Ask Dave

The Noordam is a gorgeous ship built in 2006 (beautifully refurbished in 2017) with a capacity of just under 2000 guests.  In today’s world, she would be classified as “mid sized”.  She spends her winters down under with regular sailings either cruising roundtrip Sydney (with some from Perth) or on up to 15 night voyages going between the 2 countries. What have become very popular are the spring or fall repositioning sailings to or from Vancouver, Seattle or San Diego. These up to 48-night trips eliminate one of those long flights.

Sunny Distant Land Cooled by Ocean Breezes

Because of the distance, most North American travellers tend to add in extra time before or after their cruise.  My last trip when I hosted a group we stayed in the Sydney area exploring the city, the koalas and the Blue Mountains.  In previous visits, I went diving out of Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef, visited the Whitsunday islands and cruised for 25-nights to Papeete, French Polynesia.

Of course there’s Ayers Rock (which I have not yet been to) and other special places for the memory book in Australia – let alone the long list of must do’s in New Zealand.  Seeing Milford Sound on a sunny day was absolutely spectacular and the many ports on both the South and North islands make for a visual and historical adventure.

If you really want more info, ask for Fiona (a senior advisor from our office that happens to be a Kiwi!) who has hosted many tours and knows more than I do!

Holland America's Unique Itineraries

The Noordam has a few unique itineraries as well that are more tropical with longer at the reef and up above the north end. Bottom line is that I recommend you stretch your trip with perhaps a couple of cruises combined or arranging a good amount of time to recover from your jet lag and to see a least a bit more of this immensely beautiful part of this world.

I’ve personally sailed on around 60 Holland America cruise sand the casual elegance, great food, good lectures and entertainment makes me pretty darn happy. The value is really quite exceptional and while they do not include everything, your check out bill is not that bad at all compared to other brands. You may want to consider their “Have it All” program that may make a lot of sense for you, so please ask us for details!

The refurbished Volendam has a capacity of around 1400. This ship is a bit more traditional, is a little quieter and has more ocean view staterooms than balconies – which is the opposite of pretty much all the new builds. One departure to consider is on September 27, 2023 cruise from Vancouver to San Diego. This itinerary visits  Fiji, Samoa and Hawaii. If you love tropical sea days, you will very much enjoy this vacation. An Oceanview stateroom is $8,599 CAD per person and includes 56-night cruise,  1-night (4-star) hotel in Vancouver, $387.50 US per person onboard credit and taxes.

Group Travel Perks with CruisePlus

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.

Contact us by email at or by calling us and asking for our group department. 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.

No matter if you’re ready to explore now or are just in the dreaming stage, be sure and sign up for our weekly emails and/or join us on Facebook Page or Instagram. Ask our receptionist to set up a time to talk with me if you wish.  I am happy to answer questions you have about travel you are considering.  I’m not managing bookings but I certainly hope I can help you pick the right trip!

Cheers for now,

Dave Frinton, Founder

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