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HAL's Caribbean program goes to 98 cruises from 126

Half Moon Cay - a stop on all HAL cruises from Port Everglades (Photo: Holland America Line)
Holland America Line is fielding seven ships in the Caribbean for the 2015/16 season on 98 departures, down from 126 in the 2014/15 season. Round-trips from Port Everglades and Tampa range from seven to 21 days.

From October 2015 through April 2016, Eurodam, Maasdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Oosterdam, Veendam, Westerdam, Prinsendam and Zuiderdam will offer seven-, 10-, 11-, 12- and 14-day cruises that can be combined into longer 'Collectors’ Voyages' of 14 to 21 days. The itineraries span the Caribbean and include a partial Panama Canal transit.

All cruises from Fort Lauderdale's Port Everglades feature a call at Half Moon Cay, HAL's private island.

From Port Everglades, Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam will sail week-long eastern and western Caribbean cruises that can be combined. Westerdam maintains a weekly schedule of eastern routes, while Maasdam sails seven- and 10-day eastern itineraries, as well as 11-day southern itineraries. Oosterdam also features 10- and 11-day southern Caribbean cruises.

Nieuw Amsterdam will operate a new seven-day program in 2016 that calls at Amber Cove, Carnival Corp.’s new Dominican Republic destination located Puerto Plata.

In addition to 14-day 'Collectors’ Voyages,' other itineraries can be combined for diverse options such as a 21-day southern journey on Oosterdam, a 21-day southern and eastern sailing on Maasdam and a 17-day double eastern route, also on Maasdam, that doesn't repeat ports.

Zuiderdam's Fort Lauderdale round-trips provide a partial Panama Canal transit. The ship makes its way to Gatún Lake for a day of scenic cruising. During these 10- and 11-day sailings the ship also visits several Caribbean ports.

Zuiderdam recently underwent an extensive drydock to add 25 staterooms and enhance several public areas including the dining room, Neptune Lounge, Canaletto restaurant, The Greenhouse Spa and Salon and the Dive-In outdoor grill.

Veendam returns to Tampa in January 2016, replacing Ryndam. The ship will spend the season on seven-day western and 12- and 14-day southern itineraries. The seven- and 14-day options can be combined for a 21-day 'Collector's Voyage.'

HAL ships also will operate 13 holiday sailings of seven to 16 days. Several can be combined to form 14- or 21-day voyages that don't repeat ports. Prinsendam's 16-day southern Caribbean cruise on Dec. 19, 2015, sails over Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Holiday cruises feature a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, traditional holiday meals and a special Royal Dutch High Tea. The crew chorus performs a holiday show, while caroling and sing-alongs take place around the ship. For kids, there's a visit from Santa Claus and holiday-themed crafts.