Holland America Line’s 2012 Mediterranean season to feature a Grand Voyage, Guest Chefs and Maiden calls

Holland America Line’s 2012 Mediterranean season features an extensive selection of itineraries ranging from seven to 42 days, as well as an exciting 62-day Grand Mediterranean and Black Sea Voyage aboard the intimate ms Prinsendam.

Six of the line’s other ships — ms Eurodam, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Noordam, ms Rotterdam, ms Maasdam and ms Ryndam — also will sail the region on 32 different itineraries that span the eastern and western Mediterranean. Celebrated guest chefs will enhance select cruises as part of the Culinary Arts Centre program, performing cooking demonstrations for guests in the ship’s state-of-the-art show kitchen, conducting tastings and participating in question-and-answer sessions.

“The Mediterranean has it all — from top-rated beaches and incredible architecture to historical landmarks and a long history,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs for Holland America Line. “Whether it’s a shorter cruise or a Grand Voyage, by offering one of the most extensive itinerary selections of any cruise line, we enable guests to take their dream cruise.”

Grand Mediterranean and Black Sea Voyage

A highlight of the Med season comes this spring when ms Prinsendam, the line’s smallest and most intimate ship -- just 835 guests, departs Fort Lauderdale, Florida, March 12, 2012, on its roundtrip 62-day Grand Mediterranean and Black Sea Voyage. Visiting 32 ports in 14 countries, the itinerary includes maiden calls at Durrës, Albania’s second-largest city and one of Europe’s oldest cities; Saint Raphaél in the Côte d'Azur region of France, and Castellón de la Plana in the Costa del Azahar region of Spain.

Overnight stays in Seville, Spain; Kuşadasi (Ephesus) and Istanbul, Turkey; Piraeus (Athens), Greece; Venice, Italy; Barcelona, Spain, and Lisbon, Portugal, provide guests with more time for exploring of some of the world’s most interesting destinations. 

The Grand Voyage also offers grand experiences on board. Guests can relax and unwind during leisurely days at sea, taking advantage of the extra time to read a book, indulge in a massage at the Greenhouse Spa or watch a movie in the theatre. Sommelier and Wine Educator Charlie Arturaola will be on board from March 21 – April 3 as part of the Culinary Arts Centre program. Brian Archibald, executive sous chef of Camelback Inn, a JW Marriott Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona, also will sail from April 18 – 30.

Evening activities shine on board as well with local cultural entertainment and special guest headliners, while festive gala balls and formal nights create memorable moments. Dining is elevated to a new level on each Grand Voyage, featuring local ingredients and regional cuisine from all corners of Europe. 

For those with less time, 11 segments are available ranging from 16 to 41 days and start at AU$2,199 per person.

2012 Mediterranean Voyages

A highlight of the season is a 20-day Mediterranean Medley cruise departing July 21, sailing roundtrip from Dover, England, or Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on ms Ryndam. Guests can explore ports throughout Italy, Portugal, Spain and Monaco on this adventure.

Additional itineraries include three 12-day sailings on msNieuw Amsterdam that explore Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Montenegro and Croatia. Guests looking for a longer voyage can combine the two itineraries to create a 24-day Collectors’ Voyage.

A series of two 10-day itineraries on ms Noordam can be combined to form a 20-day Collectors’ Voyage, with calls at ports in Italy, Monaco, Spain, Tunisia, Croatia, Greece and Turkey.

The new 17-day Spanish Rhapsody sailing roundtrip Rotterdam onboard ms Rotterdam offers guests the opportunity to explore the best of what Spain has to offer in addition to ports in both Portugal and Italy.

Fares for a seven-day Mediterranean voyage start at just AU$849 per person, double occupancy.

Select Mediterranean cruises also feature a guest chef on board:

  • ·         Ken Oringer, executive chef/co-owner of Kenneth Oringer and Clio restaurants in Boston, Massetusses, sails on ms Nieuw Amsterdam’s 12-day Mediterranean Empires cruise June 5.
  • ·         Kevin Sbraga, executive chef and owner of Sbraga restaurant in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and US cable channel Bravo's “Top Chef” season seven winner, sails on msNoordam July 17 in the Mediterranean.
  • ·         Giuliano Hazan, author of “Cooking Italian With Giuliano” and International Association of Culinary Professionals Cooking Teacher of the Year, sails on ms Rotterdam’s 17-day Moorish Empires cruise Sept. 29.
  • Timon Balloo, executive chef of Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill in Miami, Florida, sails on ms Noordam's 7-day Riviera Romance cruise Oct. 15.