from 11-14 days, and can be combined for back-to-back (or longer) voyages to more thoroughly explore the region, and the diverse itineraries are staggered throughout the ship’s overall schedule.
Many ports of call are featured on different itineraries, including exotic destinations in the Philippines, Taiwan, and Malaysia, providing guests with a sampler of the region and the opportunity to truly appreciate the area’s unique histories, culture, and flair.
Furthermore, overnight stays ensure ample time to explore and indulge in some of Asia’s most popular ports of call, including Phuket, Thailand and both Kobe and Osaka in Japan.
Westerdam is the only Holland America Line vessel that will be returning to Asia so quickly, and is carefully positioned to do so as she finishes her season in Australia and New Zealand. Before beginning Asia cruises, the ship will undergo a short general maintenance drydock in Singapore, ensuring she is fresh and ready to welcome new travelers.
The first voyage, an 11-night roundtrip sailing from Singapore on Feburary 3, 2023, will visit six ports of call, including Phuket, Thailand; Port Blair, India; and Malacca and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.
The ship’s final Asia sailing for the spring will be a 13-night one-way repositioning sailing from Yokohama to Seattle, visiting ports in Japan and Alaska as the ship makes its way toward its summer homeport for the popular Alaska season.
Westerdam will return to Asia for additional itineraries in the fall, offering voyages from Yokohama, Hong Kong, and Singapore from October 2023 through April 2024.
The 82,500-gross-ton vessel can welcome as many as 1,964 guests for each sailing, providing spectacular service from 800 crew members that will surely make these getaways enjoyable and memorable.