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Holland America readies for Japan cruises in early 2023

Westerdam, currently sailing in Australia/New Zealand, will operate Holland America's Asia cruises following its January drydock in Singapore
With Japan ready to start receiving international cruise ships, Holland America Line's Westerdam is preparing for a series of early 2023 voyages there.

International cruise ships have not been allowed in Japan for more than 2.5 years, though domestic ships have been able to operate more recently.

On Nov. 15, the government invited lines to hold discussions with the relevant parties of the ports they plan to visit for approvals

'We’re grateful for the work that the Japanese authorities have done to allow for a return to cruising,' HAL President Gus Antorcha said. 'Holland America Line’s guests love longer voyages to unique parts of the world, and we’ll be sailing to some incredible locations as our season in Japan and the rest of Asia begins.'

Feb. 3 Asia start

Westerdam, currently sailing in Australia and New Zealand, will start its Asia season following a January drydock in Singapore. Beginning Feb. 3, the ship is scheduled to sail a series of Far East voyages.

Eleven- to 14-day cruises round-trip from Yokohama or Singapore, or between Yokohama and Singapore, may be combined to for nonrepeating Collectors’ Voyages.

Besides Japan, destinations include Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia.

Five different itineraries

Five different itineraries are offered. Overnight calls are planned in Singapore; Kobe and Osaka, Japan; and Phuket, Thailand. The season concludes April 24 with a 14-day 'North Pacific Crossing' from Yokohama to Seattle, where Westerdam will homeport for its Alaska season.

As protocols for cruising in Asia are finalized, each departure will be added to HAL's Voyage Lookup tool, which allows passengers to see any specific health requirements for their trip.