Beginning in 2010, Holland America Line will once again operate regularly scheduled cruises between New York City and Bermuda. Holland America is the only major cruise line that calls on both Hamilton and St. George’s, Bermuda’s cultural and shopping hubs. When the 1,350-guest Veendam sails in late August 2010 on the first of 10 roundtrips to the island, it will mark Holland America Line’s return to New York City as a homeport and to Bermuda as a destination. Holland America worked closely with Bermuda’s government to form the partnership that takes the line back to the island that it first visited more than 70 years ago. In 1926, Veendam II, with a guest capacity of approximately 500, left New York on the company’s first Caribbean cruise. During the summers of 1930 and 1931, Veendam II sailed on five-day roundtrip cruises between New York and Bermuda.
“We are thrilled to homeport a ship in New York City again and especially to be returning to Bermuda,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president-marketing, sales and guest programs. “It’s particularly relevant to be doing so on a ship with the same name as the one that sailed to Bermuda so many years ago. Veendam is ideal for this itinerary. She is a premium mid-size ship, the perfect size to navigate the narrow entrances to the harbors in Hamilton and St. George’s. Veendam’s guests are able to step off the ship right in the center of each town. Ships larger than Veendam must tie up at the Dockyard facility a considerable distance from both towns.” In addition to the 10 sailings between late August and October 2010, Holland America will visit the island for a full season beginning in May the following year, with 20 or more sailings anticipated.