Now in its 149th year of cruising, Holland America Line must be doing something right. Starting with new itineraries that make eager vacation planners want to turn back to cruises.
We’re excited Holland America has opened bookings for new Pacific itineraries starting this fall. Between Sept. 25, 2022 and March 13, 2023, Westerdam will be exploring Australia and New Zealand.
If you’re not ready to travel internationally, no worries. These days, you can cruise from some two dozen domestic ports served by the major cruise lines. Since more of 2022’s estimated 1.5 million cruisers are looking for drive-to options, the cruise companies responded. Did you know that most Americans live within a 5-hour drive of a Carnival cruise homeport?
Princess Cruises is touting its first summer season – now for 2022 – from several homeports to Mexico, Hawaii and the California Coast.
Where is Holland America Sailing?
Holland America has added many more cruises from San Diego for 2022. Review itineraries up the California Coast in the fall, their extended Alaska season and the new itineraries down under.
Holland America Line’s ninth ship, Oosterdam, has begun sailing in Europe. Other new ships are sailing in Alaska where Holland America is celebrating its 75th year cruising. Additionally, HAL ships are in the Caribbean, Mexico, the South Pacific and the California Coast. Volendam currently is under charter by the government of the Netherlands, positioned alongside the port in Rotterdam accommodating Ukrainian refuges. The full fleet will be back in service in June, and many will sail through Vancouver Island now that the Canadian government is once again welcoming foreign visitors.
In addition to elegant ships, HAL is known for immersive programming designed to deepen your understanding of the destination and local cultures. There are opportunities to connect with local experts in port, meet artists, chefs, performers and more. There are, of course, organized activities for kids and teens, too.
Multigenerational Families Want to Get Back to Cruises
Did you know that interest in multigenerational vacations is through the roof? A Barron’s report notes that bookings for parties of six or more are up 57% between 2019 and 2022. When several generations travel together – and what better time than now? – they love cruises.
Cruises, especially the megaships, boast activities on and off the ship for all ages. It’s structured. There’s no arguing over where to go or what to do as families can split up during the day, gathering for dinner to talk over their adventures.
Several lines offer fine dining and sophisticated entertainment ranging from cabaret to discos. Most of the newest ships have premium and casual restaurants designed by noted celebrity chefs. And the youngest foodies appreciate they can eat whatever and whenever they want without any extra cost. Special diets accommodated too.
Most important for grandparents, on cruises, adults enjoy time together since there are terrific, supervised on-board programs for kids and teens.
Get Back to Cruise for One of the Safest Vacation Options
The CDC has removed COVID-19 warnings for cruise ship travelers and has now relaxed a key pandemic cruise regulation. This will allow more kids and unvaccinated children to sail on “highly vaccinated” ships. For ships to be considered highly vaccinated, 90 per cent of passengers five and older must be vaccinated. (Children under five not eligible for vaccines yet aren’t counted.) Crew vaccination requirements remain at 95 per cent.
The Cruise Lines Industry Association (CLIA) said this latest CDC change recognizes protective measures the industry has taken and will allow more families with unvaccinated children to cruise.
The cruise industry follows key COVID-19 protocols, including requiring proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding; regular testing of crew; every eligible person to be vaccinated; ongoing sanitation of all public spaces and guest/crew rooms; social distancing, enhanced air ventilation and other public health measures.
That’s why even families whose children are under five and not yet eligible to be vaccinated believe a cruise is one of the safest vacations they can take.
Cruise Deals and Special Offers for Summer 2022
There is an option for every style traveler and budget. Book and save with Holland America’s Have It All cruise fare and receive the most popular amenities. Families like that shore excursions, beverage packages, specialty dining and Wi-Fi are significantly discounted in the bundled rate. Military, Healthcare and First Responders get the package free plus an onboard $100 spending credit on select cruises.
Aboard Princess Cruises, the Princess Premier package includes a premium selection of beer, spirits, wine by the glass and cocktails for $18 and under, all non-alcoholic beverages including specialty coffees and teas, frappes, milk shakes and energy drinks. It also includes the additional benefit of a 25% discount on bottles of wine, one-liter bottles of water, canned soda and bottled juices. Examine the Princess Standard and Princess Plus offers to see if they make more sense for your family.
On Carnival Cruise Line, if you’re a VIFP (Very Important Fun Person) there are several discounted cruises this summer. First time family cruisers appreciate that Carnival carries more children than anyone else. Carnival’s latest ship, Mardi Gras, boasts the first roller coasters at sea and also runs on LPG, making is more sustainable. Kids love the casual food options ranging from burgers and pizza to the very popular and complimentary Big Chicken; Shaq’s Chicken Joint and Chibang!, a new specialty restaurant touting a complete Mexican and Chinese menu.
Because of the bewildering array of choices, this is a time to work with a travel advisor who is a cruise expert. They can not only talk you through your options, but guarantee you get the best deal — including a few extra perks. .
Author Eileen Ogintz is an avid cruiser who has sailed Alaska many times, on all sorts of ships and in all sorts of styles. She contributed this post on behalf of sponsor TakingtheKids.com.