Holland America Line has kicked off the 2023-2024 West Coast cruising season with a donation, a festive ceremony and a special eclipse presentation for local sixth grade students. In total six ships will make 30 calls on cruises to Mexico, Hawaii, Panama Canal and Pacific Northwest, including two solar eclipse itineraries.
Holland America Line opened Port of San Diego’s 2023-2024 cruise season on October 2, with a visit from Volendam. In recognition of the cruise line’s 150th Anniversary, Holland America Line made a $10,000 donation to San Diego Harbor Police Foundation in honor of its commitment to the port and city of San Diego.
Rafael Castellanos, Chairman, Port of San Diego Board of Commissioners; Harbor Police Chief Magda Fernandez; and Jeffrey Wohler, president and CEO, San Diego Harbor Police Foundation, joined Captain Ryan Whitaker at the ship to celebrate.
San Diego has been a California West Coast homeport for Holland America Line since the 1990s, and this season six ships will bring nearly 65,000 guests to San Diego from October 2023 through April 2024. In addition to Volendam, guests can cruise to or from San Diego on Eurodam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam and Zaandam to Mexico, Hawaii, the Pacific Coast, South Pacific and Panama Canal.
“More than half of the Holland America Line fleet will visit Port of San Diego this season departing on cruises that reach as far as Australia, making it one of our most vital homeports,” said Beth Bodensteiner, chief commercial officer for Holland America Line. “We thank Port of San Diego for decades of partnership and look forward to a successful cruising season.”
The day also included an onboard eclipse-learning presentation for sixth graders from Perkins K-8 School, a local public school adopted by the San Diego Harbor Police Foundation and officers from the San Diego Harbor Police. University of California San Diego Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics Adam Burgasser taught the students about eclipses and helped them build solar eclipse viewers out of household materials, which can be used for the upcoming annual eclipse October 14 and the total eclipse on April 8, 2024. Burgasser will sail as a featured lecturer aboard Koningsdam’s April 5, 2024, 22-day Solar Eclipse cruise, which spends a day at sea in a prime viewing area for the eclipse.
Many of Holland America Line’s longer voyages out of San Diego are part of the premium line’s homeport initiative that allows guests to see the world from their doorstep, with a short flight or drive to the port. Volendam’s October 2 departure was a 51-day “Tales of the South Pacific” Legendary Voyage that includes 20 island calls and three overnights stays. On January 3, 2024, Volendam departs on the 94-day Grand Australia and New Zealand Voyage that circumnavigates the continent of Australia on an itinerary roundtrip from San Diego.
Highlights of the 2023-2024 West Coast Cruise season
- All Mexico cruises are roundtrip from San Diego aboard Koningsdam, Volendam and Zaandam. Mexico itineraries range from seven to 12 days.
- Two special Solar Eclipse cruises departing San Diego March 30 aboard Zaandam and April 5 aboard Koningsdam place the ships in Mexico for a total view of the eclipse. University of California San Diego Professor of Astronomy Adam Burgasser will join guests on Koningsdam to share insights on viewing the eclipse safely.
- Cruises to Hawaii are aboard Koningsdam and Volendam and operate roundtrip from San Diego, roundtrip from Vancouver, or between Vancouver and San Diego. Itineraries range from 16 to 18 days.
- All six ships will offer Pacific Coastal cruises. Itineraries are roundtrip from San Diego, roundtrip from Vancouver, or between Vancouver and San Diego. Sailings range from four to seven days and highlight the California ports of San Francisco, Monterey and Santa Barbara.
- Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Volendam and Zaandam will transit the Panama Canal between Vancouver, British Columbia; Seattle, Washington; or San Diego and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Transits range from 14 to 22 days and most include a call at Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s private island in the Bahamas.
Holland America Line and Port of San Diego
While alongside at Port of San Diego, Volendam connected to shore power. As a part of its sustainability initiatives, Holland America Line uses shore power by plugging the ship into a dockside source, and the power source enables the ship to run all electrical equipment on board without using the ship’s engines. Holland America Line recently completed the installation of shore power connections across its entire fleet. Find out more about it here.
Operationally, each ship visit to San Diego directly contributes $400,000 to the local economy in provisioning (fuel, food, flowers, piano tuning, supplies), port taxes, and spending. Holland America Line works with more than 35 local vendors who supply the company and its ships with goods and services.