On the weekend, Holland America Line became the first cruise line to return to Canadian cruising following a more than two year pause due to the pandemic.
Saturday, 09APR, Holland America Line's Koningsdam was the first ship to return to Victoria in 905 days, opening Canada to cruise ship travel once again. It was also the ship's maiden call in Victoria.
The Koningsdam arrived in port in Vancouver Sunday, 10APR, marking the first ship back in that port in more than two years. The day was filled with events that included a celebratory ceremony pierside and plaque exchange on board to commemorate Koningsdam's first-ever call at Vancouver.
The arrival in Vancouver marked the end of the Konigsdam's seven-day cruise. Port of Vancouver is the ship's homeport for the summer Alaska season.
"We are thrilled to be the first cruise line back into Canada after such a long absence, and we look forward to celebrating a great moment for everyone who loves to travel and for those in Canada and Alaska whose livelihoods depend on tourism,” said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line.
"Holland America Line has a robust schedule of cruises that explore Canadian ports on both coasts with Alaska, Hawaii, transatlantic and Canada and New England itineraries.”
To mark the milestones, Antorcha and local government officials were on hand in both Victoria and Vancouver to celebrate the return to Canadian cruising and address the importance Canada and Alaska to Holland America Line.
According to the cruise line, in 2022, six Holland America Line ships will call at Victoria and Vancouver for the Alaska cruise season. In total, the six ships will make 45 calls at Victoria and bring nearly 75,000 guests to the port, and 76 cruises begin or end at Vancouver, welcoming approximately 140,000 guests.
HAL Resumes Canada & New England Itineraries, Too
For Canada and New England cruising on the East Coast, two Holland America Line ships return in MAY, and cruise between Boston, Massachusetts, and Quebec City or Montreal, Quebec. Nieuw Statendam and Zaandam offer itineraries ranging from seven to 24 days to more than 12 Canadian ports.
In total for 2022, Holland America Line operates 141 cruises on eight ships in Canada with more than 250,000 guests visiting both coasts.