DAY 1 - 2 - 01 Jul 2021
Time at Port: from 12 AM to 5 PM
The ‘floating city’ of Venice has romantic connotations all over the world. Known for picturesque canals, colourful buildings, gentle gondola rides, good food, and an ample supply of history, this is one Italian destination that sits on many a bucket list. See magnificent architecture in St Mark’s Square, the fascinating Doge’s Palace, St Mark’s Basilica, and the famous Bridge of Sighs. After soaking in centuries of history, be sure to make time to simply watch the world go by with a world-class cup of coffee and a piece of tiramisu, or indeed an indulgent glass of wine and pasta dish.
Things to do in Venice - Overnight onboard:
Located in the Venetian lagoon, Giudecca Island is a small, attractive resort offering some lovely cafes, bars, and restaurants as well as pretty architecture. Over the years it has had a varied history, having been the home to some grand palaces and gardens, before becoming a centre of industry in the 20th century, particularly during World War II. One 16th century mansion has been converted into a beautiful luxury villa.
St. Mark's Square
Piazza San Marco – or St Mark’s Square – is the main square in Venice. It is one of the main attractions, and has had a vibrant role in Venetian history, having been a centre of politics, commerce, and religion over the years. Today it is one of Venice’s main attractions, being surrounded by beautiful architecture on all sides – including the magnificent Basilica di San Marco. Not only a stunning piece of architecture, St Mark’s Basilica also has a fascinating and exciting history. The original church was built in the 9th century, and the construction was ordered by the doge to house the remains of Apostle St Mark the Evangelist which had been stolen by Venetian merchants on a trip to Alexandria. This church was then burned down in the year 976, and was rebuilt again two years later. It was consecrated in the late 11th century, and since this time has seen many repairs and refurbishments.
Bridge of Sighs
This well-known, historic piece of architecture joins Venice’s prisons to Doge’s Palace – or more accurately, the interrogation rooms in the palace. Legend says that when prisoners of the 17th century crossed the bridge into the prison, they sighed at their last view of Venice – hence the name. Today the bridge also has romantic significance, with local lore saying that lovers who kiss beneath the bridge in a gondola will have a love that lasts forever.
From the late 7th century until the late 18th, Venice had a system of doges, who acted as elected leaders of the region. Doge’s Palace – now known as Palazzo Ducale – was built in the 14th century as a residence for the doge, and for other political bodies. It was a venue used for debates, a court of law, grand events such as balls, and even had prison cells on the ground floor. The beautiful palace is located in Piazza San Marco, and was opened to visitors in 1923.
Island of Burano
Within Venice’s lagoon is the picturesque island of Burano, well known for its colourful buildings and pretty canals. First inhabited in the 6th century, Burano has long been a small fishing community, which rose in prominence with the production of lace in the 16th century – a tradition it is still known for today. Burano is a gorgeous spot to wander around, enjoy a gelato, and browse the fabulous range of intricate lace work which is available to purchase in varying forms.
DAY 4 - 04 Jul 2021
It’s easy to see why Dubrovnik is one of the best highlights on a Mediterranean cruise. In 1979, the city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its beautifully preserved ancient architecture that you’ll love to spend hours exploring. Fans of the hit series Game of Thrones will particularly love to recreate their favourite scenes filmed here, while history and art enthusiasts will adore the fortresses and museums.
Things to do in Dubrovnik:
This small and intimate beach provides a quiet getaway from the crowds. Relax in the sun watching the locals play water polo, before taking a dip in the crystal clear waters and exploring the nearby cliffs and caves.
If you are looking for something relaxing but also to spend some time exploring, head along the sandy beaches and rocky paths where you’ll find Sunj beach. Here the waters range from beautiful crystal blue to alluring green where you can swim and relax under the sun with a wide range of bars to pick from.
A short ferry ride from Dubrovnik Old Town, Lokrum Island is a fantastic place for a day trip. With a beautiful botanical garden planted in the 19th century, the ruins of a Benedictine monastery and spots for swimming in the sea, you’ll love exploring this tiny island.
At 37 meters above the sea, Fortress Lovrijenac offers impressive views across the landscape. Used as a filming location for Game of Thrones, the fortress played an important role in protecting the Old City, which visitors will learn about as they explore the grounds.
Muralles de Dubrovnik
Covering 1,940 metres with 6 fortresses, the Walls of Dubrovnik are a must visit for Game of Thrones fans and lovers of architecture. Visitors can join walking tours of the walls which take approximately two hours and offer unrivalled views over the city from the forts.
St John Fortress
One of the most important forts in the Walls of Dubrovnik, it now houses the Maritime Museum and Aquarium, containing artefacts, paintings and documents telling the history of city. The aquarium, meanwhile, is where you’ll find marine life that thrives in the waters off Croatia.
DAY 5 - 05 Jul 2021
Nestled among the mountains, Kotor provides the setting for a picturesque cruise holiday. A walk around Old Town Budva will take you past timeless architecture, while San Giovanni Castle has the best photo opportunities. Kotor is not just for relaxing and scenic strolls though, with Aquapark Budva providing a fun-filled day for all the family. Don’t forget to stop by the many charming eateries in between for an authentic taste of Kotor cuisine too.
Things to do in Kotor:
If you are looking for a secluded beach tucked away in serenity by beautiful rock coves, head to Jaz Beach where you’ll be able to sunbathe and relax.
St Tryphon’s Cathedral
After being restored numerous times following earthquakes, St Tryphon’s Cathedral continues to represent the expertise of Roman architecture. With many stunning artefacts and decorations, this cathedral is well worth exploring.
Lovćen National Park
A short drive from Kotor, Lovćen National Park is home to imposing mountains including the spectacular Mount Lovćen standing 1,749 metres high. With no shortage of outdoor adventures to discover, visitors will love quad biking and zip lining in particular.
With countless boutiques, authentic eateries, and bars as well as a quaint museum teeming with ancient artefacts, Old Town Budva is a delightful place to explore. Enjoy dessert from a charming bakery, admire the view from the citadel and bask in the peace and quiet.
San Giovanni Castle
After climbing 1,350 stairs to a height of 1,200 metres you’ll find this impressive fortress built between the 9th and 19th centuries. With Byzantine and Venetian roots, this structure is beautifully preserved and teeming with fascinating history to discover.
Nestled in lush surroundings with views over the town nearby, Aquapark Budva is perfect for spending a hot afternoon cooling off. The park features multiple pools and waterslides to suit a range of ages, as well as a restaurant, bars, shops and lockers.
DAY 8 - 08 Jul 2021
Naples is one of the most important cities in Italy. Its foundation dates back to the 8th century BC, and it once had an important relationship with Athens, due to its commercial power and position on the sea. The city is rich in history and there are numerous places of interest to visit, in particular the archaeological excavations of the nearby Pompeii and Herculaneum, which were destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD.
Things to do in Naples:
The opening of the historic National Archaeological Museum of Naples took place in 1816. Built by Ferdinando I of Borbone, at the time king of the Two Sicilies, it boasts the richest collection of works and archaeological finds with regard to Roman history.
Museo d'arte contemporanea
The Museum of Contemporary Art, also known as the Madre Museum, is located inside Palazzo Donnaregina, in the center of Naples. It was established in 2005 with the aim of promoting cultural and artistic development in the territory of Campania.
The construction of the Royal Palace began in 1600 and for a long time was the residence of the Spanish viceroys, before passing to the House of Bourbon and finally to the House of Savoy. The architectural style is a mixture of Baroque and Neoclassical. Today, the palace houses a museum and a library.
The history of Pompeii begins in the 9th century BC, when the area was inhabited by the Opici people - an ancient Latin population. Today the town is famous because of the eruption of Vesuvius, which occurred in 79 AD, which led to its total destruction.
The profile of Naples would not be the same without Mount Vesuvius that dominates the city skyline. Versuvius is known for the violent eruption of AD 79, which became famous for the destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and was witnessed by Pliny the Younger.
The tremendous eruption of Vesuvius, in 79 AD, not only destroyed Pompeii but also the ancient city of Herculaneum. The archaeological excavations of this city can be visited today and, since 1997, are part of the UNESCO World Heritage List.
San Gennaro Catacombs
The Catacombs of San Gennaro are the most important Christian monument in Naples. The remains of San Gennaro, the main patron saint of the city, have been held here since the 5th century. The labyrinth of corridors also house Christian frescos from the 2nd century AD, and mosaics from the 5th century AD.
Castel Nuovo is a medieval and Renaissance-era castle. Most commonly known as Maschio Angioino, its construction began in the 13th century at the behest of Charles I of Anjou, after he moved the Italian capital from Palermo to Naples in around 1268.
Piazza del Plebiscito
The Piazza del Plebiscito is located in the historic center of Naples and was of considerable importance after the construction of the Royal Palace. Today Palazzo Salerno, Palazzo della Prefettura, and the Basilica of San Francesco di Paola are also located here.
DAY 9 - 09 Jul 2021
One of the most famous cities in the world, Rome has been an epicentre of politics, art, architecture, and food for thousands of years. It is home to some of the most well-known historic sites such as the Colosseum, the pantheon, and Vatican City. It’s easy to spend a day in a hundred different ways in Rome, whether you’re looking to sip on incredible wine and people-watch, indulge in decadent pasta, pizza, risotto, and gelato, or if you’re eager to wander around the streets soaking in all the history you can. Rome is one capital city which will always leave you wanting more.
Things to do in Rome (Civitavecchia):
Found in the heart of Rome, Vatican City is the smallest independent state in Europe at just 0.44km² with a population of 1,000 people. It acts as headquarters to the Roman Catholic Church and is home to The Apostolic Palace - the Pope’s residence –the Vatican Museums, St Peter’s Basilica, and the Sistine Chapel.
St Peter's Basilica
Within Vatican City is one of the biggest churches in the world; St. Peter’s Basilica. Accommodating up to 20,000 people, this is where the Pope delivers services. Its 136 metre high dome was designed by Michelangelo, and was completed in 1614.
The colosseum was opened in 80 A.D. with 100 days of exciting games. It was mostly used for gladiatorial combat and fights with animals until around the 6th century when it began to fall into disrepair. It was then used to store building materials until the 18th century, when the papacy decided it should be preserved. As it stands now, however, more than two-thirds of the structure has been destroyed.
Known the world-over for its elaborate, 15th century artwork courtesy of Michelangelo, Botticelli, Luca, and Perugino, the Sistine Chapel is where new Popes are elected and ordained. It is located within Vatican City, inside The Apostolic Palace.
This Michelangelo sculpture is located inside St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. It depicts the body of Jesus after he has been crucified, being held by the Virgin Mary. The statue was originally commissioned by Jean de Billheres – a French cardinal – as a memorial for his tomb.
This is one of the most iconic buildings in Rome. There are myths surrounding the building of the original Pantheon, but the structure we see today was built in 120 A.D. by Emperor Hadrian. It was created as a Pagan temple to “honour all Gods” – which is the translation of “Pantheon”. In the year 609 it was converted to a Christian church, although it is still widely known as the Pantheon.
This popular public square is located where the (now fallen) Stadium of Domitian once stood, in 86 A.D. Since then it has been developed into a social gathering spot, adorned by three magnificent fountains that were commissioned in the 16 and 17th centuries. These are Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, Fontana del Moro, and Fontana del Nettuno.
Florence & Pisa (Livorno)
DAY 10 - 10 Jul 2021
Made famous by its sloping bell tower, Pisa was once a simple but noteworthy port town. Over the years Pisa had some involvement in Italy’s military conflicts, and has seen success in matters of trade. Today most visitors come to see the fascinating Leaning Tower; a construction dating back to the 12th century that has been repeatedly repaired and stabilised over the years. As well as this is the neighbouring cathedral and baptistery, and the pretty Square of Miracles which houses them all. Pisa has a brilliant culinary scene, with many inexpensive restaurants serving amazing antipasti, pizzas, pastas, and other hearty Italian dishes.
Things to do in Florence & Pisa (Livorno):
Square of Miracles
Locally referred to as Piazza dei Miracoli, the Square of Miracles is home to the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, which was first built in 1064, the Baptistery, the Campo Santo – a graveyard – and the Campanile – the cathedral’s bell tower which is perhaps better known as the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Today the square has become a popular place to relax and enjoy the warm sun in some beautiful, historic surroundings.
Maria Assunta. Construction of the building began in 1173, and in spite of a detailed, thought-out design it is believed that a slight lean was evident from the building of the second floor. Building was intermittent due to wars and sociological events, and the tower was not completed until roughly the year 1370. Since this time the lean has been stabilised, and tourists are permitted to enter and climb the staircase to the top for a wonderful view.
Cathedral and Baptistery
The cathedral – or Duomo – and baptistery are two important historic sites which are often overlooked in favour of the Leaning Tower. The cathedral itself dates back to 1064, and you can see within there are influences from the Arabic world, with column designs being reminiscent of those often seen in mosques. The neighbouring baptistery is the largest in the country, and was originally designed in 1152, before being remodelled in the mid-13th century.
DAY 11 - 11 Jul 2021
Synonymous with high society and luxury, the tiny Principality of Monaco and its capital of Monte Carlo is the top destination in Europe when it comes to seeing how the other half live. Ruled by the Grimaldi family since the 13th century, Monte Carlo has impressive yachts in the harbour, world-famous casinos, stunning beaches, unique royal palaces and, of course, the most sought-after date in the Grand Prix calendar.
Things to do in Monte Carlo:
The Exotic Garden of Monaco is a great place be one with nature and enjoy the vast sea views. Stroll around the garden in the sunshine and see many types of Mediterranean fauna, cacti, and flowering succulents, some which originated from a collection started in 1895.
Just a short walk from Monte Carlo, Larvotto Beach has a beautiful, calm shore that’s perfect for all ages to take a dip in and spot marine life. Larvotto Beach is surrounded by restaurants, cafés and bars, and provides showers and toilets onsite.
Monte Carlo Casino
With all the glitz and glamour one would expect of a casino, Casino de Monte-Carlo offers all your favourite games in a luxurious, sophisticated setting that even James Bond approved of! For both experts and newcomers, Monte Carlo Casino is an exciting place to spend the evening.
Dedicated to marine science and maritime history, the Oceanographic Museum is a great place for the whole family, boasting a 450,000 litre tank for tropical marine life, as well as a Shark Lagoon. Visitors can even get hands on with deep sea inhabitants at the Touch Tank.
Palais du Prince
Originally built in 1191 as a Genoan fortress, the Prince’s Palace of Monaco has a long, dramatic history to be discovered. Though the palace is the residence of the ruling Prince, visitors can explore the exquisite state apartments and gardens that also host concerts.
DAY 12 - 12 Jul 2021
Established as a port town by Loius XIV, Sète is famous for its nautical background and celebrated poet and singer George Brassens. The town’s most famous son now has a popular museum in his honour, while the lake, canals and waterfront are perfect for a day of exploring. The local seafood is fantastic as well, letting you enjoy such delicacies as stuffed mussels before climbing the iconic Mont Saint-Clair to take in the stunning panorama.
Things to do in Sete:
A welcoming beach packed full of Blue Flag destinations and plenty of opportunities to go hiking or biking as well as, of course, swimming.
Complete with small funfair, café bar, and disabled access, this beach is a popular destination for families looking to make the most of the famously fine sand and calm waters protected by the harbour walls on sunny days.
Espace Georges Brassens
Sète’s most popular museum is dedicated, as the name suggests, to the celebrated local musician and poet Georges Brassens. Here you’ll find fascinating guided tours of the exhibitions of photos, letters, and music as well as clips from live concerts.
With its iconic cross monument, this is the perfect spot for 360 degree views of the city and canals of Sète, the surrounding landscapes, and way out to sea. You will also find here the Chapel of Our Lady of Salette, with its beautiful colourful frescoes.
Musee Paul Valery
Opening in 1970, this engrossing museum has hundreds of works by the artist from whom it takes its name, as well as a good number of manuscripts. Additional collections include pieces from the 19th century, mostly representing the city of Sète itself.
DAY 13 - 13 Jul 2021
Time at Port: from 7 AM to 5 PM
This vibrant seaside city is home to unforgettable architecture and creative scenes from renowned artists. The buildings you’ll find here are unlike anything you’ve ever seen, such as Park Güell and Casa Batllo, while foodies will be spoilt for choice with 20 different Michelin star restaurants. At the end of a busy day of shopping enjoy the energetic nightlife, or relax on the beach with newfound friends. Whatever your interests, Barcelona has the perfect itinerary for you.
Things to do in Barcelona:
Visiting Las Ramblas is an absolute must when in Barcelona. Visitors can experience the weird and the wonderful, from the Museu de l’Erotica to the Miró Mural, in between trying a range of authentic tapas bars and cafes before a much needed siesta.
Although the Sagrada Familia is not technically complete, it’s still an impressive sight to behold. Designed by the renowned architect Antoni Gaudí, this spectacular Basilica hosts many masses, events and a place to simply marvel at in wonder.
Barcelona City History Museum
Home of the cultural heritage of Barcelona, the Barcelona City History Museum manages several sites of interest including archaeological sites and historic houses. Visitors will discover the Roman colony, prehistoric Spain, Barcelona’s Jewish community and more.
Comprising of vibrant gardens and beautiful architecture, Park Güell was designed by Antoni Gaudí and officially opened in 1926. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its outstanding showcase of Gaudí’s genius design, Park Güell makes a wonderful place to go for a walk.
Another one of Antoni Gaudí’s masterpieces, Casa Batllo is a truly eye-catching building to explore. Visitors are able to explore this fantastic showcase of the designer’s work, and even enjoy live music and other events on the roof terrace.
This modernist building was the last residence to be designed by Antoni Gaudí and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can explore the building with an audio guide, and even enjoy rooftop shows on a romantic evening.
One of Barcelona’s oldest beaches, Sant Sebastià Beach features everything you need for a fantastic day in the sun. With indoor and outdoor pools, changing rooms and amenities for lounging, visitors can go for a dip, enjoy an ice cream and find dinner all in one area.
Camp Nou Stadium
With capacity for over 99,000 people, Camp Nou is the largest stadium in Spain and cathedral to the Catalans’ second religion- the beautiful game! Visitors can catch an exciting game of football here or take a guided or un-guided tour of the grounds.
Customer reviews for Westerdam
Based on 8 reviews
Value for money
Have just returned from a the Alaska cruise on Hollander America.everything was excellent We really did appreciate the opportunity to attend mass every morning with a priest on board. Many thanks
12 Oct 2019
How many passengers? That's all i need to know. i was disappointed in the whinging reviews of the entertainment ~ who needs "Entertainment" when the whole of the Southern Oceans and Antarctic Seas are outside? I go on a ship to see what I can see; usually from the bridge wings.
16 May 2019
Good cruise although Holland America overcharge for their own excursions, many of which can be undertaken for a fraction of the cost on your own. Food and service on board good. It's a shame Holland America don't publish more information on their website about the ports to be visited to enable better planning in advance.
10 May 2019
The ship is okay - we had a brilliant holiday, the ship was not an important factor in our decision, it was determined by the itinerary, we went to Japan and Russia (Japanese maritime law states that only vessels which are registered in Japan can sail around Japan without spending time 'abroad'. We had a day in Vladivostok which was enjoyable. The main reason for taking this cruise was the fact that - apart from the Russian trip - we had the maximum time in Japan to enjoy the cherry blossom. We loved every minute of the holiday, we had excellent guides, the excursions were great and we came back with wonderful memories. What we liked about the ship: our cabin was well appointed, we had a balcony cabin but if you wantred to save money, you could have done without the balcony. We spent so much time off the ship, we did not make good use of the balcony. The Lincoln Center classical music group was outstanding, so was the BBKings Blues band, we were looking forward to these performances every day, the stuff that happened on the main stage was not to our taste, we thought it was awful. The food caters very much to American travellers, there is a lot of stuff that I would describe as: death on a plate, I had a lot of food ashore, the fish ashore was wonderful and I would have preferred some healthy options like poached fish. The staff were friendly and efficient, no complaints. The ship looks a bit dated in places, we liked the modern reception area here. The gym is fine. There is nothing remarkable about the ship, I can't think of any 'wow' factors - but as I said, we were not that worried about the ship, we went to see the cherry blossom.
5 May 2019
Terms and Conditions
All offers and prices are subject to change and availability at time of enquiry. Prices are based on two passengers sharing unless otherwise stated and are subject to the Tour Operator's terms and conditions. Cabin and Flight supplements may apply. Other supplements may apply in addition to the price shown above. Flight details, timings and routing may be subject to alteration. Other tour operator charges may also apply. Any Onboard Spending money or drinks package value shown will be per cabin, again based on two sharing.
Note: On 13 January 2018, new European legislation is being adopted in the UK which as result will mean that we may change our required method of payment at our discretion, irrespective of how any deposit or prior payment was made.