Holland America Line’s Volendam returned to cruising at Trieste (Venice), Italy, two-and-a-half years after the cruise industry paused. Guests embarked on a 14-day itinerary through the Holy Land and Ancient Kingdoms.
The ship’s captain and senior officers attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open embarkation, and team members lined up to greet guests as they boarded with flag-waving fanfare.
“This is a milestone day as Volendam embarks on its first full cruise since the industry-wide pause,” said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. “We are thankful for the incredible work of the shipboard team these past six months, caring for Ukrainian families. As we return to cruising, we are excited to welcome guests on Volendam for a series of longer voyages that include explorations of the Mediterranean, Amazon, and South America.”
Volendam has spent the past six months in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, under charter to the City of Rotterdam to house Ukrainian families. The ship was a temporary home for up to 1,500 refugees through the alliance, part of a more significant commitment from the Netherlands to accommodate 50,000 people who fled the war in their homeland.
Following the Holy Land and Ancient Kingdoms cruise, the ship will sail on 14-day itineraries to Greece, Turkey, Italy, Croatia, and Montenegro. In late October, the ship will reposition to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to offer a 28-day Amazon Explorer voyage, followed by a series of Caribbean cruises.