113 Night Grand World Voyage sailing from Ft Lauderdale roundtrip aboard Amsterdam.
The ms Amsterdam is the third ship to bear the name of the Dutch capital in Holland America Line's over 135-year history. Built at the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, Italy, the ms Amsterdam blends the very latest in shipbuilding technology with the artistry, personalized touches and superior service that has made Holland America Line one of the highest-rated cruise lines in the world.
At the heart of the ms Amsterdam is the Planeto Astrolabium, a commissioned signature sculpture soaring in a three-story atrium. The stunning Astrolabe tracks constellations, the planets, world time and ship time. Dutch heritage and tradition is clearly displayed throughout the ship in original Art Deco pieces that once graced the Nieuw Amsterdam of 1938. For a contemporary touch, works of the noted maritime artist Stephen Card adorn public spaces.
Highlights of this cruise:
There is an abundance of things to see and do in the Fort Lauderdale area: visit the newly redesigned Fort Lauderdale Beach and cafes, stroll the historic Riverwalk, shop the luxurious stores on Las Olas Boulevard or venture to the Everglades for an intriguing air boat excursion.
Located west of Panama City at the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal, Fuerte Amador is a gateway to exploring the many faces of this unique Central American country. The impressive engineering of the canal itself is a wonder to behold a quick trip to the Miraflores Locks' visitor center with its panoramic observation decks offers the chance to watch behemoth barges thread their way through the legendary manmade waterway. Just minutes from the cruise port, the recently opened Biomuseo is a Frank Gehry - designed natural-history museum dedicated to Panama's ecological marvels. And Fuerte Amador sits within easy taxi distance of Panama City, the bustling, multicultural capital metropolis where visitors can wander a conquistador-era UNESCO World Heritage Site, sip coffee in street cafs and peruse modern malls. For a rural escape, it only takes an hour or two by car to trade the city for the tropical rain forests of Soberana National Park, where an aerial tram carries passengers through treetops, or to meet Ember tribespeople in their traditional village along the Chagres River.
Even if you've never been, you've probably been. All you need to have done is glance once at the work of a former French stock broker, tarp salesman, and Panama Canal laborer. The color that Paul Gauguin brought to canvas could have been lifted from the markets, beaches, and buildings of today's Papeete. Cruise visitors can soak in the vivid buzz of the Le Marche marketplace, walk the park along the waterfront, and hunt for a deal on black pearls. Meanwhile, the rest of the island is waiting. Stop by the romantic Vaipahi Garden and the fern-lined sea caves of the Mara'a Grotto, then do anything on, beside, or under the island's elysian lagoon.
After the end of World War II, some American soldiers stationed on Bora Bora didn't want to leave. In fact, they stayed until their families back home began complaining. It's hard to blame the soldiers. James Michener called the island the most beautiful in the world, and used the island as inspiration for his Bali Hai. The island's mountains, beaches, and lagoons are the default when you think tropical paradise. Cruise visitors can dive into the clear waters of the lagoon, take a jeep tour into the high country, or relax on Matira beach and wonder what would happen if you stayed.
There is a point on the North Island of New Zealand where the land narrows to a thin strip between the islanded peninsula to the north and the mountainous, caved-addled terrain away south. On one side is Waitemata Harbour, on another is Manukau Harbour, and there are mountain ranges to the southeast and west. On this spot stands Auckland, one of the loveliest cities in the world, and according to many surveys, one of its most livable. Many of the old volcanoes that formed the terrain of the area are now grassy, hilly parks. Cruise visitors can climb one - Mount Eden, North Head, or One Tree Hill, say - and look toward the water. See why it's called the City of Sails
Site of fierce Maori wars, Tauranga today is a peaceful city in the heart of kiwifruit-growing country. Farther afield: Rotorua, with its spouting geysers and bubbling mud pools, the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves and nocturnal kiwi houses.
Sydney is both timeless and protean. You'll meet with 50,000 years of Aboriginal history, and changes brought by the delivery of British convicts and the Rum Corps settlers. See a botanical wunderkammer eons in the making and feel the electric now-ness of one of the world's great cities. A cruise to Sydney with Holland America Line will bring you opera, here, as well as opals and koalas. The strands of culture and nature and art all braid together to form Sydney's brilliant, rugged transcendence.
It's an island city-state, a World War II battleground, a global economic superstar, and a crossroads of the world. Cruise to Singapore with Holland America Line and in the space of a few hours you can relax in a Chinese teahouse, purchase a colorful sari in Little India and visit the gold-domed Sultan Mosque.
Resembling a sublime pearl hanging just south of the Indian Subcontinent, Sri Lanka's attractions include ancient cultures, enchanting natural parks, welcoming people, and must-see wildlife. Sri Lanka boasts no less than eight UNESCO World Heritage sites you expect to find plenty of temples hand crafted by artisans through time. Look for resident leopards, water buffaloes, birds, and assorted primates if you decide to photo-safari on tour in search of wildlife. Travelers also head higher above sea level to discover green tea plantations and cloud forests in the hills. Of course, world-class beaches are always close - perfect for relaxing, strolling, surfing, or diving.
There is the docile bay the peaceful cypress-tufted islands of Ischia, Procida and Capri and the muscular city of Naples itself. And over it all there looms Mount Vesuvius: volcano, national park, and a persistent corrective to any hubris. Cruise to Naples to see the only active volcano on the European mainland, which blew in A.D. 79 and buried the city of Pompeii. Naples itself is mere enduring greatness. One of the chief commercial cities of Europe, highlights include Castel dell'Ovo, Castelnuovo and national museums dedicated to art and archaeology. The city center has been designated a World Heritage Site, and the surrounding areas are dotted with cultural and historical treasures, not least them the restored ruins of Pompeii.
Barcelona effuses the ancient, the modernist, and the Gaudi. Legend has it the city was founded by Hercules 400 years before the founding of Rome. Whatever the truth, the city today is a global capital of commerce, fashion, culture, and sunshine (the city gets about 300 days of it a year). Cruise visitors should start with a walk down Las Ramblas, the glorious tree-shaded thoroughfare at the heart of the city. Claim a patch of sand on one of the city beaches. But, most of all, see what visionary architect Antoni Gaudi wrought. Seven of his creations have been honored as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including La Sagrada Familia, the Park Guell, and Casa Mila.
On your cruise to Copenhagen with Holland America Line, you can step into Amager Square and be in the heart of Copenhagen's venerable gabled facades and the carnival of humanity eating, drinking and seizing the day. Built on a series of islands, Copenhagen balances tradition and kinetic energy, while all the while the Little Mermaid statue keeps a thoughtful watch on the harbor.
The whole coast of Norway is as frayed as the hem of a much-loved blanket, so it's fitting that the country's capital lies at the head of a fjord. How perfect for a cruise. Oslo is hilly and green - two-thirds of the city is protected forest - and what's human-made is diverse, from the classicist Kunstnernes Hus to the modern Oslo Opera House, winner of the top prize at the 2008 World Architecture Festival. Take a walk through the central city and look and listen. At your feet you'll come across the Ibsen Quotes, an art installation consisting of 69 of the playwright's quotations set in the sidewalks. In the air you may hear music - the city hosts music festivals all summer long.
The Aurlandsfjord would be a magnificent fjord in its own right, with its glassy waters and snow-frosted peaks towering more than 3,000 over the water. What's even more humbling is that the fjord is just an arm of an even longer, more massive one - the Sognefjord. That fjord is the longest in Norway, but your cruise will make the turn south, for Flam. The cliffs crowd ever closer as you near the village and when you get there, it seems there's nowhere to look but up. The town is lovely the countryside is creased by rivers and waterfalls, and mantled in meadows. Take a ride on the legendary, and steep, Flam Railway.