A look at the concepts and driving factors that influence itinerary planning for 2010 and beyond -- from world cruises to short getaways.
There are people in this world who are blessed with the wherewithal to take extended cruises on luxurious ships that last for months at a time. Many of them collect new ports of call like us more "common folk" collect Hummels or models of cars and trucks. These folks are among the most well-traveled people I've ever met and I will be totally frank. I am very, very jealous of them. I only wish I were lucky enough to number myself among them.
Many of these same well-traveled folks are onboard the Statendam with me this month, and just about every one of them attended a very special future cruise presentation with me where Holland America's 2010 Grand Voyage schedule was formally unveiled. These voyages were also made available for booking as of October 8, with guests onboard Holland America's ships having a slight head start on bookings.
I also sat down with Leah Shlyakhov, the future cruise consultant onboard, to get the skinny on what other special plans Holland America is hatching for 2010. Believe me, even if you can't swing a Grand Voyage, there's still a lot of neat things to choose from in 2010.
Bermuda Of course, pretty much everyone already knows that HAL will be returning to Bermuda for seven-day sailings beginning in early August through the end of October. These sailings will be round-trip from New York onboard the Veendam, and each will spend two days docked at St. George, and another two in Hamilton. There will also be some 28-day Panama Canal voyages - Fort Lauderdale to San Diego to Fort Lauderdale. These are technically 14 day sailings, but are great for folks on the Eastern seaboard who maybe don't want to fly cross country. They can do a "back to back" and make it a 28-day voyage that will contain unique ports on each half of the sailing.
Hawaii HAL will also do another Vancouver to Vancouver Circle Hawaii sailing in 2010. This is something HAL hasn't done in a while, and it is great for folks who either live in Canada, or perhaps would like to spend some time in the Vancouver area either before or after their cruise. Vancouver has a lot to offer, and it is certainly a great place for a pre or post-cruise stay.
ABC Caribbean Islands Another interesting itinerary that is on offer for 2010 is a special ABC Island sailing onboard the Noordam. This particular cruise will visit all three of the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonnaire and Curacao) in one cruise, and thus should be very popular. Very few cruises hit all three, making it necessary to do several cruises before you can say you've been to all of the ABC islands. For example, I've done several Caribbean sailings, and have yet to visit Bonnaire.
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