World cruise enthusiasts will be able to reserve their stateroom on just-announced 115-day Holland America Line 2016 Grand World Voyage starting today.
Seattle, Washington (June 26, 2014)—Due to increasing demand from intrepid travelers and a growing desire from the baby boomer market to understand what a world cruise entails, Cruise Specialists (www.cruisespecialists.com), America’s leading world cruise travel agency, is providing an assessment of Holland America Line’s just-announced 2016 Grand World Voyage itinerary. The agency’s most experienced world cruise consultants are providing in-depth feedback on which ports they predict will be client favorites, which destinations are rarely visited by world cruises, as well as identifying trends in the world cruise market. The 115-day Grand World Voyage departs from Fort Lauderdale, FL, on January 5, 2016, and returns nearly four months later on April 30, 2016. The Grand World Voyage officially opened for bookings today.
This will be the 11th Grand World Voyage for Holland America Line’s flagship, ms Amsterdam. After departing Fort Lauderdale, it will navigate the Panama Canal, head southwest for six days in French Polynesia, cross the Pacific Ocean – sailing in the turquoise waters of the Cook Islands – and then spend nearly 20 days in and around New Zealand and Australia, including two full days near The Great Barrier Reef. “The northbound route to The Great Barrier Reef and Darwin – Australia’s Northern Territory – is less frequently traversed by world voyages – in fact, the Amsterdam is the only ship to overnight within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. It is an opportunity for our clients to spend more time in this fragile ecosystem and appreciate the delicate balance of ocean life,” said Sharon Whiting, a Cruise Consultant with Cruise Specialists who has worked in travel for more than 20 years.
From Australia, the ship will proceed northwest to Indonesia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Singapore and Thailand. “Having a port call in Sihanoukville (Kampong Saom), Cambodia, provides easy access for an overland excursion to the phenomenal archaeological site, Angkor Wat,” said Whiting. Additionally, “Hong Kong is a top destination for our world cruise clients,” said Bridgett Quinn, another Cruise Specialists Cruise Consultant who specializes in world cruising, and who worked for Holland America Line during one of its previous Grand World Voyages. “As one of the world’s great international cities, people want to visit ‘The Pearl of the Orient’ again and again, because it is always changing, and there is a unique ‘east meets west’ feel. The early feedback we’re receiving from clients is that they are thrilled about having two overnights in Hong Kong.”
After visiting Southeast Asia, the ms Amsterdam will make calls in Sri Lanka and southwestern India before heading to the Middle East – including Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Muscat and Salalah, Oman; Safaga (Luxor), Egypt; and then transiting the Suez Canal. Passengers will then spend two days in Israel, in the port cities of Haifa and Ashdod. “The Suez Canal and the Holy Land are monumentally significant portions of this itinerary,” noted Quinn. “These parts of the world have attained ‘pilgrimage’ status for most of our clients, and they carry great meaning and weight for travelers of nearly all backgrounds.”
The final segment of the Grand World Voyage will delight guests with a European holiday to Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal, prior to a final eight days at sea, and then back to Fort Lauderdale. “A visit to the Parthenon in Athens is a must-do for any global traveler. Additionally, to have an overnight in Barcelona is a real bonus – we hear time and time again from our clients that it is one of their favorite international cities,” said Quinn.
“To have the final port call prior to disembarkation in Madeira, Portugal, is only fitting, since the region is known for its sweet dessert wines – the perfect ending to a truly remarkable voyage,” said Annie Scrivanich, Senior Vice President, Cruise Specialists. “As passengers head west from Europe to Florida, they will enjoy the extended period at sea to relax and reflect on what we know will be an incredible 115-day journey.”
Watching the World Cruise Trends
Scrivanich noted that there is a growing segment of younger retirees in their late 50s who are an emerging target market for world cruises. “They are the perfect fit to get started on world cruising so it’s no surprise we are receiving more inquiries from this age group. They are interested in spending their new-found free time by expanding their horizons, especially in unique ports they might not reach in a shorter excursion,” said Scrivanich.
“Travel to environmentally-sensitive areas of the planet and those with cultural significance are important aspects of the journey for our clients. To experience these places is an exceptional gift. We see a strong and growing demand each year from clients who wish to visit UNESCO World Heritage sites such as Angkor Wat, the Great Barrier Reef, the Sydney Opera House and the Athenian Acropolis, all of which are included in this itinerary,” said Scrivanich.
Special Amenities for Grand World Voyage Clients
Travelers will receive special amenities by booking their Grand World Voyage with Cruise Specialists, including:
- Exclusive Cruise Specialists Voyage Hosts
- One Night Pre-Cruise Hotel Stay with Bon Voyage Party
- Exclusive Shore Excursion Program
- Commemorative Gifts
- Festive Cocktail Parties Onboard
Additional early booking amenities will be included based on the stateroom category booked.
Scrivanich noted that Cruise Specialists guests may also feel a special kinship with the ms Amsterdam, as the ship’s godmother, Janet Lanterman, founded Cruise Specialists in 1987. For 28 years, Cruise Specialists has been arranging world cruises, assisting over 8,000 guests in fulfilling their dreams of circumnavigating the globe.
For more information about the Holland America Line Grand World Voyage, or other world cruise options, contact Cruise Specialists at 888-681-7408. Visit their website at www.cruisespecialists.com. Or email [email protected].
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About Cruise Specialists:
Cruise Specialists is an award-winning cruise and tour agency dedicated to arranging the most luxurious land and sea vacations for its clients. Cruise Specialists is part of Travel Leaders Leisure Group and has been sending clients on memorable world cruises, family reunion cruises, affinity group cruises, honeymoons and unique personal travel experiences since 1987. The agency has been recognized by a number of travel publications, including Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure as one of the top luxury travel agencies. Cruise Specialists is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, with an additional office in Novato, California.