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Oosterdam becomes ninth Holland America ship to resume cruising

Oosterdam's first passengers, accompanied by the ship's captain and senior officers and cheered by the crew, cut a ribbon to start embarkation
Holland America Line welcomed its ninth ship back into service Sunday as Oosterdam embarked passengers in Trieste, Italy, for the first time since the pandemic shutdown.

The ship departed on a 12-day 'Holy Lands and Ancient Kingdoms' cruise that includes an overnight at Haifa, Israel, and additional ports in Israel and Greece.

Ribbon-cutting ceremony

HAL held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the terminal to open embarkation. Joining the first passengers were they ship’s captain and senior officers, with flag-waving fanfare from team members.

'Our teams work incredibly hard getting the ships ready for a return to service, and the smiles when they see our guests walking up the gangway that first time are so heartfelt and sincere,' President Gus Antorcha said. 'Each ship back to cruising means more team members back to sea, and we look forward to the restart being complete next month.'

Since Holland America resumed cruising in July 2021, Eurodam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Noordam, Rotterdam and Zuiderdam have returned to service with cruises in Alaska, the Caribbean, Europe, Mexico, the California coast and South Pacific. Volendam currently is housing Ukrainian refugees in Rotterdam, on charter to the government of the Netherlands.

Two more ships to go

HAL expects to resume passenger service on its remaining ships through June with Zaandam (May 12 in Fort Lauderdale) and Westerdam (June 12 in Seattle).

Oosterdam's summer in the Med then austral summer in South America

Following its first cruise back in service, Oosterdam will spend summer in the Mediterranean, offering seven- to 19-day itineraries round-trip from Trieste, and between Trieste and Piraeus, Civitavecchia (Rome) or Barcelona. The ship will explore the entire region with destinations in Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Montenegro, Croatia, Albania and Malta.

After the Mediterranean season, Oosterdam departs on a trans-Atlantic crossing to Fort Lauderdale before heading through the Panama Canal and down the Pacific coast of South America to position for an austral summer of 14-day cruises around the Southern Cone between San Antonio (Santiago), Chile, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Three 22-day itineraries add four days of scenic cruising in Antarctica.