Holland America Line welcomed its ninth ship back into service on Sunday, May 8.
For the first time since the cruise industry shutdown in 2020, Oosterdam welcomed guests back on board in Trieste, Italy, which is the port for Venice. It’s now on a “Holy Lands and Ancient Kingdoms” itinerary, with port calls including Katakolon (Olympia), Piraeus (Athens), Kefalonia, and Crete, Greece as well as Haifa (Tel Aviv) and Ashdod (Jerusalem), Israel.
To celebrate the occasion, Holland America held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the terminal to open embarkation, attended by the ship’s captain, senior officers, and crew members waving flags to welcome guests.
“Our teams work incredibly hard getting the ships ready for a return to service, and the smiles when they see our guests walking up the gangway that first time are so heartfelt and sincere,” said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. “Each ship back to cruising means more team members back to sea, and we look forward to the restart being complete next month.”
Since Holland America resumed sailings in July 2021, Eurodam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Noordam, Rotterdam, and Zuiderdam have all returned to service. Volendam is currently under charter by the government of the Netherlands, docked in Rotterdam to accommodate Ukrainian refugees.
Oosterdam will spend this summer in the Mediterranean, offering seven to 19-night cruises roundtrip from Trieste and between Trieste and Piraeus, Rome, or Barcelona.
After the Mediterranean season, the vessel will head to Fort Lauderdale, Florida and then go through the Panama Canal and down the western coast of South America to spend the winter sailing between San Antonio, Chile and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Holland America’s entire fleet is scheduled to be back in service by mid-June, with Zaandam restarting on May 12 from Fort Lauderdale, and Westerdam‘s cruise resumption on June 12 in Seattle.