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Nieuw Statendam leads HAL's eight-ship 2018/19 Caribbean season

PHOTO: Holland America Line
Half Moon Cay is featured on most cruises from Fort Lauderdale
Holland America Line will offer more than 100 Caribbean departures between October and April on eight ships, including the newest, Nieuw Statendam.

Itineraries include the eastern, western and southern Caribbean. Some feature Cuba and others spend a day discovering the Panama Canal. Seven ships will sail round-trip from Fort Lauderdale, while Rotterdam takes over the round-trip Tampa departures.

Half Moon Cay

Most Fort Lauderdale cruises visit private island Half Moon Cay.

Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Oosterdam, Rotterdam, Veendam and Zuiderdam will operate three- to 14-day cruises that can be combined into longer, back-to-back Collectors' Voyages ranging from 13 to 21 days.

Nieuw Statendam's inaugural program

Nieuw Statendam will kick off its maiden Caribbean season with a four-day cruise to the Bahamas in December. Following its inaugural Caribbean sailing, the ship will feature seven-day itineraries to the eastern and western regions.

In January, a 10-day cruise visits southern Caribbean ports including Kralendijk, Bonaire; Amber Cove, Dominican Republic; and Barbados. Other southern Caribbean itineraries will be available on Nieuw Statendam's sister ship, Koningsdam, beginning in November. Cruisers can choose seven-, 10- and 11-day itineraries.

In October, Veendam kicks off the season with a series of Cuban Explorer cruises. These seven-, 10-, 11- and 12-day itineraries through March call at Havana and some at Cienfuegos, Cuba, along with other ports in Grand Cayman, Jamaica and Mexico. Veendam also offers a seven-day eastern Caribbean Holiday cruise in December and an 11-day southern Caribbean itinerary in January that do not visit Cuba.

Nieuw Amsterdam's seven-day cruises visit the eastern and western Caribbean, featuring calls at St. Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk, Cozumel, Georgetown, Ocho Rios and other destinations. Similarly, Oosterdam will offer a series of seven-day cruises that spotlight both eastern and western routes, as well as seven-day Tropical Caribbean itineraries that call at ports in the Bahamas and Dominican Republic.

Partial Panama Canal transits

A partial Panama Canal transit aboard Zuiderdam, sailing round-trip from Fort Lauderdale on 10- and 11-day cruises, visits Gatun Lake and several Caribbean ports.

From Tampa

Rotterdam will offer eight seven-day western itineraries and five 14-day southern itineraries. Destinations include Key West, Curaçao, Mahogany Bay (Honduras), Costa Maya, Aruba and St. Lucia.

A variety of holiday sailings with special events, meals and activities will be available. As one example, Prinsendam's 14-day Caribbean Holiday cruise departing Dec. 21 from Fort Lauderdale calls at ports in the British Virgin Islands, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Barbados, Half Moon Cay, the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.

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