Holland America Line has announced its return to service and it’s not out of the United States. The carnival-owned cruise line has received approval to restart cruises out of Athens, Greece towards the end of summer.
Eurodam to Sail From Greece
The cruise line is finally going to make a comeback this summer after being hit heavily by the suspension of operations that first started over a year ago. The year-long ban of cruising by Canada has also impacted Holland America’s future cruise operations.
The good news is that Holland America will begin sailings out of Athens, Greece in August with four departures on the Eurodam. The ship will depart on August 15 and 29 on an “Idyllic Greek Isles” itinerary with calls to Kotor, Montenegro, plus the Greek isles of Kékira (Corfu), Thíra (Santorini), and Mykonos.
Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line, said:
“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.”
“The beautiful islands of Greece have been a highlight of our Mediterranean itineraries for decades, and we are honored to be able to restart out of Athens and give our guests a memorable vacation after all this time without cruise travel.”
On August 22 the vessel will depart on an “Ancient Wonders” voyage calling at Haifa, Israel, as well as Náfplion, Mykonos and Rhodes in Greece. The two different itineraries can also be combined into a longer 14-day cruise.
Harry Theoharis, Minister of Tourism of Greece, said:
“The Greek Islands have been welcoming Holland America Line ships for many years, and we are proud to work together to welcome the cruise line back this summer.”
“We are sure that all visitors to Greece will once again have unique experiences to our beautiful destinations and fully enjoy the rich history, culture and gastronomy of our nation.”
Guests can even book a seven-day “Adriatic Allure” itinerary departing on September 5, which will sail from Piraeus to Venice, Italy, with calls at Mykonos, Katakolon (Olympia) and Crete (Chania), Greece, and Sarandë, Albania.
Also Read: Two Cruise Lines Cancel More Alaska Sailings
The new cruises out of Greece open for bookings from May 6, 2021.
Eurodam will be offering Mediterranean cruises to Italy and Greece through the fall, which the cruise line will detail in the coming weeks. The ship will then eventually redeploy back to the U.S. to offer Caribbean itineraries from mid-November 2021.
A Safe Return to Service
The new cruise offerings will only be available for guests who are fully vaccinated at least 14 days before departure. Proof of vaccination must be provided before embarkation.
Worth Reading: When Will Cruises Resume in 2021?
Holland America Line has developed new health measures to make sure guests and crew remain safe. This includes health screenings, face mask requirements, physical distancing, and capacity controls. There will also be HVAC air filtration upgrades onboard to help stop the spread of any potential virus.
Regular Sailings Impacted
Even though Eurodam will sail from the end of the summer, the regular published Seattle roundtrip cruises to Alaska are to be moved. Cruises are being moved to sister ship Nieuw Amsterdam which is scheduled to sail on the same departure dates.
In addition, European cruises departing from July 1 through July 25 on Volendam and July 1 through Aug. 31 on Westerdam will be canceled. Guests who were booked on impacted cruises and their travel advisors are being notified.