Holland America fans living in New York got some exciting news confirmed once again will base a ship in the city next summer.
Holland America says the 1,350-passenger Veendam will return to New York next May through Oct. 9 for a series of 24 cruises to Bermuda. The Veendam currently is sailing from New York -- a deployment that marks the line's return to the routing for the first time in more than 25 years.
Unlike other ships now sailing to Bermuda, the Veendam this year is calling on both Hamilton and St. George's -- Bermuda's two most popular ports. Holland America says the ship will continue to visit both ports during cruises in 2011.
Originally the line had announced the Veendam would dock in St. George's, but the ship instead has been anchoring offshore the town this year and ferrying passengers in on tender vessels. The line says the entrance to the town's harbor proved too narrow for the ship to safely navigate to the town's dock.
The port calls in Hamilton and St. George's have been a major selling point for the cruises as many Bermuda cruise fans have been unhappy with the growing trend of ships tying up far from the two towns at Bermuda's Dockyard facility -- a trend driven by the increasing size of ships.
The choice of the Veendam to spearhead Holland America's return to Bermuda also has had historical significance to shipping aficionados. It was another Holland America ship called the Veendam, the 500-passenger Veendam II, that offered the line's first Bermuda cruises out of New York in 1930 and 1931.
Holland America says in 2011 the Veendam will spend one day at St. George's and two nights at Hamilton.
Fares start at $699 per person, based on double occupancy.