Ask Dave

One of my best cruise experiences is when I hosted this itinerary with my long-time friend, and former CBC weatherman and “Ports and Bows” columnist, Phil Reimer. We did the extremely popular cruise from Ft Lauderdale to Vancouver, which is the focus of this writing.

No matter where you are in Canada, the flying to and from is pretty easy.  Always come in at least one day early (even those who have direct flights from YYZ or YUL) as you simply don’t want to miss the ship.  People on the west coast cannot fly and cruise on the same day with travel time and the change in zones.  For a little extra piece of mind, come in even before that – there’s a lot of fun things to do in Ft Lauderdale, whether spending the day aboard the boats cruising by the waterfront multi-million dollar properties to heading up to the Everglades in search of alligators and other wildlife.

Holland America's Panama Canal Sailings 2023

In Spring 2023, there are 3 ships doing this itinerary which is very good for you – there’s a bit too much inventory.  The Nieuw Amsterdam and the Eurodam are the balcony heavy ships, and the smaller, more intimate Volendam has incredible value for those quite happy with insides or ocean-view staterooms.  There are plenty of veranda suites as well, but they do price out higher than the other 2 ships.  

These 19 to 21 night sailings include Columbia, up to 2other Caribbean islands and have the fascinating full day transit through the Panama Canal, along with a port or two in Central America (Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica) plus stops in Mexico before San Diego and your cruise up the coast to Vancouver.  It is a really nice balance of sea days and ports.

Ask about other categories – we have better value on any.  You may want to spoil yourself with a suite!

The Nieuw Amsterdam departs on October 01, 2023 for 20 nights, An oceanview stateroom is $3149 CAD per person and includes 20 night cruise, $100 per person onboard credit, 1 night hotel in Vancouver and taxes. Ask us about our phenomenal balcony pricing!

The Eurodam departs on October 8, 2023 and a balcony stateroom would be $4899 CAD per person including 20 night cruise, $100 per person onboard credit, 1 night hotel in Vancouver and taxes.

There are similar itineraries going the opposite direction in September 2023 – but the pricing is not as appealing.  If you’d rather do a winter date to really get out of the cold, there are a number of Zaandam sailings that go between San Diego and Ft Lauderdale or vice versa. These are 14 night cruises. This ship is around 1400 passengers and is a sister to the Volendam.  

There’s always great speakers, fabulous food and drink along with much improved (in my opinion) entertainment, so put this all together with a lovely itinerary I should think you will love it!

Travel Perks with CruisePlus

CruisePlus also has a new exclusive deal for travel planners. If you organize the bookings for even as few as 2 other rooms besides yours, you will save significantly on your host room on most Holland America cruises.  Whether you are leading for friends and/or family, or are part of any common interest, membership or hobby group, I doubt you will find a better deal. Please contact us by email at grouptravel@cruiseplus.ca or by calling us and asking for our group department.

Please have a look at past and future writings at Ask Dave along with short travel tips that also should help you with your vacation planning.

Cheers for now,

Dave Frinton, Founder

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